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Self-loathing and low self-esteem

Have you noticed just how much we use self-loathing to reject ourselves?

It seems that to have low self-esteem, low self-worth and to actively engage in self-loathing is absolutely acceptable in society, that it’s a ‘normal part of life’.

How did this happen?!

Imagine a newborn baby. The baby comes into the world gorgeous and lovely just as they are. There’s absolutely nothing they need to DO to get our approval. They just have to lay there and breathe.

We can fully recognise just how amazing and gorgeous babies are

What happens as this baby grows up?

  • Does how we have lived in this world tell us that we should have expectations as to what this baby should DO?

  • Do we stop appreciating the gorgeous amazing baby for BEING who they are and instead have expectations and demands that baby should DO in all manner of things?

Imagine if you had each expectation written on a sticker. I guess the first may be:

  • The age a baby is supposed to smile by
  • The age a baby is supposed to sit up by
  • The age a baby is supposed to have a tooth by
  • The age a baby is supposed to be potty trained by
  • The age a baby is supposed to walk by
  • The age a baby is supposed to talk by
  • The age a baby is supposed to colour inside the lines by
  • That a baby is supposed to be ‘nice’

... and so on and so on. Imagine putting these stickers on the baby as they grow. By 12 months, they would need to grow pretty fast to have room for all the stickers, and they would still be piling up.

By the time the baby reaches school age they would certainly be plastered in stickers, stating:

  • How they should behave
  • How they should relate to their family
  • How they should behave in public
  • How they should be achieving in the developmental stakes

The beautiful baby is now driven by everything that is written on the stickers, but can never seem to live up to everything the stickers demand. But the stickers don’t stop coming, in fact, we now carry with them our own stickers with demands that we think we should achieve such as:

  • The right friends
  • A cool facebook page
  • Good grades
  • Good qualifications

And later on to get the right:

  • Job
  • House
  • Car
  • Partner and have children etc.

Could it be that we have low self-esteem and self-loathing because we can never live up to these ideals, expectations and demands?

Could it be we use lack of self-worth and self-loathing to punish ourselves for never living up to the demands, never getting all the stars, the grades, never being as much as they wanted and demanded and told us to be?

As we don’t get it right, our self-esteem plummets and we can give up on ourselves ever getting it right. There is the potential to deeply loathe ourselves for not achieving what we demand of ourselves.

At this point, we are far away from being the person who is loved and adored ... FOR JUST BEING WHO WE ARE!

What if we were to remove all those stickers, that is, all the ideals, beliefs and expectations about what we should DO and how we should act (more doing), and recognise ourselves for our amazingness, for our gorgeousness, that is ever-present before we ‘DO’ what we do.

For without all these stickers, who would we be?

We can do this for ourselves and, step by loving step, recognise that ... all those stickers are not the truth of who we are.

If they are not the truth of who we are then they must be someone else’s truth. So we can ask ourselves ...

Do we want someone else’s truth or our own truth of who we are in our lives?

We are this amazing being who is awesome and beauty-full

We can keep choosing the stickers which result in self-loathing, lack of self-worth and poor self-esteem, or we can choose the truth of who we are and re-connect to the awesomeness of who we have been all along.


Filed under

AppreciationSelf-worthSelf-esteemRelationshipsBehaviourRejection

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    By Ariana Ray, BA (Hons), CQSW, DASS, PTA, ABE

    Born and raised in Wales but now emigrated to England, I discovered the joy of skipping with joy quite late in life. Working in the field of children's services and volunteering in diverse areas – I am loving life.