Which is really painful for me to admit. But it’s the truth.
This has been one of the hardest few months for me in recent memory. It doesn’t really matter why — and truthfully it’s a little bit from every aspect of life possible — but I’ve been in a lot of pain emotionally.
So I took it out on the person nearest to hand.
I’ve been cruel, unkind, unforgiving, intolerant and unfair. I’ve made accusations, generalizations, said mean things and made vast generalizations that are inaccurate at best, and horribly judgmental at worst.
I’ve thrown around names like stupid, fat, ridiculous, worthless.
I’ve pointed fingers and always seemed to find flaw in every choice, every decision, every word and every action. I see fault and failure almost exclusively where there is more likely a balance of humanity that’s not so unusual.
In most cases, it would be perfectly reasonable for this person that I’ve mistreated so badly to never speak to me again, or worse.
But that’s not so easy when she’s staring me in the mirror.
I’m not much for airy-fairy talk about self-love and being your authentic self and all that stuff that you can find in a good few self-help books. But I have to do better than this. And soon.
One of the signatures of people with deep self-esteem issues is this kind of cruel, unforgiving self talk. We say things to ourselves that we would never tolerate someone saying to the people we love and care about.
But we consider ourselves unworthy of our own kindness. As though being gentle with ourselves is the same as making excuses for our behavior or mistakes, or being weak, or not being accountable (or at least it’s like that for me). And as much as I would like to think I don’t allow other people to treat me as poorly as I treat myself, the truth is that I have a pattern and a history of doing exactly that.
All that combined means a stirring depth of anger, resentment, hurt, and fear that never really goes away, and that cascades through life and work and relationships and leaves a wake of damage behind.
It’s a bit early for resolutions, I suppose, but for this one I would venture that sooner is better than later. And I don’t want to hide this anymore, pretending it isn’t an issue.
I have to commit to treating myself better. To learn that self-confidence and self-esteem are not the same as arrogance. I need to find room in my own heart to be compassionate with my own soul and feelings.
And to give myself the same grace that I would hope to give someone I love.