are you being critical enough of your own self-criticisms?
This piece hits somewhere deep inside me. I've spent a lot of time working with my criticality. Five thoughts.
“Loving yourself unconditionally” is self-infantilizing. People love children unconditionally. Love for peers is rooted in respect. Learning to love yourself means becoming someone who you can respect.
Instincts created by self-hatred aren’t always the best for thinking. They’ll guide you to shadowbox yourself. You’ll find yourself grappling with “hard truths” that are really convenient dismissals or evasions. You might avoid doing things that threaten your sense of self, even if they would help you grow. They’ll direct you towards things that feel attainable and legible, even if that’s not what’s best. Being able to accept yourself lowers the stakes, letting you see yourself clearly.
Evaluating yourself on whether you’ve “arrived” is about where your y-intercept is, not your slope. It’s also a good way to work yourself too hard for a few years, and then become self-satisfied. If one must be self-critical, do it based on trajectory, not position.
If you hate things about yourself, it’s impossible to keep it contained. People reserve their greatest cruelty for people who remind them of what they hate about themselves.
Feeling okay with who you are is the greatest luxury a person will ever feel.
One thing I admire about you and your writing, Molly, is how wholly you accept the particularness of your self! We are so different but I can’t help but admire how well you are being you!
Sounds like you’ve stumbled onto CBT :) It only gets weirder and more wonderful from here. Thanks for your writing, thinking, and sharing.