Remember the song in grade school about taking cookies from the cookie jar? As I sit here procrastinating, once again prolonging the agony and pain of completing the much dreaded PAPERWORK FRENZY, I am reminded of how often and with much regularity we human beings self-defeat, self-harm, and self-degrade. Aauurrgghhh.
This is a known truth ranging from over-eating at Thanksgiving, mismanagement of finances, permanent mutilation of our bodies, to extreme fitness, restrictive eating, endless social comparisons … etc etc etc. And I am left pondering the nature of the universe that sets us in motion to such intentional harmful behavior.
It’s often a frustrating examination of self, and one that people don’t like to admit (enter cookie song), because there is no clear answer as to why this is a universal characteristic of human nature. I should say, there is no clear answer that is also universally acceptable … as I believe, from my Christian perspective, that self-defeating is born from sin, and since we are susceptible to sin here on earth, we will only truly escape it as we enter the gates of Heaven. But what of the rest of the world … will the ultimate self-harm be dissension to hell for eternal torture?
While this post took an unexpected biblical turn … I would like to leave room for the fact that there are ways to prevent self-defeating behaviors: This begins with H.O.W. – honesty, open-mindedness (auto-correct worth mentioning – “open-kindness”), and willingness. Mix in a little self-acceptance. Sprinkle with love, compassion, and self-care. Let bake-in over a lifetime and finish with a garnishment of balance.
I will end on this final thought … we are left to be the best managers of ourselves in this lifetime, during our earthly existence. So lets find a way to encourage each other to be kind to ourselves, while we still have the chance, uniting with concepts like “all human beings have value” and “we are each doing the best that we can with our own circumstances and knowledge AND we can do better” and “a human being is a beautiful tapestry of experiences, relationships, and choices … with no one tapestry having any more worth over another. Display it with care, honor it with respect, value it for all that it is because there is only one.”