i love . . . me?


Flower girl at about age 4

So, I’m in line at Costco the other day, and I’m watching people, like I always do. I’m seeing them come and go, and talk and laugh, and argue, and yell at their kids, and hit their brother or sister, and talk on their cell phone, and stand quietly, and I’m wondering, Do I really love these people?

And I’m realizing: Yes, I do.

And then I’m wondering, But, if I love them, why is it so hard . . . ?

I have never been the “cool kid.” In grade school, I wore thick glasses that made my eyes appear twice their normal size. (I am extremely far-sighted.) I wore pink and purple matching outfits covered in kittens. I put bows in my hair and was incredulous when, at 11 or 12, my friends started wearing training bras and shaving their legs. Aren’t we too young for that? I hissed.


Me, age 10 or 11, with my cousin Carlen

I never felt as pretty or skinny as other girls. The older I got, the more self-conscious I became. I started wearing makeup and exercising. While in elementary school I hated running, in junior high and high school I became known for it. Gotta get my run on. I had to make up for the fact that I was terrible at sports somehow.

About the only place I felt safe was in books. I read all of the time. In reading competitions, I blew my classmates away. In the third grade, I read more than 13,000 pages just “for fun.”

But reading can only take a kid so far — socially, anyway.

When college hit, I chose a university far from home. I’d gone to the same private school all my life, and I wanted something new. I got in my 2000 VW Jetta and drove from California to Tennessee. Unfortunately, however, the “I” I’d known in California stayed with me. On a large college campus, I was still the quiet introvert who was too much of a “goodie-goodie” to go out dancing and drinking and hanging with the cool kids much. The only reason I ever got noticed at all, in fact, was my rock-climbing accident.


A few years ago…

Well, college led to a copy-writing job that led to my return to the west coast that led to Asia that led to now. And all the while this nagging thought: Not good enough. I’m not good enough. No matter what I do, I’m never good enough.

It’s a thought I hide well — most of the time. Funny, too, because there are many things about myself of which I am proud. I love that I’m independent and adventurous. I like that I like to think deeply and ask questions. I’m happy I’m a hard worker and don’t want the status quo. I’m proud that I like to be active . . . I love that I love to write . . .

I wouldn’t change who I am or the choices I’ve made for anything. And yet . . .

Why this discontent? Why do I find it so much easier to love others than to love myself? Is it because I am less invested in others? More willing to accept their flaws because they do not affect me, or at least are not my responsibility?



Because, while I like many things about myself, I am also deeply flawed. I procrastinate. I’m always running late. I don’t read enough (anymore). I can be inflexible. I’m OCD about cleanliness. I’m not scheduled. I have an outrageous sweet tooth. I never go to bed on time. I . . . The list goes on and on.

And so it’s this interesting conundrum. I like myself and yet remain my own worst critic. My idealistic nature demands perfection, and yet perfect I will never be . . .

I don’t know about you, but learning to love myself will probably be the hardest thing I ever do . . . !

P.S. This one’s for you, Kit! Love you!


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91 thoughts

  1. Couldn’t stop nodding while reading it.

    ‘I don’t know about you, but learning to love myself will probably be the hardest thing I ever do . . . !’

    This is so true! Still so tough for me to love myself.

    • Ohhh, thanks so much for reading and commenting. It means so much to me, and I’m glad (?) to hear others can relate. Not glad in the sense that you share my same struggle, but… I hope you understand what I mean. ;) Thanks again! I hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend.

  2. Thought provoking posts :-)

    You love everyone? How can you love a rapist, a serial killer, a sadist, or any other number of really bad, nasty, or evil people?
    I am much more sympathetic with the Peanuts quote: “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.” I am very selective about who I love. I don’t love myself – I think that is the wrong word – I value my worth – and you seem very worthwhile as well.

    • You beat me to the chase, Pat. Planning to post on something to this effect very soon…

      I like that Peanuts quote, and I think that perhaps that’s what I mean… One thing I’ve learned, though, is that you can love a person while NOT loving what they do. I try very hard not to judge others… Of course, rapists, serial killers, sadists, and other really bad, nasty people are one thing. They make me sad and disgusted and break my heart. But I wonder sometimes how I would’ve ended up if I’d grown up in different circumstances? Could I have ended up a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or…?

