There are four things I’ve come to appreciate most about myself, and they’re probably not what you’d expect. One of them seems…wrong.
We know we should love ourselves. Everything that makes us who we are should be celebrated and affirmed. So much has been written about all the traits and characteristics we have to love – or at least accept – about ourselves. But for me, I’ve found there are four key things about myself that have made the biggest difference in my life. I call them TAGS. I bet you have them, too.
1. Tears. I love my tears. Yep, that evidence of emotion I rarely let out because I can take compartmentalizing too far at times. Whether tears of joy, sadness, fear, or pain, tears let you know you are feeling something that needs to be paid some attention. I once read, “Those who cry do so not because they are weak, but because they have been strong for too long.” If I’m crying, it’s an invitation to overdue introspection. A reminder to stay connected and in tune with what I’m really feeling inside. This is powerful and necessary stuff. Thank you, tears.
2. Anger. OK, this sounds completely wrong, I know. You probably expected “Authenticity” or anything other than the potentially destructive emotion of anger. To be clear, I’m not talking about the pathological rage of all the overreacting, pissed off, entitled, impatient assholes walking (and driving!) around these days. I mean the I’ve-had-enough-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore productive anger that spurs you to positive action. Whether it’s leaving a person, a job, or a situation, change and the courage to pursue it – to transform injustice or improve your life – can be born from anger. I call that good anger, and I’ve come to love mine. Anger is the antidote for complacency. Hanging on to resentment…simmering in rage…seeking revenge? That sh*t will kill you. Process it, forgive, let it go, and move on. But “good anger” that results in positive change is empowering. I know many will disagree with me, and I’m not mad at you.
3. Grit. Perseverance, resilience, determination, and hard work. Without grit, a person’s talent, intelligence, and creativity don’t mean a damn thing. Without grit, people do well when things come easily for them, but they will lose it, get pissed off, and walk away when there’s something they’re not good at or don’t win. I see this in spoiled children whose misguided parents want to shield them from failure and keep them believing they are the best at everything, so they are always happy and never disappointed. What a disservice. Folks with grit make mistakes, struggle, lose, and have epic fails but keep on at it. Grit is essential and I cherish it.
4. Smile. Finally, something happy and light, right? I firmly believe a genuine smile is one of the most powerful change agents we have. I use the hashtag #alwayssmiling on many Instagram posts. A smile can defuse a tense situation. It can change a stranger’s day. It can uplift, support, and encourage. Unlike a fake smile, a genuine smile comes from a place of kindness and compassion. Try smiling at and greeting a stranger on the street. While it might not always be reciprocated, the positive vibe created by this simple gesture fosters a sense of happiness for me that influences my own mood for an entire day. I’m smiling a lot more now and I love it.
What do you think? What else is on your #self-love list?
If you enjoyed this please remember to Share, Like, Follow, Comment, Subscribe. (This is my “call to action” I’m supposed to include in every post. Thanks so much for your support!)