Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Am Not the Person I Want to Be, or Am I?

If I were the person I wish I were, I would get up at 5:00 every morning and go to the gym. I made a plan to do this and set my alarm on three occasions. Each morning I would turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. I told Mrs Vache Folle about the trouble I was having with this program and she wondered, she said, that I seemed not to know myself after all these years of being me. "You are never going to get up in the morning and exercise," she said. "You're not that guy."

I realized then that it's true. I'm not that guy. The only time I ever got up early to exercise was in Basic Training, and then there was a whole team of people whose job it was to make me get up and exercise. In the past I would have berated myself for falling short of the ideal, but now I have learned that I am who I am and that I had better figure out how to live with myself. I go to the gym later in the day. So what? I'm not a morning person. So sue me. Who's to say that working out in the morning is so righteous anyhow? What was I thinking?

I have had issues with self loathing all my life, up until the last few months, and I am just starting to notice that I don't hate myself. I attribute it to my faith and my growing love and toleration for my fellow human beings. It is starting to apply to myself as well. I realize that we are mostly dumbasses, myself included much of the time, but I can't be angry at people for being who they are. They are doing the best they can under the circumstances with the little that they have to work with. And that goes for me, too.

The road to recovery from self loathing began with my embracing Calvinism. Ironic, huh? It's predestination that gives me comfort. That whole free will thing was way too much responsibility for a mere mortal to bear.

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