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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

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Love thyself.
Love thyself.

Ring it in, hug it out

Admission.

In everyday life and especially when faced with the abundance of social activity the holidays and New Year’s brings, I sometimes premeditate conversations. Meaning, if I know I am going to be face-to-face in a social situation with a certain person, I sometimes script what I am going to chat about with them.

I consider it a sort of premonition, but whatever you want to call it, it sometimes goes so far as me drafting soliloquies and hearing my dialog partner’s response.

The last exchange I fantasized had to do with my new passion for painting. I was asking an experienced oil painter their opinion and advice on the medium. The imaginary exchange culminated with me asking her if she thought it mattered if one was "good" at painting in order to pursue it.

Which brings me to this page and this discussion with you.

Is being "good" at something what makes it worth doing? Do you have to be "good" at something to enjoy it, to pursue it either as a hobby or professionally or to declare you "do" it?

I run into this issue a lot. I discover that if I am not almost instantaneously "good" at something I undertake, whether in my leisure life or work world, I tend to let it go and move on to the next thing. Putting these words on paper makes me see the tragedy in this on a multitude of levels.

I seem have this programmed, pre-conceived notion – a personal, self-rule of sorts – that dictates that in order for me to "do" something (and I suppose to enjoy it) I have to have an immediate proficiency with it.

The ludicrous nature of this is not lost on me as I watch the characters form the words in black type on white page in Microsoft Word.

It disappoints me that no matter how many strides I move forward in self-acceptance, there is still a trail of hypercritical thoughts in my wake. I realize I need to let go of this unhealthy habit and refocus on the process, not on the outcome or my personally perceived skill level.

Which brings us around to good old New Year’s resolutions. As the day has arrived when so many of us make "resolutions" to do something that we may end up following through on or not, I am promising myself rather, to be more conscious of my thought progression and the actions that follow.

I’m committing to continue to consciously and positively self-examine so this time around includes some lessons learned. Really, I’m resolving to be easier on myself and to embrace unconditional self-love.

Because when it comes down to it, isn’t the heart of all resolutions really about loving ourselves more? Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, get a better job, find romance – whatever – the end desired result is that you will be happier and more content with yourself, that whatever promise you have made to yourself and are embarking on January 1 will culminate in love - loving yourself and loving your life. 

This New Year, I’m premeditating a conversation with myself, with my dear ones, with my friends – and all of you. Let’s talk about being "good" at love - and being "good" at loving ourselves the most. (BIG SELF-HUG EVERYONE!)

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