Throughout my life, I’ve always felt like I wasn’t good enough for anyone in my life; my parents, my friends, my boyfriends, and sometimes, even my teachers. I always felt like people were looking at me, pointing fingers, and laughing. I’ve never been able to shake this feeling. When I arrived in Gainesville, that feeling just got worse. I was an even smaller fish in an much bigger pond. I didn’t make very many friends my first year in college. I started my second year this past August and participated in Panhellenic Council formal recruitment, which led me to become even more self-loathing and depressed when I was dismissed after round three. I ended up joining a co-ed fraternity, but once again, my insecurities have gotten in the way of the relationships I’ve made. I’ve started cutting out some of the most important people and I’m coming to the realization that they aren’t going to just put up with it anymore; I have to change things and stop pushing them away. I have to figure out how to stop hating myself and how to be happy and at peace with myself. Most importantly, I have to mend myself so that I can patch the relationships I’ve almost irreparably broken.
February 17, 2014 marks day one of my journey to love myself.
I’m going to be following along with the book Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach.
Recognizing the beliefs and fears that sustain the trance of unworthiness is the beginning of freedom. You might find it useful to pause for a few minutes to consider the parts of yourself that you habitually reject and push away.
Do I accept my body as it is?
Do I blame myself when I get sick?
Do I feel I am not attractive enough?
Am I dissatisfied with how my hair looks?
Am I embarrassed about how my face and body are aging?
Do I judge myself for being too heavy? Underweight? Not physically fit?
Do I accept my mind as it is?
Do I judge myself for not being intelligent enough? Humorous? Interesting?
Am I critical of myself for having obsessive thoughts? For having a repetitive, boring mind?
Am I ashamed of myself for having bad thoughts– mean, judgmental or lusty thoughts?
Do I consider myself a bad meditator because my mind is so busy?
Do I accept my emotions and moods as they are?
Is it okay for me to cry? To feel insecure and vulnerable?
Do I condemn myself for getting depressed?
Am I ashamed of feeling jealous?
Am I critical of myself for being impatient? Irritable? Intolerant?
Do I feel that my anger or anxiety is a sign that I am not progressing on the spiritual path?
Do I feel I’m a bad person because of ways I behave?
Do I hate myself when I act in a self-centered or hurtful way?
Am I ashamed of my outbursts of anger?
Do I feel disgusted with myself with I eat compulsively? When I smoke cigarettes or drink too much alcohol?
Do I feel that because I am selfish and often do not put others first, I am not spiritually evolved?
Do I feel as if I am always falling short in how I relate to my family and friends?
Do I feel something is wrong with me because I am not capable of intimacy?
Am I down on myself for not accomplishing enough– for not standing out or being special in my work?
Self reflection leads me to realize that the answer to every single one of these questions is “yes” in one way or another. I’ve always been very aware of the fact that I dislike myself and I need to change that in order to be happy. The answers to these questions would not vary on any given day in my life as it is now; they would always be yes. Changing the answers to these questions is the first step to being at peace with myself and the world around me.