Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Eat, Pray, Love: Self-Loathing


     This is really hard for me to talk about, but Elizabeth Gilbert helped me with it. She wrote an entire book, talking mostly about her searching for herself, and learning to be okay with herself. I would love to have that kind of courage, so here is my attempt.
    I'm not to fond of myself.
    I know, everyone hates something about themselves, and I'm not denying that, but for me it's sometimes a constant emotion. I'm asking for pity or for compliments, I'm just saying it as it is. I can wallow in self-loathing for days.
    I don't know why, but that's how it is.
    Liz said it best, "Operation Self_Esteem -- Day F****g One."And that's exactly how it goes. One day I feel like I can conquer the world, and the next completely useless. I'm better than I was a year ago, and I feel myself getting better each day, but I'm only better because people in my life have shown me that I'm not alone. I think that's the worst part of it all; feeling like I'm the only person that's every hated themselves. I started recovering, if you will, a year ago when I shared it with my youth group, because I felt like I was going to explode, and one of my youth leaders shared an almost identical story. Something about knowing that I didn't carry that weight alone, made it bearable. It's the isolation that forced me into extended periods of hatred, but now that I know there are people out there for me, it's easier to pull myself out.
     Liz found her way out through traveling, and I share that need with her. I need to travel. I love it so much, that even a trip to the next county over is exciting for me. I think each adventure holds a new lesson, and I long for that. Liz seems to be the same way, and it was through her travels that she found peace. 
    My favorite quote from the book goes,  “I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” Liz sits down with a pen and some paper, and waits for God to talk to her in her stupor. She asks him questions, and he uses her to write them down. I like that idea, but I also like to believe that this is Liz talking to herself. That inside of her, there's another version of Liz waiting to burst through the gate and conquer her self-loathing.
     I think that's important part of life, telling yourself how much you love you. It's just like with anyone else. If your friend stops calling you his/her best friend, then you might start to doubt it, and I think the same goes for us. If we stop thinking about all of the things we love about ourselves, then we forget that we do in fact love ourselves. I don't know if it takes a trip to the 'I' countries to figure it out, or if all it takes is a hug and the promise that you're not a lone, but what I do know is that you're worth it.
     You're worth being loved, and no matter how hard that gets for me to say, I know that I have to. Because I can't forget.

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