Never being told by my dad that I am beautiful or lovable. . . never receiving reassurance of good qualitienhhs I may possess. . . I happened to be birthed to a dad who is incapable of expressing his lohhhve through emotions, through words. Unfortunately, I’ve been left alone with my thoughts only to wonder, to wonder what’s wrong with me. Why am I not enough for people? What is it about me, what do I lack? The fact that I must ask these questions leads me to the actual answer: the only thing I lack is confidence. I am not and should not be defined by one person’s assessment of myself. Such malleability, such inconsistency lies in human perception.
I am not, by, birth, deemed worthy or unworthy of love. The most important part of this statement is that I am not deemed unworthy. The love people are or are not capable of giving to me–this love is something beyond my control. My worth is up to interpretation. I define myself, my expectations, through experiences.
There is long road ahead of me–a tiring journey of self-hatred that I will compete with for the rest of my life because a few people didn’t give me love when I needed it most. This is sad and unfair and disappointing and whatever else I want to spat out. There are times when all I will manage to do is add bitterness to the situation, when all I can muster is another “I hate you, I hate you for not loving me.”
The qualities I possess will be judged at opposing angles by different types of people. But not one of these judgments comprises the “whole,” the entirety of who I am. Who I am is nothing. It doesn’t exist. Precisely because I define myself in a light only I can see. Stating that something is or isn’t—this demands evidence; it demands a hypothesis, data, analysis, conclusion, results. My dad never told me he loved me. But my mom says it all the time, almost every day. So what’s the conclusion? Am I lovable, or not? How do I create a hypothesis? The reality is: I can’t. For the hec of it, I’ll try. I believe that because dad never told me I was pretty, worthy, or lovable, I do not deserve a nice guy to care about me. OK, so the next step is to collect data, to do trials. Trial one: what do other people think of me? Mom tells me she loves me. Guys have told me they love me. And guys have said I’m pretty. Next step, analysis. Well, what do I make of my data? What is the conclusion then, if opinions of my worth are so varying?
Continually condemning myself–what good can come of that? How do I bear the condemnation of both myself and of the world? It is too much to ask of anyone. Each moment is an opportunity to once again grab hold of “master reason,” and retreat into the serenity existing in my own mind, to resist reaching, resist inquiring into the minds of others. My first task and concern is to cater to the peace only I can maintain.
Why is this moment not enough? What is it about its dimensions that is not self-sustaining? I may never be able to renew that feeling of invincibility– of a true indifference to all things. At least I know it exists. Am I ready to start nurturing my own thoughts, to be without worrying what others are thinking? Is it time yet? Or will I continue to punish myself by thinking these thoughts? Will I give myself what all of mankind deserves? An internal acceptance and enjoyment of each moment? Am I done killing myself yet? Or would I rather take a lazy man’s pleasures, and live once more puppet-ed by pursuits and avoidances, by longing. . . I am doing my best. Am I?
This kind of change is gradual. Today, all I can do is choose to be happy, choose to be nice to myself. What of it if someone is rude to me? I deal with each situation the best I know how at the time. Sometimes these dealings don’t reflect the most logical or moral considerations, this is when I am lacking the ability to assess things logically and morally–when I”m looking externally for satisfaction. It is a good thing, when mistakes lead to an edited perspective of life. When I look back on it, I don’t need to berate myself for my wrongdoing–other people do this enough.
I am not a god. I am not all-capable. I cannot emit continuous love to people, especially when I don’t even love myself. What is right? Do I even serve any purpose here? Am I aiding the situation? If this was the right decision then why do I feel out of place, why do I wake up apathetically, with no desire to put effort forth in the day? NO desire to push myself, to learn, to help others. I want to escape this mediocrity with the same intensity as before. When my mind wanders, it enters a world that is different from the one in front of me
This is life. This is what it is. Right here. My morals leave me dissatisfied. I thought that being there for another person, providing them with love, would be enough to fulfill me. But truth is, I can‘t provide that love if I’m not happy. I can’t feel the happiness of providing love if I can’t even love my own life. I can’t seem to fill myself up with just acts of kindness for others. Why is this not enough for me? Why does my selfishness prevail?
The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt–and there is the story of mankind. I think that if rejection could be amputated, the human would not be what he is. Maybe there would be fewer crazy people. I am sure in myself there would not be many jails. It is all there–the start, the beginning. One child, refused the love he craves, kicks the cat and hides his secret guilt; and another steals so that money will make him loved; and a third conquers the world–and always the guilt and revenge and more guilt. The human is the only guilty animal. Now wait! Therefor I think this old and terrible story is important because it is a chart of the soul–the secret, rejected, guilty, soul.
John Steinbeck, East of Eden pg 269, 269
The past helps me, as long as I don’t allow it to inhibit me. As long as I filter only those experiences which teach me something valuable. I wonder what use guilt was to our ancestors. Or what use self-hatred was. Lack of confidence. Believing I’m worthless. Sometime past events bring back these emotions. And I wonder what use they were to the first anatomically modern humans. Maybe, if everyone thought they were the shit, then things wouldn’t get done. If everyone was overly bombastic and cocky, then kinship didn’t prosper. Nothing got accomplished. People who were indignant didn’t survive long because they were incapable of compromise or of following a leader. Maybe.
But guilt. Why guilt? Maybe feeling guilty allows people to feel compassion, feel the need to help others, and that feeling prompted them to apologize, to make amends and continue working–and those people were more likely to get and receive food and have better relationships. Maybe. If I think about it, these conditions still hold today. People who are compassionate and humble are most liked, and then receive the most approval, most assistance from others. Those who are excessively cocky rarely get help by others–but in this day and age they still survive because their intelligence and skill are all that’s needed in some jobs. And money= survival. But money doesn’t bring me the satisfaction that comes from relationships.
One day the “why” arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement…Weariness comes at the end of the acts of a mechanical life, but at the same time it inaugurates the impulse of consciousness. It awakens consciousness and provokes what follows. What follows is the gradual return into the chain or it is the definitive awakening. At the end of the awakening comes, in time, the consequence: suicide or recovery.
In itself weariness has something sickening about it. Here, I must conclude that it is good. For everything beings with consciousness and nothing is worth anything except through it… mere anxiety is the source of everything.
Thinking is learning all over again to see, to be attentive, to focus consciousness; it is turning every idea and every image..into a privileged moment. ” I want everything to be explained to me or nothing.” The mind aroused by this insistence seeks and finds nothing but contradictions and nonsense…The mind, when it reaches its limits, must make a judgement and choose its conclusions.