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