      Love is also a very broad term. In its grandest sense, I believe love means giving everything you have for someone, including being willing to lay down your life for someone. Would I give up my life for just anyone? Well… I guess it depends on the circumstances. If a stranger fell onto a train track, I wouldn’t think twice… But I agree that, in this situation, “value” is a good word. When you are your own worst critic, however, sometimes your value can be hard to find.

      Thanks for your thought-provoking comment! :)

  3. Jessy, I want to first give you praise for your courage and willingness to be introspective — some won’t even spend 10-seconds doing that first step to becoming better human beings. Right there you are ahead of the game Ms. Beautiful!

    Second, you’ve already taken the first step in changing or overhauling your self-perception (self-esteem?): by recognizing it’s out of whack. So simply identifying exactly what needs to change, you’ve enabled yourself to more easily find the best method(s) for change! Now spending more time and energy on achieving reasonable goals, you can spend less time harping on what you already know — that “horse” is way dead right? Time to move on, move forward. :-)

    “Deeply flawed.” Hmm, while that may be true or not true, life…the Universe doesn’t act in such imbalanced ways Jessy. My apologies that I’m getting deep here, but I know you’ll understand. What am I saying? If you truly believe you are “deeply flawed” then that means you are also deeply brilliant and beautiful, because from the sub-atomic to the macro-cosmic, this life this existence always always remains balanced, EVEN WHEN our often distorted perception fools us into thinking otherwise. Let go of the oppressive criticism and released your already eager beauty and brilliance to shine. This world really needs it and needs you.

    Now, that will be $300. You’ll receive my invoice in 3-5 business days. ;-)

    • Why thank you, Professor! But… I thought we were friends, and that, ya know, you were offering your services for free? ;) Lol. Kidding.

      Introspective… Yes, that’s a good word for me. And out of whack? Yes, perhaps. I know I am too hard on myself. I like your idea of setting reasonable goals. I tend to try to bite off more than I can chew and then get discouraged when I can’t keep up. I’ve never really thought of the universe in the terms of balance that you describe, though. Is this balance true for all of us? Because, like Pat mentioned, this world is full of some pretty screwed up people who may or may not be beautiful and brilliant. How does the universe atone for them? Just curious. ;)

      • I’m so sorry I never responded to that. I meant to, but it got swept by the wayside… I will tomorrow. So exhausted now! (Just got home from the Bay Area.) Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

      • WOMAN! If you want to ‘keep up’ with our discussion, you have to get more sleep so your brain is sharp! I know how ding-batty I get with no sleep! I should DEMAND you be fully rested before we start this! ;-) LOL

      • Rested! (And I wrote that at a much earlier time than previously, I’ll have you notice. Lol.) But now off to get my oil changed. I’ll be back to finish this conversation soon! (And I know sleep is important, don’t get me wrong… I just *wish* it wasn’t.) ;)

      • Thanks for answering my question the other day! Now for me to fulfill my end of the deal. Many apologies for the length Jessica; now, hold your breath. I’m unsure if my long answer will fit within the rules/confines of “Comments”! LOL

        Your two questions: “Is this balance true for all of us?” and “How does the universe atone for them?” Your questions are excellent and will most likely deserve a more thorough answer than I should or am able to give here in these comments. But nevertheless, I will TRY to condense my answers, likely at the expense of clarity.

        To answer your first question: Yes. Balance is always at work, both within us, and throughout this planet as well as the solar system and cosmos that Earth inhabits. All of us and everything we perceive are under the dominion of Quantum physics and mechanics. These newly advanced fields are demonstrating not only how “life” reforms and reinvents itself after/from change, but that OUR perception of time and space is quite limited, even flawed, because it is very egotistical; i.e. self-absorbed. I realize I’ve said a mouth-full.

        The “balance” you are asking about (if I follow your line of thought) Jessica, is NOT subordinate in the least to our own concept of time — time to rebalance what is perceived as out-of-balance — or what is currently accepted as valued or correct. For instance, human sacrifices at the altar of the weather gods were only just deemed useless in parts of the world around 1,500 years ago yet practiced regularly for many centuries prior. Today we are appalled by such religious practices because our perception of TIME is very limited and self-centered. But the Quantum world — which exists daily in every sub-atomic aspect of our life, planet, Universe and just as equally within our own bodies and brains — operates (via oxytocin, etc.) completely oblivious as a whole to our own singular self-perceived existence. Significant change or reformation, or valuable change/reformation is ONLY achieved by mankind through MASS quantities or majority collections/groups with a single mindset. History shows that time and time again. Otherwise, the “proper rebalancing” takes seemingly centuries even millenia, to complete…if at all. Addressing Pat’s point on purely the PHYSICAL world we see,hear, touch…as long as individuals, or up to the scale of nations, remain detached from the laws of Quantum Connectivity (i.e. the physical-spiritual whole) and thus remain self-absorbed (me, me, me!) or NON-humanitarian, there will always be rapist, serial killers, or Osama Bin Laden’s and Hitler’s in the world. The less we understand and deny the mechanics OUTSIDE/BEYOND our slow limited senses, the more random or brutal individuals and events will appear.

