Originally Posted by She and Her Darkness
What proof are you looking for?
In the past five years I've been diagnosed with social anxiety, depression, and anorexia. I also have reason to believe I've suffered from generalized anxiety disorder, at least three separate forms of OCD, orthorexia, BED possibly a form of EDNOS, and some other crazy stuff. Undeniably there is something "wrong with me".
I've been working on toning down the self hatred, but just when i think i've got it, my family tells me i'm not doing enough and i feel like crap all over again. there's always something ready to pull the rug out from under you. loving yourself in the face of failure is probably one of the hardest things people like us can do.
And yet it is possible. And perhaps necessary for overcoming certain kinds of mental disorders. I have more problems than you can shake a shakeweight at. By cultural standards I'm an epic failure; but it doesn't prevent me from loving myself.
Self-love is our natural state. But people learn to impose conditions on loving themselves (and others) because they've been taught that unconditional self-love is bad or wrong. The result is mental programming that runs like this: "I won't love myself unless X." X could be anything. Your parents loving you. Someone falling in love with you. Being the best at what you do. Being a certain weight. Etc.
We turn off self-love until we achieve whatever conditions we've imposed on ourselves have been fulfilled. But in fact there is nothing preventing anyone from feeling unconditional self-love right now. Those conditions are conditions we impose on ourselves.
Typically, we've learned to act this way either through emulating parents who do this to themselves, or because parents impose those conditions on their children directly. They withhold affection and approval unless a child behaves the way they want them to, so the child learns that to receive love they must act a certain way for their parents. Then they internalize those conditions and impose them on themselves for the rest of their lives. But there is nothing forcing anyone to impose those conditions on themselves. People have just been convinced that's what they're supposed to do. I don't, and it's wonderful.
I love myself no matter what I do. But that doesn't mean I like
everything I do, or that I don't try to improve myself, only that I don't withhold love from myself, even when I make mistakes. If I wasn't that way, I wouldn't be here, because my life is an absolute meat-grinder psychologically
. I wouldn't have any reason at all to love myself if my love wasn't unconditional.
That's what people are taught to feel. But it destroys lives. It's that very attitude that drives many people to places like SAS. If you loved yourself, you wouldn't stop trying to improve yourself, you'd just have a lot more energy to put toward it. I have tons of motivation to improve myself because
I love myself and I want to be as awesome as I can be. Loving myself gives me the courage to push myself, because I know I can withstand failure.
If you're looking at a serious psychological beating from yourself every time you fail what happens is you stop trying
. You can't stand the feeling of feeling like a failure, so you avoid anything that would make you feel that way. That's why people with poor self-esteem tend to be unemployed or underemployed, have few accomplishments, and limited social circles, whereas people with good self-esteem tend to have jobs, families, and friends.