I used to believe that to be happy or successful, I would have to completely change my personality. I used to believe that I couldn’t “get there” from here. I am getting older, and somewhat wiser. I don’t judge my thoughts and ideas anymore. The more I accept my personality and idiosyncrasies, the more peaceful I become.
For example, I have made peace with my addictive personality. For many years, I would binge eat. Although I was unhappy that I did it because I would gain weight, binge eating was comforting to me. Among other things, it was one way that I soothed myself when my feelings were hurt.
Now that I have learned to manage my emotions without turning to food for comfort, I have noticed that I’m still me, with an addictive personality. I am thrilled that I don’t binge eat anymore. However, I do continue to binge because it is something about myself that I simply accept. Now I happily binge on ideas.
For example, I have explored the life experiences of blues/jazz pioneers Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Billie Holliday, and Ella Fitzgerald. And recently I binged watched biopics about female country western pioneers Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dottie West and Tammy Wynette. I have noted that a formula for success– talent, discipline, determination and heartbreak — transcend race and culture.
I will indulge myself with whatever subject I am curious about exploring. I know that I might immerse myself in it for weeks, and then it will shift to something else. So I allow myself to go all in without judgment, recognizing that it’s just something that I do. It’s all good.
Is there something you really take issue with about yourself? Consider asking yourself how it serves you exactly as it is. Exploring it in this way might lead you to understand that it is helping you manage your life in an important way. Once you acknowledge, understand and appreciate it, you might find it shifting on its own.
A simple change in perspective can be the most amazing and life affirming thing ever! Releasing self judgment can allow you to transform (what you consider) a vice into an asset. Looking deeper with the intention of appreciating your idiosyncrasies just might allow you to flourish in unanticipated and yet very pleasant ways.
Janet D Thomas