        Your 2nd question about atonement is a pretty easy answer within Quantum Mechanics and Connectivity! It is also closely related to balance.

        As I mentioned earlier, balance operates oblivious to our own perceived time and space, especially over thousands or millions of years. As one becomes more and more a student of metaphysics, Quantum theory/mechanics, Connectivity or Wavelength theory, etc, etc, you cannot help but realize we are ALL spiritual entities (on a sub-atomic intelligent level/system) having a human experience. But mankind has always believed we are humans having some spiritual experiences; again, very self-absorbed. Quantum Physics/Mechanics has all but disproved the latter; those old ancient paradigms we still cling-to out of fear and ignorance. There is a very big difference between a spiritual being having a human experience, and a human-being having some “spiritual” experiences. The former is infinitely vast; the latter is extremely limited. I’ll try to simplify why a spiritual experience and a human experience are and always have been one in the same. I know you’re laughing saying “right!” ;-)

        What is meant by “Strength in numbers”? Come up with as many illustrations as you can. Once you’ve thought of at least ten, preferrably fifteen, then relate those answers to this:

        Are any of your “strength-in-numbers” illustrations good or bad…and why?

        After deciding if they’re good or bad and why, then I’d like you to relate those examples to the Law of Conservation of Energy — go to this link: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/law-of-conservation-of-energy-examples.html — and then answer this question:

        “Is a human being — strictly in the physical experience of life — EVER an organic system operating outside of or totally separate/immune from everything else and other humans in existence?”

        Now, because energy can never be created or destroyed, and clearly every human being is a never-ending spiritual being, how can ANYONE at anytime in existence, during or after life, do anything AGAINST what the majority collective-number deems good or bad? That Jessica is atonement, or more precisely consequence. And guess how you get on the dominate or good side? Here’s a hint…

        By becoming less and less self-absorbed. In other words, the richest life, the richest consciousness, the richest rewards come by releasing/freeing ourselves from our self-centered physical limitations and dependence THEN operating within the bigger micro and macro systems — i.e. being a positive productive part of the whole. Not an island to one’s self or always/mostly taking, taking, and taking…never giving back. See the difference? See the reward of giving to the whole, the human family who returns it in innumerable ways and quantities?

        And that’s what I was saying earlier in my initial comment…you are already there with your general sympathy (empathy?). :-)

      • I get it! Thank you. And I couldn’t agree more that we are never having an organic experience apart from other humans, and that becoming less and less self-absorbed is key to finding true happiness. That’s why I want to go abroad again — to immerse myself in a place where “I” is so minimized that my happiness or lack thereof truly has nothing to do with me, but with work that is being done for and with others…

        Thanks, Professor. Hope you’re having a great weekend. Jess

  4. I can relate to the unfortunate school-age presentation memories: there’s an 8th-grade yearbook from Thomas Jefferson Middle in Grand Prairie, Texas that creates the impression that all I wore to school all year long was a hideous bright-green-and-red acrylic jogging suit–I’m sure you remember the type. Every picture I’m in, that’s what I have on. I can only imagine what others thought of me in it. Add to that the self-polarizing glasses that refused to de-polarize, and…well…you get the picture.

    (I also knew every cheerleader by name…because I was the nerd who was great with homework. In other words, I was Ducky.)

    I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but at some point my idiosyncratic nature went from being a burden to being a point of pride. I still have no fashion sense, at least according to standard ideas thereof, but my own style sets me apart and makes me who I am. I love the crazed shirts I pick up at thrift stores, partly because they throw people off, but mainly because they are different as I am different. I’m not buff or particularly athletic, but I’ve made my peace with that, too. I can lift things that normal people find the need to lift in the course of a regular day, so why waste time in the gym trying to fit someone else’s idea of “Looks”?

