Monday, April 20, 2009

Showering with Cupcakes Makes Me Super Profound

I spend far too much time inside my own head. I like it in here. Once you get used to the air raid sirens, bear traps, and the floating image of Mrs. Duggar’s box falling out and being pulled behind her like a little pink wagon, my brain is pretty cheerful place to be.

Sunday, I was faced with little other to do than push back the corners of a blazing hangover. Oh, and figure out why there was a cupcake in my shower (migrating foodstuffs have become a big problem in my apartment lately).

So I did some thinking about forgiveness. First, there’s forgiveness for those who have hurt you, damaged you, or changed you for the worse in one way or another. For me, that’s always been the easy one. It takes a very long time to run to the edge of my charity.

I don't mean that in a wimpy victim sort of way, like, "Oh, Bobby slept with my sister and took all my money and conned me into going on Jerry Springer to tell me he'd legally changed his name to Monkey Spanker...but I love him SO MUCH!"

It's a little more like this:

If you’ve ever wronged me, I can promise you’ll be forgiven. That may not mean I want you around. I’ve learned over the years that some people can grind your soul into powder. But I’ve tried to drag some sort of lesson out of all my sorry messes, and I’m thankful for everything I’ve learned.

Then there’s forgiving yourself. I’m utter crap at that one. I’ve never learned to be as charitable and kind with myself as I am with others. I will torture myself over the smallest transgression, apologize in triplicate for forgetting the cocktail napkins, and I’m not quite over that time at horse camp when I accidentally busted my cabin-mate for dating a counselor.

The biggest challenge of all is forgiveness for the things I’ve done to myself. The list is extensive and messy: I’ve slathered my body in booze, wasted years on a complicated relationship with food, wasted further years on complicated relationships with virtually everything and everyone else, given an all-access pass to emotional vampires, squandered acres of opportunity and talent, mixed my best intentions with some of the worst men, and allowed my pride to block me from asking for help when I needed it most.

It’s not about failure. I can colossally screw up, and scrape my dignity off the floor in no time flat (once you’ve failed at marriage, hey, you can fail at anything!). It’s those sucker punch moments, when I see that I’m far from my best self, and that there’s always further to fall and no easy path to anywhere. I don’t think I’m all that unusual: ask your friends for the top ten worst things they’ve ever done, and I promise the things they’ve done to themselves will rank the highest.

There’s no easy way to wrap this up, so I’ll throw it out to the commentariat: among the worst things you’ve ever done, how many were things you did to yourself? And how did you forgive yourself?

20 comments:

Lemmonex said...

I tend to be the most careless with myself, but sadly I am most ok with hurting me.

Forgiving myself? I don't know if I have for some of it, but I do my best.

[F]oxymoron said...

If a random cupcake in the shower will send a mind into this line of thinking, what will a Twizzler, or tortilla, or Gummi Bear do!

Shannon said...

Lem - It's hard to find that line between courage and carelessness, isn't it?

Foxy - If I found a tortilla, I would probably invent cold fusion.

Velvet said...

Floxy took the words out of my mouth!

You must have some things you are still beating yourself up for. Or you feel tremendous guilt when you drink. Either way, you have to find a way to forgive yourself.

I think that the worst thing I've ever done, well, there are several. But probably cheating on my ex. That was a disaster of epic proportions and I still wish I could take that back.

I wish there was an elf around to tell us when we are making mistakes that will follow us forever, to think twice.

But to answer your question? No, the worst things I've done are those I've done to others. Because I can't take those back. Someone's opinion of me is forever altered. The things I've done to myself are easier to absolve myself of.

Shannon said...

Velvet - What? Baked goods make me a bit maudlin. I don't feel guilt when I drink, I'm too busy feeling guilty all the time. (Kidding, mostly.)

Fiery Nuggets said...

OMG! I have no idea how to forgive myself. The fact that you are even attempting it is awesome. And there are too many bad things to even list them or pick one.

Titania said...

Hmmm, I still have not been able to forgive myself for breaking my ex-husband heart when I left. He is probably the best, most generous person on Earth (or pretty high ranked anyway) and did not deserve it. I have tried to repeat to myself that it was the right thing to do given the status of my feelings. Yet, I got over a year of bad depression since I could not forgive me for causing him so much pain. He is happy now, forgave me and we are friends. It still pains me to think how much I hurt him though.

Forgiving ourselves is really hard.

Shannon said...

Fiery - Of course, if I try, and fail to forgive myself, I'll wind up feeling guiltier than ever before! Awesome.

Titania - Ah, the Divorce Club. Guilt is our watchword!

Zipcode said...

Yeah, I have no idea how to forgive myself. Especially with the latest antic that is known as Satan (ya know that buttmonkey texted me at 1am to yell at me the other night) poor Zan witnessed the tears with that one. Anyway - what color was the cupcake?

FoggyDew said...

I'm guilty of the same thing as Titania: I broke the heart of probably the nicest, sweetest, most throughly good woman you'll find in Texas, or elsewhere for that matter, because I didn't see a future in the relationship.

I was right, and it was the best thing for both of us in the long run (we had very differet goals and ideas of how to get there), but I hurt her terribly and by that hurt myself. I beat myself up over this for several endless minutes (OK, maybe a little long than that), but was, with time, able to forgive myself.

Shannon said...

Zip - It was hot pink. No, I didn't eat it. As I always say, never eat a baked good that's seen you naked.

Foggy - Well, if someone is absolutely not right for you, it's better to let them go so they can meet someone else.

Zandria said...

I can't believe one of the cupcakes ended up in your SHOWER. I mean, there were some drunkies at your place on Saturday night, but I didn't think anyone was so wasted that they'd take a cupcake into the bathroom and leave it there (unless someone was trying to do it on purpose just to be funny). :)

Zipcode said...

I should have thought of that but I was too busy guarding the sandwiches. haha

Malnurtured Snay said...

I'm upset that Zip didn't stop by the bookstore and give me a cupcake. I would have eaten it, Zip, not left it abandoned in a shower. :(

Zipcode said...

The shower was hungry and drunk haha

Shannon said...

Zan - My theory is that my drunken evil twin cupcaked my shower.

Zip/Snay - I could totally believe my shower swiped a cupcake from me. After all, the desk is forever trying to raid the liquor supply.

Patty Duke said...

Ive been abusing myself in various ways, since mother passed way four years ago. You see she died in a nursing home and I haven't forgiven myself for putting her there, even though I had no other choice. How do you get over your best friend dying alone? This is the first time that I have talked or written about it.

HP said...

I think it's important to recognize when you're being too hard on yourself. There's a fine line between seeing when and how you've screwed up and needlessly dwelling on it. If it's reoccurring pattern, sure that might indicate a problem. But a lot of the time it's best to process what happened and move on. You can take responsibility for your actions without becoming a victim of them.

Shannon said...

Patty - I have no earthly clue...in my family, this sort of thing gets handled with morbid humor (when we put our cat to sleep, my sister told my dad that he was next). We're not paragons of mental health.

HP - As you're well aware by now, I am extraordinarily hard on myself. Of course, then I'm hard on myself for being too hard on myself, which is ridiculous enough that it knocks me back onto the right path.

Patty Duke said...

I guess that's best best left up to the professionals But it does helps to see it in print and out of my mind at least for awhile.

Now if I could just get that patent on penis enlagers.