When I was in seventh grade, I had a teacher who would tell me “Stop ragging on yourself.”
It has only been recently that I have begun to understand why he was right.
“But it’s better to rag on yourself than other people.”
Okay, instead of trying to dissect that logic, let’s just discuss why you shouldn’t hate yourself, regardless of how bad it is relative to other things, because that is just not relevant.
Why not hate yourself? Because hating yourself is an exercise of the ego. Don’t believe me? Let’s think about it.
Why do we hate ourselves? From my understanding, we hate ourselves because we think that we are extraordinarily deficient in one or more areas. That’s the root of the thing, right? We may think that we’re the meanest, the stupidest, or the awkwardest person who has ever walked the earth. Of course, that’s a very simplistic way of putting it. It sounds so silly when you put it that way. I’m glad I put it that way.
To imagine that you’ve reached a new level of humiliation or immorality is, in a way, arrogant. Don’t we know that there is virtually nothing that we can do that hasn’t been done before, in one form or another?
Hating yourself is just a hair away from being in love with yourself. This too is contradictory, but true, I believe. The simple fact is, it is really hard to hate yourself all the time. At a certain point, we would lose the will to live. Or maybe I’m wrong, maybe you can be in such a dark place that you are able to despise every fibre of your being at virtually all hours of the day. If you are in that dark place, I’m not sure if I could say anything to make it better. I would leave that to God and His rich love.
From my experience, after a long day of hating myself, I may be inclined to fall in love with myself a little too much just to balance things out. If hating yourself is caused by an exaggeration of your faults, then wouldn’t you think that a person who hates himself/herself could find it easy to also exaggerate their virtues or “redeeming qualities.” If you think you’re a weirdo, don’t you also think that you’re going to make up for it, one fine day, by being recognized for whatever awesome thing it is that you do? Tell me I’m wrong!
Don’t we see? Self-loathing isn’t just self-loathing, it is self-importance. It is the belief that we are capable of BIG things, whether bad (self-loathing) or good (self-loving). But don’t be depressed! I’m not telling you that you are not capable of big things. I do think that we are all extraordinary. I’m just saying that we must be very careful not to fall into pride.
You are not nothing, contrary to what you may have been told or what you may tell yourself in your heart. You may even make the world a better place, but I wouldn’t expect to get any credit for it.
Maybe in some ways we aren’t as extraordinary as we believe we are, while at the same time, we simply have no concept of the extent of our uniqueness.
A closing exhortation: “Stop ragging on yourself!”