Reflecting back there was never a time where I actually hated myself. There have been frequent times I have hated something I did and held myself overly responsible for a long time. It was from a collection of such things that I ended up with a very mediocre view of myself. That came from including credit for the good but neutralizing it with my negative deeds.
Giving myself credit for the good I have done is important to have a decent self-image, but such things should be kept far away from those I perceive as bad. Each is a far different thing and has little to do with the other. Good does not cancel bad any more that the reverse is true.
In photography a “gray card” is used to take light readings as it represents the colors of the average scene all melted down into one color. This medium “gray” does not attract the eye and is boring and plain. Life is not best lived like that. I should not try to stir all my good and bad together. Rather like a bold painting that has dark grungy areas and bright beautiful colors is how I should view my life.
In my view the opposite of being bad is not “being good”, but being whole; wholly human and a unique combination of dark and light. I am grateful to grasp that point and be able to use it to slow myself down when I start weighing out my ‘goods’ and ‘bads’.
There is so much good in the worst of us,
and so much bad in the best of us,
that it hardly becomes any of us to talk
about the rest of us.