I had a conversation with a terrorist.
I was appalled by her beliefs. Angry at the intensity of her hate. I couldn’t understand why such a monster lived inside me.
It’s hard to love yourself because you know all the things nobody else knows. You see all the parts nobody else sees. You feel things nobody else knows about.
Self-loathing, Self-hatred, low self-esteem, shame… Whatever you call them, these sorts of feelings can be the result of cultural programming, bad decisions you make, or maybe even being bullied.
You believe you are an unacceptable human. You apologize for everything. You are always at fault, and therefore you are easy to blame.
You don’t think you deserve good things, and so you are a master saboteur.
At some point you have to identify the terrorist inside. The one that causes you to throw opportunities away. The one that allows you to be a verbal or physical punching bag. The one that tells you how pointless your life is, and/or how worthless you are.
The hardest terrorist to make peace with is the one inside yourself. But it can be done. I know people who have done it.
The first step is to acknowledge the terrorist’s existence. Growing up, you are bombarded with messages from advertising, family, or friends. Those messages say that you’re not:
Self-loathing sets in when you believe them. You combat those lies by remembering how unique you really are. We are all different. None of us the same. Thank goodness for that. You aren’t just good enough you are AMAZING.
The terrorist loves to visit the past and predict the future. Practice living in the moment. When the voice inside your head tries to bring up past evidence to support a bleak future shut it down by doing something in the moment. Get up and go for a walk. Write your thoughts. Paint a picture. Concentrate on something in the now. Do something good for someone else.
Look at the people around you. Who inspires you? Who do you admire? Let them motivate you. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Sometimes the people around us reflect the way we feel about ourselves. Take a look. Surround yourself with people you look up to. People who lift others up. People who are genuine, compassionate, and kind.
Sit down and make peace with your terrorist. We spend so much time fighting our demons we don’t even think about trying to change how they treat us. They are us! Listen to them, hear them out, question their reasoning objectively. Find the truth hiding inside the lies.
Make peace with the terrorist inside you.