The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What I Am

There are days that I regret having been less than enthused about learning when I had the chance to. Don’t get me wrong. I still am learning and obviously need to keep learning. In fact I have learned so much from my mistakes I am thinking of making a few more. I am referring to school. I have some regrets for not having pursued post-secondary schooling. But what I regret even more is not being engaged in my high school education. I muddled my way through and managed to get my diploma.

I am particularly sorry about my lack of enthusiasm in English class. I think I am managing quite well without having too much math and science know how. After all we have calculators for any type of calculations I need to do in my life. Had I known in grade twelve that someday I would use a cell phone with a built in calculator I could have skipped that subject totally. And science? Who needs it.

English involved Shakespearean literature. Comedies and Tragedies. Some irony that I saw a quote earlier this week that resonated with me and a day later saw the following quote which originates on the Amazon website. "The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original." Quite fascinating actually if you consider that Shakespeare invented 1700 words. Perhaps his syntax was off, some stories were difficult to grasp, but at the end of the day some of his quotes hold so much truth. Some of the people that critique my writing would probably suggest I have invented a few words myself. Not sure if that would be considered a comedy or a tragedy.

So in the past I have been challenged to use positive self-talk. I have written about the imaginary parrot sitting on our shoulders. You know the one that repeats everything we say. So when we tell ourselves that we are “such an idiot” or “I am so stupid” or a host of other demeaning terms the parrot repeats that which simply confirms for us that we are actually an idiot or dumb or stupid. Not helpful at all. So when the question is asked, in Shakespeare’s King Richard lll, “what am I if I’m not what I tell myself I am” my first thought is that people suffered from negative self-talk way back when. Not something new but something that needs to be dealt with to avoid all kinds of consequences.

I would like to think that if I am not what I tell myself I am I am a good person. Having said that I know that others think much more highly of themselves than what they really are. Like in “do you know who I am?”. Perhaps not arrogant but certainly a certain level of abrasive self-confidence. However, I digress.

The point being that living with a low level of self-worth, low self-esteem, self-loathing, or continuous shame can be and is very detrimental to our well-being. It drives us into the depths of misery. It prevents us from enjoying a fulfilled life. A quote I have used in the past is “if we talked to others the way we talk to ourselves how many friends would we have?”. When these negative thoughts come our way we have to replace them with positive self-talk. We probably don’t talk to anyone else as much as we talk to ourselves. So be kind to yourself. Make it a good one.

Stop hating yourself for everything you aren’t. Start loving yourself for everything that you are.” unknown

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