Teaspoon of Happy We Are Good Sarah May Bates

I believe the foundation of most every ill in the world is caused by lack of self-love. The self-destructive, the violent, the cruel, the lying, the cheating, the callous, the judgmental, the isolated, the hidden, the bad seeds, the bullies, the hurting.

If you have several types of experiences at some point during childhood, this becomes your truth: I am bad because I am unlovable. It’s super common, and not just in abusive or unstable households. It happens for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s because a parent is young or a caregiver is depressed or works too much, or is simply helpless in the face of any number of challenges. When a child feels they are not cared for or unseen or their basic needs are not met, this can and often does manifest to them as “I am not loved,” which then morphs into, “because I am bad”.

Because this definition doesn’t quite make sense, what this slowly evolves into in adulthood is a secret truth. A truth that no one else knows and that if it were to be discussed would be denied by the person, but deep down they know it’s true. As this “truth” remains un-gutted, what it does is feed into every experience a person will have, causing them to feel they are always guilty of ill-will and that they will indeed fulfill this badness in every action they take. It becomes like an inevitable prophecy yet to be fulfilled when in reality, this truth is nothing more than a mislaid foundation. A foundation that must be unearthed and then rebuilt in order to truly grow to know oneself.

It’s a super tricky, slippy deep and mucky concept, this rebuilding. Because for those of us who have lived a lifetime holding onto ideas about ourselves and who we really are, they are deep set and many vines have grown over this original self, burying them from view. In order to even find the sources of these beliefs with clear enough vision takes years of processing. By processing I mean talking, discussing, reviewing this information with someone who is objective and also educated in the appropriate areas. This is what I wish I could hand to others wrapped up in a box. This processing, this ability, this gift of a listener. This guru, which actually translates to “guide through darkness into light”.

A self-reflective bounce board is something you can recreate with the right kind of research and emotionally healthy friends. But the most important ingredient is commitment. It must come from something you want for yourself, a goal you decide to walk toward in your life, no matter how long it takes you. To let go of the lies that plague you, to forgive yourself, relieve that which makes you feel pain and traps you in cycles. To decide you want to become whole once again is the best state you could ever reach, and for me, the only way I would want to live life.

It is a brave and arduous pursuit, but what you get in return is peace and love for yourself and everything you have lived. It returns your instincts and knowledge of who you are, and that you are good. It also gives you vision, insight that you can pass on to others, and when you see them in pain fulfilling their prophecy, you can stop them or point to answers that gave you some relief.

I don’t really have a tangible solution or offering to deliver other than to say this:
If something hurts you in connection to yourself, if you feel you are bad or less or something about you is unworthy, then you must know this is not true. If you feel you have always been bad or that you were born crazy or hateful or hated, this is not true. You can let go of these feelings whether they are big or small, if they are long-term or shallow, and without them you will find out who you really are and that it is great and good. You deserve to have that knowledge, and it is so worth having— you just have to want it enough to gain it. And of course it is possible, and you will.

Wishing you all a cozy Sunday. And as always, love to read your comments. xox Sarah

Featured image via marin.a’s Flickr

comments

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  1. You are amazing. Absolutely amazing.

  2. Thanks Sarah, I needed to read that one today! Great to see you yesterday!

  3. Thank you Sarah :) Keep posting! I’ll definitely look out for your posts in future xo

  4. you always make me so happy!

  5. I get so excited when I see that you’ve posted something, and this did not disappoint! Love your writing, so inspiring. Now I just need to find a way regurgitate it to myself throughout the week =]

  6. I teach 8-9 year olds who come from extremely emotionally turbulent backgrounds. Many of them are already damaged, some broken, by what they have experienced at home. The other teachers and I try every day to help them to see that they are good and worthy, but the bottom line is that if your family are the ones who have damaged you (knowingly or otherwise) then it is incredibly hard to accept that you are loved. We love them, believe in them, and care for them (and sometimes we even teach them stuff!) and they appreciate it and love us back, but families don’t realise just what an affect their neglect can have. It’s sad, and all too common :( Thanks for your article, I hope that my kids can make ways towards this when they are adults. Some of them have a rocky few years to face in order to get there. X

    • Shona – so true. I admire you because of what you do. It’s so hard and can be discouraging, especially when you see so many hurt and feel helpless in the face of it. I truly believe you are saving more of them than you know by being there and remaining a source of love. Without people like you the world would be a very different place. Thank you!!!!!

  7. I look forward to Sundays for your posts, Sarah. After reading one of your posts, I inevitably feel calmer, more thoughtful and think “Yes. Exactly.” You’re so cool that if I still lived in LA, I’d totally be like “Want to get coffee and talk about deep stuff?” And then you’d be all “Freak; I don’t even know you!”

  8. ive been working on this since i was 18. i made a major breakthrough when i was 19 almost 20, but then i hit a wall again last year when i was 21. ive come such a long way since then too, but what ive realized is that you gotta work at it everyday, its not be easy, but it will get easier and a lot of it comes from simple things that do with your health also. I stopped going out and partying as much because i wanted to have a clear head on my shoulders, to allow myself to be alone and be okay with my thoughts. i now once again enjoy my alone time so so much. also i have regained, some of my confidence when it comes to acting. i stopped taking classes last year thinking i had found something else that “suited” me better but then this year i had another reminder that hit me hard in the face that reminded me film and esp acting is where my heart is. its hard though, because if you dont believe in yourself nothing can come true and you gotta believe you are worth it. thanks for writing this, i think a lot ppl need me. i know i do, a reminder then someone else has been through similar things and that you can make it out the other end and that we are all worthy human beings <3

  9. I love your posts! They are so therapeutic and exactly what I’ve been searching for. This gives me strength <3 thank you!

  10. ” This is what I wish I could hand to others wrapped up in a box.” <— Me too, iguana. I see my friends trapped in these cycles of self destructive thought and sometimes behavior, I wish so desperately that I could just impart my knowledge on them. Just like, make a photo copy of it or something and hand it over, so they can break out and just start loving themselves, see how wonderful they really are and that they are worthy of good things. I know, though, that getting to that point really has to be done on your own, but with a healthy support system. I can at least provide that. There is a book that I absolutely love, and recommend to everyone who will listen to me. It's called "Captivating" and it is authored by John and Stasi Eldredge. It is rooted in Christianity, but the whole premise of the book is right in line with what you are talking about Sarah May. As always, it's trippy how much you can totally sum up my thoughts! It's the "oonagi". (random "Friends" reference, haha!)

    • WOW I will definitely look it up – I haven’t heard of that book before – so true Kimberly, I couldn’t agree more. Yay for same brains!

  11. Wow some of my amigos really need to read this!

  12. We need more of this, and more of people like you, Sarah, on the internet! I get up every Sunday knowing I’m going to read something positive and knowing that it’s going to put a smile on my face! As always, thank you!

  13. Your posts never fail to put a big smile on my face. More of this, Sarah! :)

  14. this is lovely. your sunday morning dose of positivity is greatly appreciated!

  15. Dear Sarah May Bates,
    I love you for being a major positiveness sponsor. You’re like my Sunday therapist. =)
    Getting to know and ultimately loving yourself is as simple as it is difficult. I’m still workikng on that. But I’ll get there, I swear.
    Wish you a lovely Sunday and an utterly fascinating week =)