    I like to smile and I love to laugh (and I often laugh like a hysterical girl), and that’s who I am. I crack corny jokes not because I don’t know any better, but because I love the looks they bring out on other people’s faces. I find humor in dark and twisted things; I’m about as irreverent as it’s possible to be. I’m really, really weird, and I revel in the fact that people often don’t know exactly how to file me away in their mental catalogs. I don’t want to be categorized; I want to be a creature unto myself, and I go about it consciously and intentionally. I am, in short, a toad…and I love it!

    At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to look yourself in the mirror and decide what’s beautiful. We can all tell you how beautiful we think you are, but that means nothing unless you think so too. And you probably won’t think it for the same reasons we do. ‘Cause, blog or no blog, we can’t see everything that’s going on in your mind, and from where I stand that’s where REAL beauty lives. If you’re alive on the inside, you’ll be beautiful on the outside. And that’s regardless of what the magazines and television sets insist on beauty being. Beauty is being true to who you are; as long as you do that, you’ll be the most beautiful person on the face of the planet.

    Keep your chin up! And keep showing us what’s inside…:o)

    • “At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to look yourself in the mirror and decide what’s beautiful. We can all tell you how beautiful we think you are, but that means nothing unless you think so too… ‘Cause, blog or no blog, we can’t see everything that’s going on in your mind, and from where I stand that’s where REAL beauty lives. If you’re alive on the inside, you’ll be beautiful on the outside… Beauty is being true to who you are; as long as you do that, you’ll be the most beautiful person on the face of the planet.”

      I LOVE your entire last paragraph. Actually, I love the whole thing. That you can be so accepting of yourself is AWESOME to me… I’ve only seen a little bit of you from your blog, but what I’ve seen, I’ve loved and greatly admired. You are right, of course. Beauty is what’s on the inside. And I like my insides. That’s my favorite part of me. It’s the outside, and outside influences — not to mention my bad habits — that drive me nuts. But, like other readers have mentioned, one little step at a time. Setting achievable goals and recognizing what I already know to be true (that outside influences don’t really matter) will go a long way to helping me be okay with being me.

      My friend Hoss mentioned this awesome quote, which I love very much: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde ;)

      Thanks so much, Vance! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • Hey anglophiletoad, we were neighbors; I grew up in Oak Cliff! Alum of T.W. Browne MIddle and Justin F. Kimball High. Small world sometimes, eh?

      Not sure about your part of Grand Prairie, but my neighborhood has gone through some major changes. LOL

      • My eighth grade year (’91-’92) was the only year we lived in G.P., and I am sorry to say I haven’t been back since (although I have a co-worker who tells me it has indeed changed a lot since then.

        But yes, small world, after all…:o)

      • Then I should perhaps say “lucky you!” Texas has its positives and negatives — having spent the majority of my life here — and ‘passing through’ might be the best way to experience the Lone Star state. ;)

  5. Thanks for sharing. I’m always frustrated by the fact that no one acknowledges the fact that most of us have flaws and difficult stories, yet we act as if we all must be perfect. We can still love ourselves and others, in spite of, or even because of the flaws.

    • Hi Brett! Nice to hear from you! I really like your thought of loving yourself in spite of or even because of your flaws. I’ve often thought the same thing, though I didn’t really voice it in this post. Part of what makes us loveable is that we’re *not* perfect. In fact, people who appear perfect are often a bit hard to take! But, yes… I grew up believing that we all have room to improve. Some of us take this more seriously than others. I happen to be pretty hard on myself — it’s just my nature. But there’s a balance… Learning to love ourselves is important, but there’s no reason to be cocky!

      Thanks again! :)

  6. Pink and purple outfits with prints of kitties on them…you do belong in Asia :-)

    As for being flawed, you do know that most creative geniuses were also filled to the brim with doubts and insecurities – and their love for their craft and humanity was what made them happy. So in that respect, you are in good company! The brilliance of your situation is that, from what you’ve written and shown in photos, you have an incredible family that supports you, and you have great self-awareness and skill, especially to be able to write such a great post!

    To me, there is nothing better than doing what you do because it feels right..and while being aware of those around you, never waver from the different path you’re on. If you do that, then you lose perspective. So it is great to see you so introspective because it shows you have great awareness – and this post will makes us all think about who and where we are…striving for perfection is not a bad thing as long as we are aware at some level that it is unattainable. :-)

    Enjoy the coming weekend!

