Someone on facebook linked to this blog post. The post (which I'm about to copy for you, because I'm going to play), urges us to pause for a moment, and consider the fact that we are (yep, each and every one of us), kinda awesome. And not merely to pause and say "yeah, I guess I am pretty awesome sometimes" but to stop, and actually LIST specific things about ourselves that are awesome.
I think it's a marvelous exercise. It's good for us to pause, every now and then, to think about how wonderful we really are. Especially in this world full of messages from the advertisers, other disgruntled souls, and our children, that tell us that we're less than awesome. (Seriously, I saw a TV ad last night talking about the fact that even if you have smooth skin, "that isn't good enough" -- you "need" their product.
So. Without further ado -- the original post, followed by my answers and the thoughts they provoked.
You are awesome.
Not a little bit awesome. Not sorta kinda awesome. You are thoroughly, completely, and incredibly awesome.
Really, have you looked at yourself lately? Have you taken a moment to consider your many amazing qualities? If not, here’s a little activity I’d like to you do:
1. Make a list of five amazing, beautiful physical qualities about yourself. Don’t couch them in an insult (“I look good for my age” or “I have nice legs for an overweight person“). You have at least five beautiful things about you, I guarantee. If you can’t see them immediately, this is your opportunity to search for them. Find those five amazing things about your appearance and list them.
2. Make a list of five amazing things about your mind. Don’t couch them in an insult (“I’m smart for someone who never finished college“). You have at least five incredible things going on up your head. If you can’t think of them immediately, this is your chance to discover them. Find those five amazing things about your mind and list them.
3. Make a list of five amazing things you have accomplished. Don’t couch them in an insult (“I’ve accomplished a lot for someone with children“). You have accomplished at least five spectacular things in your life. If they don’t spring immediately to mind, take this time to remember them. Find those five amazing accomplishments and list them.
Now you have yours lists of amazing things about your physical appearance, your mind, and your accomplishments. What can you do with them? Here are some ideas:
Share them here in the comments.
Share them on your blog as a new post.
Share the link to this blog with others, so that they can comment with or blog their lists.
Copy and share this entire post on your blog, along with your lists.
Share this entire post or a link to this post on a favorite forum, along with your lists.
Email these prompts to friends and family and encourage them to share their lists or post them somewhere.
Print out your list and put it somewhere visible (your car, your desk, your bathroom mirror) and look at it every day.
Encourage your spouse/partner and/or children to make a list, too, and share them with each other.
Read your lists as often as you need to in order to remember that you, the unique and remarkable you, are an amazing person. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different. We spend too much of our lives tearing ourselves down or letting other people do it for us. I personally think all of us should stop that bad habit RIGHT NOW. I recently made a rule that I would never say anything outloud about myself that I wouldn’t say about someone else to his/her own face. I hope you can start doing the same for YOU.
So... here are my sets of five things
The five amazing and beautiful physical things about me that I see are:
1. My eyes. Everyone has always told me how beautiful they find my eyes. Eventually, I even came to agree...
2. My body can dance. No really -- it can boogie, and two-step and do the west-coast swing -- and it never seems to lose the beat. It does it well enough that people dancing with me tell me I'm good. And it feels good to do it. ---
hmmm... does that count? I think this section is supposed to be about acknowledging beauty, not rhythm and skill...
2. (take two) My hands can take skinny skinny sticks that look like long toothpicks and some string, and make socks, and mittens, and intricate lace shawls, and warm fuzzy sweaters. And do it without my eyes keeping very close track.
Damn, I did it again -- that's still about skill not beauty (though the stuff my hands make can be quite beautiful.
2. (third time's the charm, right?) I have very nicely shaped feet. They're good looking feet... (we're not discussing whether they meet any norms anywhere for shapeliness or shoe wearing... that's not part of this question).
3. I have always had shapely calves.
4. I have nice breasts. (Yep the very same breasts that I've just volunteered to be part of one of the Army of Women's studies -- they need some that have had a clear mammogram in the past three months, and mine qualify).
5. I have a good singing voice...
DAMN... again with the skipping the beauty part.
5. I have nice ears. They wear earrings well, and ear cuffs well. They're also pretty functional, but that's not relevant to this discussion.
(I pause for a moment to note that I found it really hard to write that list. I think, perhaps, I need to spend more time accepting my body as it is now, and find ways to SEE it as beautiful).
The five amazing things about my mind are:
1. My mind is open more than not. I do believe that minds are like parachutes - they work best when open. I keep mine open as much as I can (which is not to say that I can't be judgmental ... but I try not to be PRE-Judgemental.)
2. My mind is fertile ground -- it's full of creative ideas.
3. My mind is hungry -- there is always room to learn something new. This can be a problem sometimes, because it's always WANTING more... but mostly it's good.
4. My mind is quirky and curious. That means that it looks at things from many sides, and that it will likely twist something normal into something silly. And that can be fun.
5. My mind is agile ... it lets me think on my feet; it also provides me access to both my analytical and creative sides -- without fighting back very often.
And finally... sort of... my five accomplishments
1. I have managed to raise two lovely daughters who are intelligent, mostly sane, and more responsible than not.
2. I have done the school thing, gotten a law degree with fancy latin words* on it, and argued a case in front of the Illinois Supreme Court.
3. I have performed well enough at the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts to get rave reviews in the newspaper.
4. I have taught people -- and successfully gotten them from the "what the $%^&*(??" stage through the "ohhhh" and then the "AHA!!" stages and beyond to the "I'm pretty damned good at this" places -- and in more than one area (Writing, and Knitting).
5. I have had MY knitting designs published, and have been sold designs to knitters whose own work I'm generally very impressed by.
I think this would have been much easier to write about someone else, but that's the point of this challenge. Anyone else ready to take on the challenge of acknowledging your own awesomeness?
* Juris Doctor, Magna cum Laude