Critical Advice from a Non-Judgmental Hypocrite


I am a hypocrite.

I’ve never really understood how important it is to love yourself.

I’ve been reading and working through a book called, Conscious Communications by Mary Shores and one of the exercises in the book was to list 100 things that I loved about myself. These things could be big or small, minor or major, sensible or completely ridiculous. My first thought was, “Sweet. I love lists.” So, I sat down at my desk, grabbed my pen and froze. There’s a large mirror hanging on the wall behind my desk and I stopped and stared into it for about two minutes, and not a single thing came to mind. At first, this was mind-blowing. I thought, “What the hell? Why am I drawing a blank?” Then I became frustrated. Then I was bawling. I cried for probably 20 minutes because out of 100 things that I love about myself, I could not come up with one.

This immediately led me into the downward spiral of “no wonder I’m still single and don’t have many friends.” The snowball effect that this had was more of an avalanche. What started as a simple exercise was now the reason I was going to lay in bed crying myself to sleep that night. This led me to thinking about other people and even comparing myself. I kept thinking, “I love them, and they’ve made tons of mistakes,” and “people always tell me I’m a beautiful person so why don’t I see me the way they do?”

Then it clicked. I love people when I meet them. I really do. I don’t judge anyone based on their pasts and I don’t take in other peoples’ opinions of them until I can form my own. Maybe they’ve screwed up in the past but is that the person that they are NOW?

And if I’m willing to ignore THEIR pasts, these strangers that I’m just now meeting, why can I not ignore MY past? I’ve spent so long being angry at myself for things in and out of my control. I’ve blamed myself for things that happened in my childhood and adolescent years and I’ve held such a strong grudge against myself without realizing it. Am I really THAT hypocritical that I’ll stand here and say that I don’t judge people when I am seriously hating myself for things that I’ve chosen to look past in others?

The correct answer is, “YES.” I am that hypocritical.

This was a moment for me. I looked in the mirror, put an immediate stop to the ugly crying that was unfortunately taking place, and said, “Nuh-uh. You’re better than this.” Then I started writing. I finished half of the list then, and returned to finish the rest when my hand quit cramping.

I noticed the next morning that people were different towards me. Several people told me how good I was looking. I got flirted with and even asked on a date. People suddenly wanted to be around me. I hadn’t told anybody about my list/meltdown, so what had changed?

The thoughts you think and the words you say about yourself are everything. If you’re constantly thinking badly about yourself, other people feel that. If you’re always calling yourself an idiot, other people hear that. If you love yourself, even the tiniest, most ridiculous things about yourself, other people will love you. If you are someone who always loves everyone else but still feels terrible about yourself, stop being a hypocrite.

If you can forgivethem, you can forgiveyou.

If you can lovethem, you can loveyou.


Rock Bottom is a Beautiful Place

When you describe your favorite place, what does it sound like? Does it sound like a beach? The mountains? Are you surrounded by your loved ones again that have passed and are no longer with us? Are you seeing your wife and kids playing in the yard without a care in the world? Are you on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean with nothing to see but the water and the sun?

My favorite place is a little bit different. It’s much darker. My favorite place is rock bottom. I know that sounds insane, but let me explain to you why:

I’ve seen some of the most beautiful places on the planet. I’ve experienced a high school love that I thought would never in a million years end. I’ve even lost and regained that love (even if it was one-sided.) I have worked some of the coolest jobs that anyone could ask for. I’ve had some experiences that some dream of having. I have met some of the coolest people that walk this Earth. Still, these are not my favorite times or places.

New Year’s Eve, 2016-2017.

I’d had strep throat, the antibiotic resistant kind, four times in a month. I’d just had surgery to have my tonsils, adenoids and a mass removed from my throat. I was 25 years old and the surgery was absolutely as bad as they’d said it would be. I was miserable. I was alone. I was sick. I was jobless. I was broke. I was in pain. I was physically deteriorating. I was missing all the holidays and family get-togethers. I finally decided I would NOT miss New Year’s Eve and went to the local bar (because that’s obviously the best place to go feeling as badly as I did) and I decided to FORCE myself to enjoy it. I was talked about at this bar. I was accused of drug use due to my weight loss. I was completely by myself. I got asked by a stranger to kiss at midnight and was told, “I looked around and you’re the only person by yourself so, why not? Can’t not kiss and have bad luck all year.” Way to make a girl feel special, right? I smiled for a picture or two then left, completely overtaken with tears and honestly considering the easiest way to end my life. I kept asking God to give me a sign that I should stay. It took four friends ignoring my texts that night, “I Can Only Imagine” coming on the radio completely randomly, and home dude at the bar sacrificing himself to my midnight kiss to let God get on my level and encourage me in a little bit less subtle way.

As I was pulling into the driveway, I said, out loud, “At least Jake(my dog, who has never ignored me coming home in his whole career of being my dog) won’t ignore me like everybody else does.” I get out of the car and summoned Jacob, who’s usually at my car door waiting, and he lifted his head, looked at me and then laid back down and pretended I was not there.

This was my breaking point. I literally went, “Wow. Are you fucking kidding me?” And as un-proud of myself as I am, I’ll need you to picture this: I literally said, “Wow. Seriously? So, you got jokes, huh?” while bowed up and looking at the sky, like I was actually about to physically fight my higher power. “Fine God. I get it. What the fuck do you want from me?”

Now, I’m not saying that it’s okay to talk to God that way, but we’ve had our talks about it since then and I guess he’s forgiven me. I went to sleep that night, for the first time since my surgery, and slept for over three days. I woke up a completely different person. The words kept going through my head, “Rock bottom is a beautiful place,” which sounded ridiculous to me at the time. But then out of nowhere, I got the random urge to send a text to schedule an appointment with a therapist, that I can honestly say saved my life. I applied for a random but awesome job on Facebook that I ended up getting and still have to this day. I let go of SO much anger that I had towards people for things that they didn’t even specifically do to me. I was finally ready to do something about my shitty life.

I won’t lie and say that I haven’t slipped back into this mindset a couple of times since then. But every time that I do, the words, “Rock bottom is a beautiful place,” pop into my mind. That’s because God will reach you. He knows HOW to reach you. God realized that I had a sense of humor and that I was a little bit too stubborn to see the “subtle” signs he was sending me. He pretty much said, “Well then, if you haven’t caught on yet, how about THIS?” and shoved it in my face. He took everyone and everything away from me because I hadn’t once thought about turning to Him. He gave me no choice. I was either going to turn to Him or I was going to take my own life. I thank Him every day for taking everything away and I’ll believe until the day I die that it all happened exactly like it was supposed to. Even if I did ugly cry in the yard in the dirt or cuss out loud at 1am at the sky. Rock bottom really is a BEAUTIFUL place to be, and without rock bottom, I honestly don’t think I’d be here today.