    • Lol. Your comment about the outfits made me laugh! I liked wearing keds, too, back in the day, and keds aren’t so different from converse!

      You make a good point about creative geniuses and their doubts… Did you ever see my post called “the beauty of pain“? I talk a little about something along those lines… You are right. I am very blessed by a supportive family with regards to pursuing my passion, but with regards to my self-esteem? Lol. It gets a little more complicated. I got my perfectionism from my parents. ;)

      Self-awareness and introspection — two things that make me me. My self-awareness was greatly heightened by my experiences in Asia, I think. Certainly my perspective was widened… Setting reasonable goals is a good idea… I can’t overhaul myself in one giant swoop, but one little thing at a time is better than no little thing.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I hope you’re enjoying the mountains! :)

      • I will check out your ‘beauty of pain’ post tomorrow when I am back in Seattle…love the title.

        Your comment about self-awareness is good, as it seems all new idea, cultures, etc. broadens the way we think about things, which generally helps. The mountains and sea this past week did the same, nothing makes me feel so comfortable in the world than being out in nature. Cheers.

      • Absolutely. Living in Asia widened the way I see the world a thousand times over. It’s why I’m so eager to go abroad again…

        I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the mountains and being out in nature. There is nothing I like more myself. I look forward to your pictures. :) jess

  7. Like most people I imagine, you know your own potential. No one has seen all the flashes of brilliance and excellance that we are capable of than you, or we ourselves. We know the best we can be at whatever our strengths or passions are, yet can’t live on the high plain all the time. And so we can’t be satisfied. I’m not.. far from it. But I think I still love myself because it always could be a lot worse. I pity the fool (Mr T talking) that ever does get satisfied with themself. Their capacity to grow stops. ~ You seem pretty spectacular. I would embrace myself a time or two of I were you. :)

    • You’re so sweet! I’d agree that losing our capacity to grow would be a tragedy. It’s important to find a balance — find attainable goals, thus acknowledging room for improvement, while still appreciating ourselves for who we are… We do, in a sense, have the right to be our own worst critic in that regard. As you mentioned, if we have any sense of self-awareness at all, we know our own potential better than anyone else ever could… Thanks for reading and for your thought-provoking comment. I hope you have a wonderful weekend… Cheers! :)

      • I always believed Learning should be a life-long learning process, learning more about what we do and the world around us each day or so on…improving ourselves along the way. Attainable goals can be more attainable with more knowledge. And our potential for loving ourselves has to be enhanced along the way. ~ Wishes for a wonderful weekend for you too Ms. Jessica! Why don’t you go out and treat yourself to a beer or a glass of wine and appreciate you for you. If it helps, I’ll get the first round. :)

      • I fully agree that life is nothing but a learning process. Like I told my friend Hoss, the second we stop learning, we start dying — and I’m not talking about physically! And I like your thought that, along with that, our potential for loving ourselves is improved. That gives me hope. :)

        And you’ve got the first round? I’ve got the second! :) Cheers! -jess

  8. You know this is Jung week here so –

    “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”

    Love the introspection – and now I am thinking “do I love me?” may be…not this morning…but some morning and I love myself more in the light of moonshine…

  9. Beautifully written! I feel as if this was written about me. This is what makes it so great, you write it as personal and introspective, but in a way that describes so many. Thank you.

    “And so it’s this interesting conundrum. I like myself and yet remain my own worst critic. My idealistic nature demands perfection, and yet perfect I will never be . . .

    I don’t know about you, but learning to love myself will probably be the hardest thing I ever do…!”

    The constant relationship of love and hate with one’s self, makes it so much easier to love “them.”

    • “The constant relationship of love and hate with one’s self, makes it so much easier to love ‘them.'”

      “Them” being other people? I’d agree with that. As I mentioned in another comment, people who appear perfect are *so* annoying. Haha. :)

      I’m so glad you liked this post. That’s often what I try to do — write about something I’ve been through that others can relate to. That ability is the beauty of writing and what gives it its power…

      Thank you so much for your visit to my site, Fadi. I’m looking forward to checking out more of yours… :) jess

  10. Considering we are all angels, all of part of the “one,” maybe you or I will get our wings this time! ;-) Human nature is such that we can see the good or bad in everyone else, but to see it in ourselves is hard. Just the way it is. We are self doubters. We always strive to be and do better in our lives. Sometimes we need to just “be.” As Danny said above…..I reiterate, I think you are great too! After all, we are all “one.”

