We are taught to hate ourselves.
It is more acceptable to be constantly complaining about our imperfections, than it is to express confidence and pride in regards to our strengths. It is cooler to shame ourselves than celebrate ourselves. We are taught to talk negatively to ourselves.
Heaven forbid we are ever the person walking around confidently, while the world rolls its eyes and criticizes us under its breath.
Is that really the fear?
That we have to preemptively hate ourselves before anyone else gets a chance to? So, they won’t be shining a light on the existence of some huge flaw that we were previously ignorant to?
Why is this?
Why have I spent the majority of my short 26 years, trying to beat myself up before anyone else can? So, that when some hypothetical jerk comes around and tries to cut me down, I can be like,
“Oh well the jokes on you asshole, I already kicked my ass for that and deeply reject that part of who I am, so therefore I win?”
What exactly is my prize for beating myself up first? I think, in some twisted way, I always believed this negative self-talk was creating an armor for me to hide my sensitive self inside—like it would hurt more if I let the world kick me down, but I am definitely not any gentler.
I think the opposite is true. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I have a ridiculous mean bitch in my head that is capable of at cutting into every insecurity and wound I have. It breaks my heart to remember times that I literally, internally criticized myself to the point of falling to my knees, sobbing and begging God to just free me from my own miserable existence.
Being Whitney was too horrible to accept without a fight. So, I fought and fought and I lost myself, but didn’t win a damn thing. All this madness, over the opinions of those being critical and judgmental, in regards to a life that isn’t even their own?
That is probably the silliest part. Remember when we were kids and our parents and teachers would push the theory that the mean kids were only being cruel to feel better about themselves? Yeah, well it turns out, they were right and it has carried on into adulthood with complete consistency.
When I am feeling crumby, insecure or like I am simply not enough, my ego turns on a bitch switch in my brain that causes me to look for opportunities to be judgmental. Like the little kid who was cutting others down to feel a litter higher, I know that when I start being a hater it has nothing to do with other people and everything to do with myself.
I try to catch myself, as soon as it starts, and make a U-turn until I am refocused on my actual problem—my own insecurities.
Then, I open the floodgates, for some juicy positive self-talk and drown that hate.
It can get pretty ridiculous, but I shake it out and tell myself what a fierce gladiator/goddess I am. I close my eyes and feel the magic in my heart. I put words to the songs in my soul and sometimes I create a song that I croon out loud to my dog, who agrees with every epic word.
But, I won’t feed myself anymore poison—all the judgment, comparison and criticism doesn’t hurt anyone but me. Negative self-talk creates shame. Shame can never make us feel bad enough to change who we are, fundamentally. We may change how we live, what we do, the shape of our body, the amount of chaos in our life, but who we are is rock solid, baby.
It is carved, in our hearts and the only way to change it is to destroy our own heart and soul.
Don’t do that, there is no life to be lived in that state!
We are all perfectly imperfect. We are flawed and fabulous. I have so many things wrong with me, it’s impressive.
For years I set goals that I thought would each be the gateway to finally making me “good enough”.
I lost the weight, and then I lost even more. I ran a marathon. I got the man, I was secretly infatuated with for years, to finally notice and fall head over heels for me. I was smart, spoiled and the world should have been my oyster, but I was so sad. I loathed the very thought of myself, constantly pointing out my every weakness and mistake.
People always talk about how much happier we will be once we complete or accomplish the thing, we perceive, is holding us hostage from living blissfully. Trust me, I thought for sure that if I was just skinner, more accomplished, more put together and loved by Mr. Perfect, that bliss would spring into my life and I would be soooo happy.
But, I wasn’t and even worse, I felt guilty for having so much but still feeling so unsatisfied. We can have it all, but still feel miserable if we don’t start loving ourselves right this minute.
Stop the self-hate.
Repeat after me:
I am the most amazing mix of strengths, passions and flaws to ever grace this beautiful earth. I have a purpose, even if I do not fully realize it, yet. I will not let my fear of what others think, rule the way I think about myself. I am a warrior of authenticity. I am my own hero. I am the love of my life.
Now, let’s go see how much epic, positive self-talk we can come up with and start feeding it to ourselves daily. We deserve happiness and it’s in our hands.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock / Editor: Catherine Monkman