As always, that all-or-nothing persona piqued up. (As did the proneness to write a list).
Right! We need to rid of that self-righteousness, turn down – maybe even off? – that talking; completely cut that spotlight hogging, the conversation dominating, those verbal dances for affirmation. That bossiness, defensiveness, over-sensitivity and those control freak tendencies have just got to go. And that impulsivity (especially when in the context of buying Indian tapestries), somewhat erratic behaviour and full on flakiness are out.
I was in full meditative writing mode, thesaurising up words of kind (well, in this case, rather the other way) and listing them. Get rid of this, get rid of that. Oooo! That aspect of me is awful; we shall cut that out too. How about this trait? Nah, it’s not in line with who I want to be. That one? Nah, rack it out; might as well rip off all the wallpaper if there’s a slight peeling at the bottom corner, even if no one has ever noticed it.
Pretty much, my list of the new and better “me” was myself with a full lobotomy. A girl (yes, girl – NOT woman) who sort of floats around with an ethereal aura, smiling beatifically from my self contained world of stillness, peace and piety. Never a bad word against any, no ill feeling or favour or thought.
Kind of… empty.
Because once I took away all the things I “need” to rid of in order to be “better”, there’s not much else left.
It made me ponder. And start to see somewhat alternatively.
Being a better me is not about completely changing myself. It’s about working within my personality and altering some aspects for the better. Ripping out the essence of what makes me me tips my entire nature and takes away what makes me tick.
Yes I may have the tendency to think of myself first, but then I know there have been instances where I put all others ahead and do take the back seat. I care about others, especially ones very special and dear to me; I would do anything in my power – and sometimes out of reach of my authority – to see them happy. And I smile a genuinely light-up smile at pretty much absolutely everyone I meet. It’s not that I “can be” a nice person; I am one. Just sometimes the unkind side is a touch more present than I please.
I’m never going to be a wallflower – I’ve tried, and it was like trying to patch an exploding volcano up with cardboard. It sounds so selfish and self-entitled and all other words starting with “self” (well, except selfless), but centre stage is where I naturally seem to cast myself. (And not in a full-of-myself light, I need to clarify; more in a my-personality-just-goes-there way).
Plus a fair make up of that Pop Sparkle involves a sprinkling of sassy. And who said a bit of sass was the worst thing in the world?
No. Once again, my approach is all wrong.
Becoming a better me is about honing in on and heightening my virtues and minimising my vices (except the impulsivity with Indian tapestries. We’ll eradicate that in full, I think. Packing my bag full of treasures to take to Europe was a bastard). (Had a much worse word in there starting with the next letter of the alphabet, but decided to modify; it’s all part of the minimisation process, you see). It’s embodying myself fully therein, just being aware of the not-so-niceties and catching myself out before they are extroverted.
You can emanate kindness but still have a vent to your best friend now and again.
I started to write a new list that was a bit easier on myself. Be more tolerant. Grow your patience. Try not to interrupt others (I have vastly improved on this one, even if it does mean sometimes I sit there with whimpers absolutely leaking out of my steadfastly shut mouth). Only buy a few Indian tapestries. Ask how others’ days have been because you genuinely want to know, not because you want to launch in about yours.
Then I suddenly put down my pink highlighter (”twas colour coding my entries: green for mental modifications, pink for outward, yellow for directly involving others, so forth).
Why do you need to write it down?
What a radical concept.
So sorry, I have no actual list to share here. Because it’s all banked in my brain, baby.
(Honestly, what a revolution!).
But three of the main ideas to work upon are as follows:
1. Cultivating gratitude. I tend to fall on the sorry-for-myself side of the fence, looking at my lack rather than my loot. But I have a fucking brilliant being in a million myriad of ways, so I want to appreciate such circumstances much more.
2. Learning how to discipline my speech. Sometimes I say, share, and show off with subjects I shouldn’t. Given a piece of information that is of utmost secrecy and I will guard it on par with that of the MI6 but should some gossip make its way to me I am one to most definitely continue sending it on its road. I need to try and act as a culd-de-sac, not an avenue. Also, my immediate reaction to some things is not ideal in the sentence scheme. (Many, many replaying of situations in the shower later with me acting in a more thoughtful way). (In my head I mean, not the full out scenario).
And, 3. Ridding of resentment. This is one area I want to fully Exit Mould. It doesn’t occur often, but now and then resentment can set in and simmer. And it’s poisonous. As Elizabeth Gilbert said (seriously, this woman is my new life guru) (I mean that in “new person to be my life guru” not “guru for my new life”, I shall clarify; I don’t want a new life. I love mine), “As smoking is bad for the lungs, so is resentment to the soul.”
Right on Lizzy G.
The other day Dylan from Dublin told us about Aristotle’s theory of eudaimonia. That every man (or woman) (or GIRL), in order to perfect their humanity, should strive to be the best they can be. To cultivate proper intentions and an appropriate disposition and put such into real virtuous action. A hands-on form of constructive self-process.
I love this idea. A process of bettering the individual you. Not changing per se, but just bettering. So that’s my quest; Pop’s Eudaimonia.
That’s not written in a list.