    • Thank you so much, Sandra! I do agree that humanity is but one entity, but I never thought of angels as being a part of that! Haha. I think you’re right that sometimes we need to just “be.” I know I cause myself a lot of undue stress because of my perfectionism. But thank you for reiterating Danny’s comment. You seem really great, too!

      Much love to you. Hope you’re having a wonderful day. :)

  11. “I have an outrageous sweet tooth.” I’m thinking, don’t we all? ;)

    Great getting to know you, Jessica. I enjoy knowing someone else loves reading as much as I do. And 13,000 pages just for fun is impressive. Very impressive! Thanks for the fun read!

    • Thank you, Jack! So wonderful to meet you. I know I’m not alone when it comes to having a sweet tooth, but sometimes I’ve had people ask me, “How old are you, again?” ;)

      Yes, I was a bookworm when I was a kid. Still love reading, but life seems to be a bit more demanding these days… Definitely try to read *some*, though. It’s so important for a writer!

      I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Thank you for reading and commenting! jess

  12. I think it is healthy that you are not 100% satisfied with your life. Imagine the opposite. If you thought you were perfect and never strived for improvement. That is how I frame it at least! Ha ha!

    So even for me, when I am surfing or doing something else; I tend to end my ride and think, “That second turn could have been better.” Keeps me humble.

    • Amen, Steve! I fully agree that it’s good that we are not 100 percent satisfied… There is always room to grow and improve… The minute we stop learning, we start dying…

      And a humble heart is a good thing! Big egos are obnoxious. :D

      Thanks for reading and commenting! You rock. -jess

  13. Jessica, Jessica, my sweet young and lovely lady. Loving yourself is going to be the most fruitful and wonderful discovery once you start. I hated myself when I was young. Did well in school and be the “hippy gungho” girl, not for myself but for all the “wrong” reasons. Then I could only loved my children and husband and had no more love left for myself. In my mid crisis, I started questioning “who am I and for what I am living for?” I do not know when it happened but I started loving myself, caring for my feelings, and, no, it didn’t make me love others any less, it did not stop me from self development. In fact, I felt free! Like I just got out from prison. Let go a little, you will go a long way. Sending lots of love your way :D

    • Sam! I’m so glad you started loving yourself. I can’t see ANY reason why you wouldn’t have always adored yourself!!! You are so beautiful inside and out.

      I’m definitely on a journey towards loving myself more. I know I’m too hard on myself a lot of the time. I sometimes wonder what it’d be like to be satisfied. Haha. But, like I mentioned in the post, there *are* things about myself that I love! It’s just learning to let the other stuff go… And I can understand the prison parallel. It’s pretty hard to escape yourself!

      Love to you, too! Hope your weekend is going really well. :)

  14. “Trying to be perfect may be inevitable for people who are smart and ambitious and interested in the world and its good opinion…What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
    ― Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect

    • That is a GREAT quote!!! I love it. Thank you for sharing!… Along those same lines is a great quote my friend Hoss shared with me recently:

      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde

      I hope you’re having a lovely weekend! Much love to you! jess

  15. Hi Jessica, It hurts to see you so hard on yourself. You have many wonderful attributes. I guess I’m hard on myself too. What has helped me a lot is finding a deep and personal relationship with Christ. Congratulations on opening up your heart so much! As always, you manage voice, punchy writing and tension to success. :D

    • Thank you so much, Mike! Your kind words mean the world. Yes, I’m hard on myself, and I would do well to let up a little. But I never want to stop trying to better myself. Never want to stop trying to be more like Jesus. I’m so glad you liked my writing… Lord knows I try!!!

  16. I can identify with so much of this. I’ve been working with my therapist for a few years on self acceptance, and it keeps getting better. I have a mantra that I use to offset my negative self perception when it comes. “I’m a loving human being; I’m lovable; and god loves me.” Lately I’ve been focusing on being the best I can be at any one moment in what I am doing, and at the same time, choosing how I spend my time carefully and in alignment with who I am. In this way, I don’t have to spend time fighting the parts of me I don’t like. I forget about them unless they get in my way at being who I want to be, and if that happens, I become conscious of them and they go away. It’s good for us to be the best we can be and it’s better for us to work on that than it is to spend effort disliking ourselves. Sometimes we can laugh at how concerned we are about parts of ourselves that when it comes down to the bottom line, don’t amount to a hill of beans. Your exposition was well done.

