I have this little problem and it’s called self-loathing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never really been able to find anything about myself that I could actually claim to love. There are traits and features about me that I don’t mind, but I truly do not love anything about myself.
My mom would tell you stories about me asking questions about the color of my skin and hair at an early age. I was always taller than the other kids until high school came along, and it was hard to feel like I fit in. So I slouched. My boyfriend thought I was three inches shorter than I really am for the longest time because I hate standing up straight.
It was only a few years ago after an intense diet and exercise routine that I began to come to terms with my body, and I still haven’t come to really accept who I am when it comes to personality. It’s heartbreaking to look at yourself in a mirror and see that the girl you always thought of yourself as isn’t actually a possibility. What’s even more heartbreaking is trying to come to terms with this and finding that you just hate yourself instead.
Maybe I have some sort of complex leftover from the scars of years past, or maybe I was just raised in a home that wasn’t particularly good at teaching me to love myself rather than constantly criticize it – but whatever the reason may be, the fact still remains that I don’t like who I am.
In short, I don’t have a lot of self-worth. I am constantly at war with myself. I try to believe that I like who I am and that I am a daughter of God, but the words don’t reach. They feel more like a distant echo and worn out sentence that no longer holds any meaning. Ask me to list the things I like about myself, and I would be able to come up with a few bullets. But ask me to say what I would change, and I could write a series of lengthy (and hopefully hilariously sarcastic) essays about my many dislikes. I’m not going to lie – disliking everyone about oneself isn’t fun. It’s no way to live, and feeling like I don’t really have a purpose takes a toll not just on the body, but on the mind and spirit.
I reflected on this topic in my journal last night. It was late and I was once again beating myself up over a dumb mistake that had been made earlier that day. I didn’t realize how idiotic it was until several hours later, and immediately began crying for another hours about how ridiculous I had allowed myself to be. I thought it might be the end for me; that I had finally crossed the line that would put all my plans on hold.
In truth, although it was a dumb mistake and something that I should have know better about, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It’s not as bad as other things I’ve done, but it was the feeling of failing yet again at my attempts to be a better person that made it so hard for me. I’ve been trying extra diligently for the last few months to become a better person. To be the sort of person that would make a good wife, companion, sister, daughter, mother, and friend. I desperately want to be more Christlike and to emulate him in my actions and thoughts, but every time I seem to be headed down the right path I get lazy or something happens that sets me back. I have beat myself up about it to the point where I am so angry that all I can do is cry. It’s a little pathetic and depressing, actually.
I don’t know if I’m worth anything, and I it’s one of those things that I know I’m going to struggle with my whole life. But I would like to believe that I am, though. Worth something, that it. I would like to believe that God does love me despite the stupid, stupid things I’ve done. I would like to find solace in the belief that His son made it possible for me to be with my loved ones forever, and to come back from such dark places. All I can do is give it time, and my impatient nature has a hard time with that. I’ll work on it, though. Just like I want to work on my Christlike attributes, my relationships, and my self worth. Time may heal all wounds, but what happens when the cause of those wounds is myself?
I’ve mentioned before how hard faith can be for me. I have faith, but its strength waivers and is unpredictable. It’s frustrating and hard, not just on myself but on those around me. Especially when my lack of faith in myself and my inability to discern the spirit (yeah, I still can’t do that) can get in the way of making important decisions. The sort of decisions I don’t want to make without some sort of guidance.
Obviously I have a lot of inner struggles, friends.
There are times, like last night, when I don’t know what to do any more. My efforts seem helpless and pointless. I feel like I might as well accept the fact that this is who I’m always going to be. Someone who struggles with things like self-worth, love, acceptance, and right and wrong. That may very well be true, but I don’t want to stop trying. My love for myself is sketchy, but my love for my Heavenly Father and His son is what keeps me going from day to day. I see the love they have for me every where, and sometimes I even think that maybe I’m not doing as bad as I could be. I’ve made mistakes, but so far I haven’t fallen from grace just yet.
It seems that there is love all around me, just not in me. And yes, in case you couldn’t tell, I don’t really know where to go from here. I just want to cry a lot.