My Journey from Self-Hatred to Self-Love
My Journey from Self-Hatred to Self Acceptance to Self-Love and Learning it's okay not to be okay.
My Journey with Self-Hatred
I remember sitting outside on a hill by my college campus on a cloudy dreary day. I just staired out at campus but I wasn't really looking at the landscape. I was to busy fighting a battle inside. My mind new what I had to do but also was screaming at me to run, hide, escape, anything else. I knew I had to face my fears and do what tasks needed to be done to graduate on time. I just didn't believe in myself I could actually do it. I felt like I was at the bottom of a mountain looking at a long perilous journey ahead.
My head was flooded with memories of every time I failed in school because of my dyslexia and ADHD every little thing in school was a struggle. I'd give 110% just to get 70% back on a test over and over again. Now how was I supposed to get a perfect score on this last final project to graduate?
I remember sitting there feeling so frustrated and alone. The wind felt like it blew right through me with a hollow sound. As my inner self felt so small like something rattling around in a hollow cage. The little part of me that was left barely withstood the anger I unleashed at myself. Any mistake or mess up would send me into an inward spiral where I'd kick myself over and over again. WHY AM I THIS WAY? WHY AM I BROKEN? WHY CAN'T I BE NORMAL?! I looked up at the sky and asked God why with all the anger in my heart. Then I'd turn inward and kick myself over and over again try to beat myself into a shape that was impossible to become.
My Subconscious Warning In a Dream
I use to imagine myself running through a woods being chased by a dark mysterious creature. I'd look back to see if it was following and then BAM! Run right into something solid. I'd imagine myself falling to the ground and looking up and seeing a medieval knight standing above me. They'd reach down and grab my shirt and lift me in the air. I struggle to break free, but I can't! All around us shadow demons appeared and started chanting. "Kill her! Put an end to it! You're worthless." The shadow creatures chanted louder awful things as the knight moved their hand up ready to strike me. But instead of hitting me the knight removes their helmet to reveal my face looking back at me. I star into their eyes and all I see is pure hatred. The thought hits me with terror that I'm about to be destroyed by myself.
From Self Hatred to Self Acceptance
I use to end the day dream there. I never understood why I kept imagining it over and over again through the years until I realized something. That knight was the part of me I'd abused for years. It had built up amor to survive and had stalked me in the shadows. I had suppressed and beaten myself up this was the only way to get my attention
After I came to this realization I went back into the daydream to give it a proper ending. I let the scene replay in my head till I was back in that back in the knights grasp and staring back at myself. The shadow creatures still chanting terrible things to us in the center of the ring. I simple said. "I'm sorry." The knights expression turned from anger to surprise. The shadow demons screeched in anger! The knight slowly sets me back on the ground and I hug the knight. I feel the cold hard armer melt away to reveal 5 year old me. I put both hands on little me's shoulders and said gently, "I'm so sorry I've abused and abandon you all these years. I should have been protecting you instead of letting these things get to us". Little me only looked up at me with tears in her eye's and simply said, "I love you".
Learning to Practice Self-Love
To this day, when I'm struggling to love myself I think about that moment and remember that I need to be kind to myself. Even if I'm not okay I won't allow myself to become the enemy. The enemy is the external forces trying to tear us down. Back in the dream I hear the demons angrily closing in. I look down at my hand and see the sword of the spirit. And now when I imagine an ending I see myself fighting in unison against spiritual warfare. I'm not hear to be turned into a weapon against myself. Things might not be okay, or I might not be okay but I'll fight to make sure I'm my own allies and with God's strength things will be okay.
One of the best pieces of advice my Dad has given me, and theirs a lot, is telling me, "Be your own best friend". Sometimes I stop and think about what I'm telling myself and think.... would I say that to my friend or would I be kind? Would I say that to someone I love or hate? And that would often help shift the narrative in my head and help me from spiraling into my self loathing again.
It's Okay Not to Be Okay
Shortly after that time in college when I was on the hill and feeling hollow I was able to make this video to find the words to express myself and finally learn that I wasn't the enemy. I also learned that just because I was dealing with something difficult and not feeling okay I didn't have to fight myself to be a fake happy person. Sometimes peace and healing can come when the first step of acceptance has been taken.