I mean, really?

This whole ‘Love yourself if you ever want to be loved’ thing. Is it really a case of just loving yourself that’s gonna bring the guys flocking… I mean, really?

I’m trying to think if I’ve ever actually met a person who truly loved themselves – and who wasn’t either 40 minutes into an ecstasy triple-drop or a borderline psychotic.

I’ve tried for many years to practice the art of loving myself and have FAILED dreadfully. I’ve no patience for meditating, I believe in nothing – bar life after love, of course – and I’ve even read The Secret cover-to-cover in a bid to absorb just a single shred of positivity.

I did love the theory of The Secret – the idea that you can imagine things happening and they just… happen. I remember a film called Teen Witch that practiced that very same theory. Sadly, it wasn’t as big a hit as The Secret was, but well worth a watch. If only for the terrible white man rap and Zelda Rubenstein, the little midget lady from Poltergeist. But I digress.

No matter how hard I try, I’m just a naturally self-deprecating person, and I hate myself for that.

I over-think everything, I can’t stand not pleasing people and I’ll always be the Rhoda in every friendship or relationship I have.

It’s totally un-pc to say out loud, but I can’t actually remember a single day in my life when I didn’t suffer with low self-esteem.

Too many ‘life affirming’ methods and books will forbid you to speak openly about your negative feelings, but just because you don’t say out loud that you feel like shit doesn’t mean that it’s not true.

It may surprise you (not), that I’ve had quite a bit of therapy, as well as the odd bit of mental devastation and rehabilitation – two buggery books full, for a start. Most of this came from thoroughly believing that any ill feeling is much better out than in. Whether you’re offloading to a stranger on a bus or writing it all down, it’s better vented than to be left to fester inside of you. Get it all out. There’s something very cleansing about vocalising it, or seeing it there in black and white, that helps us to process it better.

We all go through different types of trauma as we grow up. Life altering events have a way of seeping into our bones and continue to have an effect on us our whole lives, no matter how vivid they may be. Some of these can be fixed with time and effort, others can be a lot tougher to mend, and some we have to learn to forgive and live with.

There’s no magic wand and bad things do happen to good people who don’t deserve it. Don’t tell me Snow White didn’t go on through life without shuddering whenever she passed a broom, or a pair of dirty clogs.

The best we can do is accept the things that we cannot change and recognise that despite the effect they’ve had on you, they’re over. They’re not happening to you anymore. There’s only so long you can ‘blame another witch’ for your problems.

I wish I had the capacity to repress it all and forget, putting all my energy into the gym or shagging it all away on Grindr, but that wouldn’t be very ‘me’.

The point is; to have baggage, to be insecure, to have low self-esteem or even to admit out loud that you get lonely is not a terrible thing, and it doesn’t make you a bad person in any way.

And if the theory is right, that we must love ourselves before we’re able to have a chance, then I’d like to know how so many of us still manage to find great relationships regardless of how fucked up we are.

If you’re going to love yourself for anything, love your traits. It’s these that make you beautiful and TRULY individual.

The lovers come and go, but you’ve got to live with yourself for a long time. Take care of you.

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