Sometimes I find it hard to be nice to myself. I think that’s different from letting myself off the hook – which I’m pretty good at. Sometimes being nice means tough love, too. And sometimes being nice means forgiving myself for past wrongs, some of which are real and grave and some of which are so hyper-inflated in my mind they have eclipsed their original state.
I have conflicts when it comes to being nice to me; I want to spend money and treat myself well. But I need to save money so I can be safe and taken care of later, or in case of an emergency. I want to be nice and laze around on the couch, but of course to be truly nice I should exercise my body and take good care of it and be productive with my time. I should take advantage of my fleeting youth before it’s too late – wouldn’t that be the best gift to myself? And of course it would be SO nice to eat that pain au chocolat right now, but it will probably be nicer later if I’m not obese. Nice has short-term and long-term implications, and I’m not always so good at sussing those out.
There’s such a balance between being decent and firm with one’s self. I’m good at the punishment part – I’ve put myself through mental torture that would make Dick Cheney squirm. But I’m not so good at being gentle and kind in the everyday. Being polite to me. What a stupid, American problem. I could use a dose of perspective along with the nice. But, it’s my problem nonetheless. So Operation: Be Nice to Nicky is in full effect, for the long haul. I’m coupling it with a big dose of humility so I can remember the world is full of people who are truly suffering – maybe while I’m being nice to myself I can do something for them, too. That would be true progress.