I don’t really like myself. That is not a put down, that is not a criticism. That does not mean the world, or my world, is ending. That is just what I believe.
I remember the first time I told someone I didn’t like myself. The pity the person showed could have been worn as a sweater, it was so obvious. Since then, I’ve mentioned this fact to a few other people and while the responses vary, that sense of pity is what seems to be the most common.
People feel bad that I don’t like myself, and I understand why. If you like who you are and you meet someone who doesn’t like who they are, you feel for them. You want them to feel good about themselves because you know how good it feels to like who you are. But just because I understand where those people are coming from doesn’t mean that I agree with it.
I’ve spent years trying different tips and tricks to boost my self-esteem. Books, tapes, prayers, activities. I’ve repeated mantras and listened to my therapists and while I’ve had a minor breakthrough or two, nothing major has occurred. I like where I am in life, and I am excited for where my life is headed – but still, I don’t like myself. And I’m okay with that because I know what that means and more importantly, what that doesn’t mean.
It doesn’t mean I think my life is worthless. It doesn’t mean I think I am a bad person, or a mistake. It doesn’t mean I wish I wasn’t here. It just means that right now, at this point in my life, I don’t think highly of myself. And to be honest, that’s not the worst thing in the world.
One of my goals of therapy is to try to figure this issue out and solve the problem. But honestly? It’s not that high on my list of priorities. I decided long ago that if I was doing what I’m supposed to be doing to live a mentally healthy lifestyle, I wouldn’t concern myself as much with some of these existential questions. If I am physically, mentally, and spiritually fit and doing what I need to do, is not liking who I am the worst thing in the world? To me, it’s not.
You might disagree with this, and that’s okay. You might even think it’s ridiculous; that’s okay too. You are entitled to your thoughts and feelings, just as I am to mine. There’s room for everyone!
In short, there are things I can and can’t live without. And loving myself, thinking I’m the best person to the world and brimming with confidence, is not something I need. It would be nice, but I can live without that. I’m more concerned with bringing love and value to everything I do. And if that means that one day I wake up and like who I am? Well I wouldn’t be so mad at that.