    • Thank you so much, Carl. Your words and that you can relate to this mean so much. And I like what you say about focusing on being the best you can be at any given moment and choosing to spend your time wisely. I needed to hear that today as lately I’ve felt pulled in so many different directions… Sometimes modern technology is NOT a good thing… But, yes, by focusing on being the best we can be there isn’t time or energy to focus on the bad… I like your therapist. :) I’m seeing one, too…

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means the world. Jessica

  17. great post, thought provoking…
    I think it is important to find rest in “Him” – in that place where “I” cease from all my striving… in that knowledge that in “Him” I’m complete, fearfully and wonderfully made, perfect, without spot or wrinkle. That I can just “be” who “He” says I am.
    Then again, it is also important to press on to greater things, move toward perfection, strive to be better, never lacking in zeal, push the envelope, refuse to settle, reject the mediocre in me – not because it makes me look good in my own eyes or God’s, and not because it makes Him love me more – but it is just a necessary part of life’s journey.
    Finding the balance between the two is key fully loving oneself. After all, learning to love God and oneself is the greatest gift of all.

    • Thanks so much, Walter. And sorry for my late response! I’d agree that in Him we are complete, and we’d all do well to see ourselves through His eyes. But yes there is always need for self-improvement, and the need for balance — in all areas of our lives.. The way is narrow… If we are to be like Jesus, well… I still have a l-o-n-g way to go.

  18. ” I don’t know about you, but learning to love myself will probably be the hardest thing I ever do . . . ! ”

    I love this individual thinking! (-: Learn to be oneself is hard, but it is even harder to copy how the others live. So….conclusion: I prefer being myself (:

    • I like that line of thinking, Oranch. :) My friend Hoss mentioned a great quote by Oscar Wilde that basically says the same thing: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Easier said than done for some of us, though. But I am gradually learning to love and be comfortable in my own skin. Thanks for reading and commenting! ~jess

  19. Those things you list as your faults?

    In the eyes of someone who admires you … they become endearing, because they’re part of the whole you. They make the things you consider good about yourself – and maybe that others see – complete.

    It’s my first time here, and this is the first of your work I’ve read, and you’ve endeared yourself already.

    • Haha, they’re endearing until you’re the one who has to wait for me all the time! I seriously tell new acquaintances and friends to tell me to arrive fifteen minutes prior to when they *actually* want me somewhere — and to not tell me they’re doing it. That way I’ll be on time! :D

      Thank you so much. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and am so glad to meet you! I’ll definitely try to drop by your blog soon, too. Also, sorry it’s taken me a bit to respond. Been a little swamped lately — playing catch up now. Thank goodness it’s Friday! Hope you have a great weekend. :) Jess

      • Jess time, that’s what we’ll call it. But, it’s the quirky things about people we want to keep close that endears them to us. You can be late all you want – but if you decide to eat the last graham cracker in the box without getting a new one, we might have issues.

        Easy does it on catching up … you have a patient one on this end of it. I’d rather wait for a good response than get a hurried one, and that’s what I try to give, too.

        See ya!

      • Thanks so much! I’d rather wait for a meaningful response than a hurried “Thank you” or whatever, too.

        I fully agree that our quirks are what make us loveable. We’re all human… But like you said, if the one you loves eats the last graham cracker every time, well… Haha. That’s why it’s important to recognize one another’s strengths and weaknesses — particularly before signing up for something like marriage. What may be “cute” at first might drive you nuts after a while. I also feel that that’s one reason it’s important to acknowledge and be upfront about areas in which we know we are weak. I can always *try* to improve, but I’m never going to be perfect, and if being thirty minutes early to everything is really important to you, you likely won’t find someone like me very attractive for very long!

        Thanks for your wonderful comments. Hope you’re having a great weekend! :) Jess

  20. Hey Jess, nice post and so many lengthy replies! i guess because everybody can associate. All the negative traits you mentioned are shared by almost everybody. If only almost everybody was aware enough to realize them the world would instantly be a better place.
    have a great weekend (u deserve it)

    • Thanks! It’s Nick, right? Yeah, I guess it’s good others can relate. Makes me realize I really am too hard on myself. But it’s nice to find things in common with others, too! And it’s true that if *some* people were more aware of their “flaws,” and took steps to change them, the world would definitely be a better place. :)

      Hope you’ve been well! You have a great weekend, too!

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