December 21, 2020

The Ugly Monster that Keeps us from Self-Love.

“I tried to love you, but I couldn’t love me enough.”

Many of us have been there.

Been in that place where we aren’t fully willing or ready to give a person the love they deserve. We struggle to find the strength to be the ideal love we see in movies. Yet, the truth is, we just don’t have the ability to. We simply don’t hold enough love for ourselves. At least not enough to show up for the other person.

What is this dreadful monster pulling us down?

It’s depression.

I’ve been there. Felt the lack of love I should always hold for myself. It’s taken years of hard work to build that self-love back up again. It takes far more effort to recover from depression than the effort it takes to fall into it.

I’ve been in a place where my own depression and lack of self-love has made me a terrible partner, an insecure partner, and an anxious partner. My inability to love myself has effectively pushed many people away from me.

I’ve been in a place where the negative things I tell myself send me into a dismal void, beating my soul so senseless, I can’t fathom giving anything to anyone, including myself.

That vast and infinite hole I’d spiraled into didn’t allow much space for me to heal and move on. It didn’t allow me happiness or enthusiasm for life. It doesn’t allow for the good love I know everyone deserves. It’s just…empty, lonely, and confusing. This nagging and unexplainable void, who knows where it came from, but it tires me. It doesn’t give me much rest.

It’s songs like “Monster” that remind me I am not alone in that feeling. That someone out there feels this way too—an inexpressible lack of ability to love themselves or another. There are times we are not strong enough to love who we are just for the sake of loving someone else, even if we care for them dearly.

Listening to songs like this, I’m reminded of the men I’ve been with. The ones who have been in this same suffocating void. The ones who tell me, “I’m not good enough for you.” The ones so incapable of self-love, so desperately trying to love, or maybe, just like me, unable to do either with integrity and willingness.

It’s hard to have empathy for someone who is that lost, that hurt, and that unable to love you. It’s hard to understand someone who can’t love you because they struggle with their own self-love. It’s hard to not scream at them and say, “Just love yourself! Is that really so hard?”

Sometimes, it really is. That’s a familiar monster many of us have coped with.

Many of us have made pitiful and shameful relationships with our monstrous depressions. We’ve let that monster weigh us down in embarrassing ways we cringe at in hindsight. But we are not hopelessly lost when it comes to finding a good love. Neither are the others battling similar monsters.

May this song release you from the tight grip your monster has on you. May it help you have compassion and understanding for someone else’s monster and it’s diligent endeavors to drag them into a consuming abyss.

May this song be a more comforting form of monster than the one pulling you down now.


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