I'm sitting here at 2 in the morning bundled up in some sweatpants, a sweat shirt, a down comforter, and a beautiful pair of snuggly Christmas socks. I do my writing usually at wee hours of the morning because that's when I'm usually the last one awake while the rest of the world has slipped off into a deep, peaceful slumber. The quiet time gives me a little space to think things through and sort out the disorder that is my mind.
What's really on my heart tonight is self-image and how it effects one's relationships with other people. There is that Lifehouse song called Whatever It Takes with the line, "You gotta love yourself if you can ever love me." I do believe this is absolutely true. I have too many friends who cannot see how good they are or how much they have to offer and so, consequently, their relationships with their loved ones around them suffer. It was just tonight where I talked to a friend of mine and he told me he wasn't happy with the person he was. He believed that that held him back from giving a past relationship his all. Mind you, this guy is a true prince. He is a good man. Though, for whatever reason, he doesn't see or believe that. It kills me. This is just one example. I've got others.
This time last year I was really battling self-worth. I believed I wasn't enough and that I needed to be more and better. I was striving to be whatever it was I thought I needed to be. This struggle left me fighting hate and jealousy in my heart. Love is not jealous, people. It was just awful. I'm sure one or two of you have been there before, too. So I know you know where I'm coming from. Well, one night I went to confession to offer up all of this sin. When I had finished my confession, the priest looked at me and said, "I can see you don't understand how great you are." I nearly passed out right then. I couldn't believe what he had just told me. Not only because I was so shocked at his openness, but also because I couldn't believe he meant me. Me? I'm great? He continued to give my penance. I was to look in the mirror every morning for one week and say out loud to myself, "You are good enough." The penance helped and it was one step closer for me in discovering the beauty of who I really am and what I have to give to the world.
Granted, I definitely don't feel like this everyday. There have been many times in the past year that I have really questioned why people even love me like they do. Though I fortunately do not struggle with such a jealousy anymore, I still fall frequently. Some days I find some real self-loathing floating about in my head but the trick is to find it, squash it, and throw it out so that it never returns again. Another key is to find where that self-loathing is coming from and deal with it there. Destroy the very roots of those shenanigans because they're lies.
The way we see ourselves definitely effects our relationships with those around us. I would encourage all of us to take a good hard look at how we view ourselves. Obviously we are not perfect. So, yes, we've got those flaws. Let's recognize this. And yes, of course work on those flaws, but also realize that we fall down a lot because we're of the human race. A very flawed, a very complicated, and a very beautiful human race.
Learn to love yourself and who you are. Understand what you've got to offer. Achieve this so that you can fully give yourself to someone in the most healthy love. Gosh, that sounds nice, huh? :)