Tuesday, 28 October 2014

To Feel Worthy

A post of personal reflection and my struggles with worthiness and self-acceptance

One thing that I have been battling with since genesis is feeling worthy and accepting myself.  I think back to a small moment in my life when I was probably 11 or 12 years old.  Our neighbor, who was also our little town of 300's nurse, congratulated me because I achieved something or it was my birthday.  I shyly replied "Okay."  Luckily, my mother was with me and quickly taught me how to accept a compliment.  "Say thank you."  From that day onwards, I learned to say thank you when people did find some reason to compliment me.  However, my difficulty of accepting the kindness of another person didn't decrease all that much 9 years later, although my decorum did improve somewhat. 

You can ask me why I find it hard to accept a compliment and truly manifest it as part a part of me and I'm not entirely sure why it is what it is.  I guess that's why I am writing this post to try and mull over my problems, but for once outside of my head.  My family have told me before that I am one of the last people that should have self-esteem issues.  I have many things that the Almighty has so gracefully blessed me with.  Yet,  I can't seem to believe it.  A month or so ago, while I was leaving our campus recreation building after a solid few games of wiff-waff (ping pong apparently) a young lady came up to me and said to me that I had beautiful hair.  My autonomic reflexes kicked in and I gave her a glance and said "Thank you, I appreciate that comment very much."  I walked away, my pace was probably hastened because I did what I do best - run away from my problems and opportunities.  I felt very bad about that minute situation for the rest of the day.  I felt as though I did not respect her bravery for complimenting me.  I mean, I know how incredibly hard it is to walk up to a stranger and tell them something like that.  In fact, it's so hard that I've never done it in my life before.  I should have looked her in the eyes and said thank you, maybe even a hand on the shoulder and compliment her for her bravery.  I guess I could have said the same back because she had a glorious bush of blonde, curly hair, which I have a liking for.  Instead, I ran away.

My self-worth and self-acceptance seems to take an exceptional nosedive in the presence of women.  I hate to say this, but especially in the company of beautiful women.  I hate saying beautiful women, because society is so fixated on facial and bodily beauty that we look over the majesty and wonder that lies within our hearts and souls.  I try to not cloud my judgment by looking at outward appearance, but because I am a human with sexually hardwired predispositions, I fail in this regard too.  Maybe I take my rebellion against mainstream overvaluation of beauty too far.  Maybe I should learn to embrace it too.  I just find it hard to be a man driven by his penis.  I want to be driven by my heart, my brain and my God.  I don't want to be an animal, even though my mind is inseparable from my natural body.  I just feel incredibly bad when I look at a woman because she is attractive instead of trying to value her personality.  Instead over the course of my lifetime I conditioned myself to not look at all hence the lack of female friends.  I guess you need to see something on the outside first before you can take the first steps to knowing the inside.

I feel as though I am unworthy of other people's time therefore I don't always speak first to someone.  Almost all the relationships I have with other people was because they approached me first and because I was at the right time and place, doing the right thing.  Unless someone else set me up to do something, I can't do it on my own.  I that case I am doing it for someone else's sake, which I am very willing to help.  I can't seem to help myself though.  I just can't seem to go and talk to a random person without having a clear, well-defined goal.  I feel completely unworthy of someone else's time, even though normally people find my company pleasant or at least stimulating.  It seems as though the positive reinforcement of other people's comments that they enjoy my company or that I find myself in these people's company often (which would imply that they like me enough not to avoid me) is not enough to break through to me.  Why won't it just get through to me?  People reading this may think that I have no self-worth issues, but if you struggle with something long enough your array of masks to don for different situations increases by quite a bit, I can tell you.

Yeah, I mean sometimes it's so bad that I walk slowly or stop and pretend to do something to avoid the person in front of me having to hold the door open for me.  In that moment, I tell myself that I don't want to inconvenience them.  They don't have to halt their busy life to do something for me.  Right after that I know within my heart that I didn't only stop and/or walk slowly but because I don't know why someone would do something good for me.  Why would someone stop and care about me?  Why am I worth wasting a second or two from someone else's life?  This leads into the next section quite well.

Why would anyone love me?  Yeah, this is gruesome and hard to grasp.  My parents laid down their lives for me and always told me they loved me.  I cannot blame them.  I can blame myself, because I didn't pay them back for their selfless sacrifices that have stretched well over two decades for myself  and our family.  Maybe this is partly why I have never even come close to being in a romantic relationship.  I look at myself and say I am not worthy of this woman's time, life and love.  That's why I never approach, even though I almost always only mean good.  It gets worse when I talk to someone I find a wonderful person.  "This person is so amazing, they will have no time for a sorry sack such as myself.  I have nothing to contribute, therefore I am not worthy of their love."  Then I stand in awe of some men.  You know those short, unattractive, unemployed men who think they can have any woman in the world and then often they are successful?  Ha, I see that too.  I think to myself, gosh, I am a little bit smart, I have a good sense of humour, I am witty, I am not ugly, I have a good sense of values and  I truly care for other people so I should be an even better candidate, right?  For some reason, I don't believe that, even though there are a myriad of cases that would prove that I am so, so wrong. 

I guess I will never truly be able to love another person until I can love myself.  For that reason, I thank God that I have never been in a relationship because it would have ended in tatters because I would have needed too much support. 

Thank God that I'm still only 20 and more than half of college to go.  I can learn to start believing in myself, loving myself and finally feeling worthy in the my time left on this earth. 

Hopefully, I can share this love with another