Three Things I Hate About Myself and Three I Think Are Just Fine (On Love and Hate)
I hate that I blurt things out at the most inappropriate times, in the most inappropriate contexts - school functions, formal dinners, funerals and FaceTiming the former president of Israel (ask me about this one). No place is too sacred, no person immune. Generally, a joke that only a fourteen-year-old boy would appreciate (but not mine, he is mortified), often using some word that is better left unsaid (or at the very least, unwritten). A fifty-year-old making penis jokes - I hate that and I hate how hard it is for me to resist them. Really hard. (Get it?)
I hate that I’m in a better mood when I fit in my skinny jeans than when I fit in my not-so-skinny jeans. That I’m happier with a wad of cash than without it. How easily my mood is affected by my external condition. How my emotions betray a caring for something that I intellectually could give a shit about. I hate it because it feels so hypocritical given what I believe in. (I love that I have incredible friends like Jessica who remind me that feelings and beliefs are two separate things.)
I hate how much I obsess about something long after it’s over - the email I sent, the conversation I would have changed, the choices I made, the time I wasted yearning for something different. Not to mention all the time I waste obsessing about the time I wasted! Don’t I know that life is short and who the hell has time to sit around obsessing about all that crap?!? Me, apparently. Ugh.
I like that I can slow myself down in the middle of a heated argument (like Bradley Cooper in Limitless). I like that I can often see the other person’s point of view and soften my stance. I like that I can do this with myself, too, when I sense that I am being unkind to my sweet self.
I like that regardless of my mood or obsessions du jour - a good laugh will snap me right out of it. Or a text from a friend. Or an email from a reader. Or a call from my husband. Or a hug from one of my kids. I am easy like that. I like that.
I like that I can write something that makes me feel dumb and vulnerable, and cringe as I press the send button - and send it out anyway. (I hate that in this age of oversharing I still feel dumb and vulnerable about sharing things that have become so commonplace to share - but they’re vulnerable to me - so I appreciate my willingness to send them out regardless.)
Mostly, I like that I am aware when I am hating on myself (even though I hate that I still do that). I like that I can see a possibility wherein hate lives inside of love. That the existence of hate doesn’t mean that love isn’t present. That even though love does not always trump hate, it does envelope it, accept it, and fold it into itself. And in that way, there is room for hate to exist, in myself and in the world. Not because love is superior but because it is truer of our essence and closer to our natural being. If who I am is love, then hate can come and go; if who I am is joy, then grief and sadness can visit; if who I am is peace, then conflict can arise and subside. It doesn’t touch who I am at my core, regardless of whether or not I can remember that in this moment.
And that - I love.