When You’re Feeling Inadequate (A Letter to Myself)
I’ll be honest. Sometimes, it’s just not easy to love you.
Sometimes, it’s not easy to stay through the pain, to cool my desire to just run, run, run as fast as possible away from it all. Sometimes, it’s hard to forgive you. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept you.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell you that you’re beautiful when my head is bursting with culturally ingrained images of perfection.
But, I try. I’ve been trying. It’s not easy.
And, sometimes, you take each and every one of my criticisms and judgments so closely to heart. It’s like you’re waiting for me to be weak, hormonal, insecure. In some sick way, maybe you want to hear it. Maybe some part of you has just been so used to being put down that when I love you too much for too long… you feel afraid.
I’m afraid too.
I’m afraid that I’m a bully to you sometimes, and you’re my victim, and we’re the same person, so there’s no escape. I’m afraid because I don’t want to hurt you. I’m afraid because, sometimes, I still do.
So, believe me when I say that sometimes… sometimes, it’s not easy for me to love you. But you know something? That’s not your fault. It never was.
You and I, we were raised by two shadows and a television. Alone. Lonely. And I learned to criticize. And you learned to accept it. But here we are, both hurting.
So why, tell me why, does everyone glorify healing from self-judgment, but no one ever stops to think that self-judgment, itself, needs healing? Because it does. I, as the judgmental part of you, need healing too. Because I was meant for math and proofreading and graphic design and all sorts of beautiful analytical tasks. I was never supposed to become this either.
So when I can’t love you, forgive me. I am weak too, you know. And I try. I keep trying. And all my failures at love aren’t your fault, my beautiful reflection, please know that. They’re part of my own journey to heal and become something more than a mean, ugly voice in your head.
I want to be more than just an inner critic. I want to help you build castles in the sky. I want to help you change the world. I don’t want to spend another moment telling you about your thighs, or the spots on your face, or that thing you said to him or her or them.
So please, dear me, be patient. Be patient as I heal, and I learn to love, because no one ever showed me how. I’m learning. Slowly. I hope you can see how far I’ve come.
And I promise you to try my best. Every time. I will do my very best. But I can’t promise you I won’t make mistakes. So next time I’m weak, hormonal, tired, and I start saying that same old crap, please understand that it has nothing to do with you. I’m a parrot of a generational sickness, an emotionally inherited habit of self-loathing. I’m sick. I’m trying to heal.
Please forgive me. And love me. And know that, even when I am too blind to love you, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. You do. You are lovable and worthy. Don’t believe anyone who tells you different. Especially not me.
I’m in this for the long haul. I’m not going anywhere. I promise you to keep learning, growing, and doing my best. You deserve that. You really do.
I love you,