Monday, November 13, 2006

One for the therapist's couch

I want to be good. I want to do good things. I want to be considered a good person by others. But no matter what I do, I realize that the person I have the hardest time convincing of this goodness is myself. I feel like the attempts I make are in vain, that I'm not fooling anyone, that anything good I do is still overshadowed by what shitty things I've done. It's just not enough to redeem myself. If I look at it from a bigger perspective, I really haven't done much better or worse than most people. But still. Maybe I've taught myself to respond to negative reinforcement. My "conscience" insists on telling me that any good deed must have an ulterior motive lurking behind it. That I'm not a good girl. That I'm much too selfish and spoiled to really care about anything or anyone else but myself.
But I do, Mom, I do!

5 comments:

Rootietoot said...

I'm with you. I've heard all my life that I was self centered and all, it's a very difficult mantra to erase.

I tell myself this (sometimes it works): that if I were as awful as I think I am, no one would want to have anything to do with me, and yet, people seem to want to have do with me. So tell yourself that.
Plus...quit thinking so much, you'll wear your brain out.

Head Like Velvet said...

... do not distress yourself with dark imaginings... Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

--Desiderata

There's a lot more to this poem, perhaps you know it? I find it very wise.

Anonymous said...

Yea, yea, yea...you're a baaaad girl.

There are those who would argue that their is no such thing as altruism...all of our good is motivated by self-interest at some level. Maybe yes, maybe bullshit...doesn't really matter.
You are what you do, not what you think of yourself.
Go forth and do good where you can and do no harm where good is not possible and do something (just a little) bad now and gain.
In the end, you'll be way above average.

Nervous Girl said...

rootietoot - you're right, you're right. Thank you, I think I needed to hear that.

head like velvet - no, I can't believe I hadn't even heard of that poem! I looked it up, thank you!

iamnot - wise advice as usual. I appreciate it.

Kate said...

Oh god, this post is a conversation-with-self right out of my own head. Woo, self-loathing! But seriously... it seems like some people make a habit of beating themselves up, others are clearly convinced that they're waaaaay greater than they really are, still others swing back and forth between the two.... Well, on it goes. I tell myself, in attempt to stop the circling "logic," that I'm not as good as I could be, but hey, I'm nowhere near as bad as I could be, either; I've probably disgusted a few people, but I'm sure I've inspired some, too. Sometimes it works. :-)