I’m often inclined, while chatting with friends, to express that I think I’m awesome – because I am. Usually people laugh, sometimes people cosign (usually the cosigners are other beautiful and awesome women), and sometimes I get that judgmental “A little full of yourself aren’t you?” (Usually I get that from men.)
Now I can’t help but wonder; if I shouldn’t be full of myself, then who the heck am I supposed to be full of? Who exactly is supposed to saturate my being? Whose thoughts should I think, emotions should I feel, opinions should I express, stories should I write? Whose struggles should I respect? Whose imperfections should I accept? Whose strengths should I build? Whose creativity should I nurture? Whose beauty should I appreciate? Whose uniqueness should I treasure? Who? Who? Who?
The phrase “full of yourself” implies being vain and arrogant, thinking yourself more important than you really are. The people who tell you that you are full of yourself are trying to “take you down a notch” and “put you in your place.” What they do not know is how hard many women have to climb to get to her place – a place where she can honestly say “I am brilliant” or “beautiful” or “talented” and believe it. It’s not that we think ourselves more important than we really are. It’s just that we are important. And we need to acknowledge our importance and treat ourselves like the most important person in our lives.
I’m not trying to encourage arrogance or shallow vanity (although I do believe we should all be vain enough to take good care of ourselves and be at our best inside and outside, but that’s best left for another day’s rant). I acknowledge the virtues of being humble and selfless – to an extent. There are two types of humility. (a) There’s the self-depreciating humility of those who literally believe (or try to believe) themselves to be nothing. (b) There’s the humility of the truly great who are willing to step down and support and encourage the hard-pressed, the outcast, the homeless, the young, those who can really benefit from their insight but who most people would overlook, on their own journeys to greatness.
Likewise, there are two types of selflessness. (a) There’s the selflessness that stems from someone who does not feel like they are worth anything unless they are beneficial to others’ lives. (b) There’s the selflessness of those who recognize their worth, their talents, their beauty and believe in such abundance of good within them that they are able to freely share it with others. If the Heaven Entrance Exam or the Good Person Proficiency Test asked which is more virtuous, in both cases I’d choose (b). I believe one should work on being self-full before trying to be self-less, because then one has so much more to offer. If you think you are nothing then where’s the virtue in giving away something you do not value?
I’ve tried being full of others; setting others’ ideas, opinions, validations and goals ahead of my own and I promise you it is a bad idea. The truth is you need to be full of yourself. Otherwise you will be empty inside – and then you will fill yourself with all these toxic, ill-fitting external influences. You are custom-built to fit only you. No one and nothing else can make you complete.
So every morning I am going to fill up a glass of Kelene and drink myself in. I am brilliant. I am beautiful. I am talented. And if anyone has a problem with me saying that they really need to look into themselves and figure out why… because it could be they’re simply full of shit.
(Oh no she didn’t! Aw snap! Yes she did! Lol!)