“Tell me four good things about yourself,” Maggie said to her boyfriend in the movie Love and Other Drugs.
He couldn’t come up with a single one.
At least, he couldn’t say them out loud.
I saw this in action at a communications workshop the other night. Each of the participants drew a word from an envelope and we were to use it when we introduced ourselves. In a room full of smart, hard-working women – there were probably 20 of us – not one of us managed to say that we were generous or patient or kind.
I didn’t manage, either. The gremlin in my head is always ready to snap off a chunk of my self-esteem.
Why do I care what that gremlin says? After all, it’s only me.
Maybe that’s why I care.
Part of me is saying I’m not as good as I want to be, or it’s saying that I’m not good at all, and as for the future, well, Abandon Hope….
And that takes me to a story about a man who explained to his grandson that two wolves live within him.
“One is a bad wolf,” he said. “It’s greedy and lazy, seething with anger and jealousy and regret.”
“And the other?” the grandson asked.
“The other is a good wolf, full of joy and compassion and great love.”
“What happens if they’re stuck inside you together?”
“They fight all the time,” the grandfather said.
“Which one will win?”
“The one,” Grandpa said, “that I feed.”
As of now, my gremlin’s officially on a diet.
I dare you to name four good things about yourself.