Many people I work with in therapy have trouble forgiving themselves for past mistakes and transgressions. Yesterday, I gave somebody this assignment: to look themselves in the face (in a mirror, any other reflective surface, or, yesterday, during our ZOOM call) and say, “I forgive you.” We practiced that many times during the therapy session, with this person adding their name at the end of the self-forgiving statement.
I’ve been practicing that also, and it really helps. I forgive you, Ann, for
being irritable with lots of people lately,
your lapses in memory,
unintentionally hurting other people’s feelings,
your internalized sexism, ageism, racism, and other isms,
not being good at everything,
not understanding everything,
doing less walking yesterday because of the heat,
taking only one photo outside yesterday,
not getting a better shot of those ducks,
eating meat in a restaurant last night,
buying way too much Ferrero Rocher gelato,
being a daily bitch,
seeing monsters where they don’t exist,
being a monster at times,
having trust issues,
scaring Harley just by moving too quickly,
comparing Harley to your late, lamented kitty Oscar,
repeating yourself, and
spending too much time on Twitter.
I forgive you, Ann, for sharing this song for the umpteenth time.
I forgive you, Ann, for asking people to comment on your blog about their own experience with self-forgiveness.
I forgive you, Ann, for ending each blog in the same way, day after day.
I can’t get enough of conversations with my husband Michael, including our recent one about breakfast cereals, in which I told him that my favorite cereal jingle was “I can’t get enough of that Sugar Crisp” as sung by the cool and crooning Sugar Bear.
Because I used to work in advertising, I can’t get enough of those vintage commercials and how they reflect societal norms, priorities, assumptions, and technology.
I can’t get enough of my son Aaron and I can’t get enough of this incredible creation his cousin Victoria made for Aaron’s birthday:
I can’t get enough of anything that promotes self inoculation against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, including walks by the water, celebrating small victories and progress, education, Michael’s cooking, the Daily Bitch Calendar, fun conversations on Twitter, and cats.
I can’t get enough of your comments, so consider leaving one about what YOU can’t get enough of.
I can’t get enough of gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including you!
Two days ago, my post was self-destructive. Today, I’m writing about self inoculation, which is effectively preparing yourself for troubles ahead.
Yesterday, in a therapy session when we were talking about self-hatred, people committed to each other that the next time they did, felt, or thought something that triggered self-hatred, they would take a deep breath and love (or at least LIKE) themselves instead. In essence, people were self inoculating against a known destructive response.
This morning, before I got on the scale, I self inoculated by saying this to myself: “No matter what that number is, I am going to welcome it. That number is not going to affect my self worth.”
Blogging, for me, is another example of self inoculation. With each daily post, I am preparing myself for troubles ahead — refreshing my resilience. That’s why blogging has been such a priority for me over the past eight years.
Do you see any examples of self inoculation in today’s images?
As The Daily Bitch shows us, sometimes the way we self inoculate might cause trouble for other people.
When people in therapy tell me they are self-destructive, I think:
that is how they are telling the story about themselves for now,
it might be a helpful insight,
it might lead to hopelessness,
it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy,
it’s not destructive that they are in therapy,
there are other things they are doing that are not self-destructive, and
they are not destroyed.
I don’t think it’s self-destructive to share the inspiration for today’s blog title:
Is it self-destructive to share all of my recent images?
Is anybody being self-destructive in today’s video, a compilation of home news bloopers?
It would not be self-destructive to leave your thoughts and feelings about this “Self-destructive” post in the comments section, below. It’s also not self-destructive to express gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU.
Yesterday, at the end of our session, my therapist asked me what my first memory about money was. I don’t forget why she asked me — I told her I wanted to work on my shame and fear related to money and taxes.
When I had trouble accessing early memories about money, she asked me to work on that before our next session.
I forgot my first memories about money, but I believe my shame, fear, and forgetting might be related to the fact that my family was Jewish. I realized when I was young that some non-Jews believed that Jews only cared about money and seemed to hate them for that. My parents didn’t want me or others to forget the Holocaust — the worst result of those beliefs. I wanted to forget because the Holocaust seemed too big and scary for me to understand.
I forgot to take many photos yesterday because I was focusing on giving and getting therapy and staying safe from the cold and the snow.
I forgot what I recently wrote on Twitter, so I’ll see what’s there.
Here’s “I Forgot” by Steve Martin, which is about money and taxes!
If you don’t leave a comment below, you can borrow this excuse from Steve Martin: “I forgot.”
In all the years I’ve been blogging, I never forgot to say thank you to my readers.
Just by starting this blog post, I’m one step closer to publishing it. I’m also one step closer to reaching a milestone: my three thousandth post!
Just by waking up, I’m one step closer to my birthweek vacation, starting in two days.
In therapy, people often talk about being one step closer to their personal goals. Yesterday, somebody said that identifying small and very achievable next steps really helped them move forward, which also brought them one step closer to self esteem.
Every day, we’re one step closer to overcoming this deadly pandemic and, I hope, overcoming social injustice, inhumanity, out-of-control greed, fear, anger, rampant misinformation, and short-sighted and self-centered partisanship. If we don’t take those vital steps forward, I believe we’re one step closer to mass destruction.
I’m one step closer to sharing my latest images but before I do, here’s a great live version of “One Step Closer” by the Doobie Brothers.
With every step we take, our shy cat Harley is one step closer to trusting me.
Are you one step closer to leaving a comment, below?
I’m one step closer to closing this post with gratitude, so thanks to all who take small, achievable steps to be closer to where they want to be, including YOU.