“I want to unlearn how to hate me.”
A sentence from one of my letters to God.
I wanted to take just a moment to express thoughts and feelings about how I have fallen into the trap of hating myself. It’s a trap that was set many years ago and we fall into it usually at a very young age. I know that I have.
That trap that’s been set to line the pockets of corporations who would benefit from many of God’s children to hate all that is themselves and all that is God. It’s also a trap set by the enemy in an attempt to get us to fall and deny God.
We really shouldn’t hate ourselves, but I have moments when I have caught me saying terrible things to myself or about myself. I’m sure that I’m not alone. So, my questions are…
What do you do when you realized you’ve been trained to be your own poison?
What do you do when you think of punishing yourself with cruelty?
What do you do when life seems the most hopeless?
What do you do when you can’t seem to escape the thoughts that buzz loudly like a trapped housefly in an empty room with no windows?
These are questions that I have when I need help the most and when I have a heavy heart.
Lately, my mental health has gotten better in some areas, but in other areas, I still struggle. It makes me feel like I am drowning and I am going to die, but I have yet to die. I’m like a fish with gills but the water burns and when the water doesn’t burn, I live scared that it will burn again at any moment.
To live life like this, I know that it isn’t meant to be for me or anyone. I wasn’t created suffer like this.
An explanation of the questions above…
I feel like I’ve been trained to feed myself bad food and speak sickening words against my brown skin and my womanly curves. I feel this way because I am training hard to “unlearn” or replace poor eating habits with better ones. I am training hard when it comes to watching what I say to myself. When I started this journey, I knew it would be hard, but not this hard.
I feel like I’ve been trained to think that self-discipline lies within being anything other than myself. And when I fail at “improving” myself to be like or as good as someone else, overeating, cuts, scratches, and burns are the appropriate method of punishment. Where’d that come from? Could this all be a symptom of my PTSD? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out with whatever therapy I can afford.
I feel that when life seems the most hopeless that it’s ALL MY FAULT (all or nothing mentality) and that I have to fix everything that is “wrong”, “imperfect”, “ugly”, and “unpopular” with myself.
I struggle to maintain the understanding that…
- I am a human being capable of great accomplishments and mistakes, I’m doing the best I can with what I have and with what I understand.
- I am not able to fix everything and is it not my responsibility to do so. Again, I can do the best that I can and it’s not supposed to be “good enough” for other people.
- The God I serve has my back, no matter how much I screw up or how much other people don’t like what I have to say or do.
- “Comparison is the thief of joy.” To compare my life to others and compare my gifts and talents to their gifts and talents is not my responsibility! Comparing what I do and don’t have will not help me improve myself. At least, not without a proper assessment to see if it’s worth the comparison. The only person, I should compare myself to is Jesus Christ and even He knew before I was born that I was going to fail at all the things and that’s why He did what He did.
- My body is supposed to look the way it does right now. My body is beautiful! My body is strong and my body is getting stronger every single day.
I feel that it’s hard to escape the direct or indirect criticisms of my life and I tend to believe them. I feel that if anyone, whether it be 2 people to 200 people, point out something about me that might be wrong, lazy, ugly, etc. Then, those thoughts swirl around and drown out what really matters. They drown out the memory of progress and accomplishments that I have made.
Those people could be right, but the thoughts that are based on their comments bring me down because it will be all that I can focus on. It becomes obsessive because I put my hope in changing myself to please multiple people instead of putting my hope in God.
At times, I think that “if they are right and this is wrong about me, then something is wrong with all of me. If I fix all that is wrong with me, then my life will be together like theirs.” The truth is, no one has their life “together”. We all have stuff that weighs us down, makes us wrong, ugly, stink, or could send us straight to hell in gasoline skinny jeans. LOL
I don’t know why I and many others suffer under this idea that self-loathing leads to self-improvement. Why do we have to hate ourselves before improving ourselves? Where is that written? It’s one thing to “die to self” and follow Christ if you follow Christ. It’s another to hate yourself and your entire existence in order to grow as a person.
There’s nowhere I have read in the bible that says I have to hate my skin, my hair, my thighs, my stretch marks, my breasts, my stomach, my big feet, etc in order to live a life filled with purpose.
These photos show some of the parts of me that I struggle to accept. They show years of rapid weight gain and years of progress made to lose 80 lbs. It’s not “pretty” by the standards of society, but to call myself ugly and burn to keep folks warm is no longer an option if I am to unlearn to hate myself!
If the word says that I am a liar when I say I love God but hate my brother or sister. Then, I am a liar to say I love God and hate myself as a creation of His.
What misconceptions are you in the process of unlearning?
Please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.