UBC Day 5: There are Ten Things You Need to Know

Can you believe that I’m on day 5? I’m so happy about that! Today’s prompt has been taken from this website.

What are your personal ten commandments?

When a friend asked if I would be willing to do religious prompts, I said that I would but I felt some trepidation about it. After all, I have bucket loads of religious trauma but also some authentic moments of care as well. So, to say that this prompt is forcing me to think deeply is an understatement.

1. Thou shalt choose kindness.

I’m still trying to do this. Someone I knew had an email signature that said to be kind to everyone, because you never know who is going through a difficult time. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I choose snark over kindness, but I like to think that the scales are weighing in my favor.

2. Thou shalt be honest with yourself.

Wow, this is such a hard one for me. I often find myself operating based on how other people will feel, what they will think if I take specific actions, how someone might perceive me. It is a real challenge to ask myself how I want to proceed. What do I want to do? I’m getting better, though. Maybe. Possibly. Who knows. I’m just doing my best to check in with myself and ask how I am doing. Feeling. What I’m thinking.

3. Thou shalt not do things that bring you anything less than joy.

We have to do a lot of things as adults. Wake up at ungodly hours, go to work, be productive citizens. But outside of those things, I have started doing what I want to do, when I want to do it. This has meant stepping away from things that I defined as my identity. When I needed to take that break, I did and I’ve filled that time with other things that bring me fulfillment and happiness.

4. Thou shalt not debate with people.

My opinions are my opinions. Most people won’t change their minds. Many people aren’t interested in an opposing point of view and often spend time formulating their arguments rather than listening. I hated debate class in high school and I don’t have time for it as an adult. If we disagree, then we disagree, but I’m not the one to say things like ‘well actually, what about this?’ I am not interested. I leave the debating for the people who want to engage in it. Count me out.
5. Thou shalt not spend time telling people the merits of reading romance novels when they are not clearly interested.

Listen, these happily-ever-afters are not for everyone. I used to feel ashamed about what I choose to read, but I’m not going to defend romance to anyone. If you don’t like it, fine. I’m just not interested in hearing all of the reasons why.

6. Thou shalt not watch horror movies.

I’m scared, okay? And I have an insatiable curiosity and have to know what happens. So I limit myself to reading movie spoilers and wikipedia articles. I don’t like being scared!

7. Thou shalt stop researching every fun thing you want to do.
I’m meant to be a spontaneous person. A little bit of research is fine, but if I do too much, then I won’t do tiktoks anymore because I’ll just keep seeing how others believe I’m doing it wrong. I’ve stopped researching how to write a romance novel because I’ll spend more time reading articles on what others believe is incorrect and I’ll never get anywhere. Some of my best decisions have been made off the cuff.

8. Thou shalt separate yourself from the people who don’t lift you up.

I’m done with the days of being around people who believe that criticism is the best way to help you become your best self. You know the type. They claim that they are just trying to help and that they have your best interests at heart. They claim that they are only helping you by “just being real”, when what they are actually doing is undermining you. If your circle doesn’t lift you up, inspire you, and allow you to do the same in return, get a new circle.

9 Thou shalt find practical ways to show that you love yourself.

This is very difficult for me, especially when I feel like self-care is out of reach and is just a buzz word that has been turned in to a money making scheme. How do I show myself that I love me? By being honest, by doing what brings me joy, and doing what my body wants. Being certain to eat when I can, sleep when I’m able, and to reward the ever-loving shit out of me. Because I deserve it, even when my harsh inner critic tries to tell me otherwise.

10. Thou shalt never lose the wonder of your imagination.

My imagination, often sparked by books, music, and shows, keeps me grounded. It helps to go in to my head sometimes. Entire worlds live there, whole cultures descend from my brain. There is a labyrinth of untapped creativity and by opening myself up to it and giving myself permission to submerge in it, I’m doing something really great for me.

Whew, this was hard but I made it through. There are other commandments that I could have mentioned, like be someone that others can trust, and that I will always keep singing, but I didn’t think of them until the timer was almost out. And since I’m trying not to cheat, I am definitely stopping at the twenty minute mark. This has been a very fun prompt.

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