Q: My problem is that sometimes I hate myself and it really beats my self confidence (although I’m quite good at faking it) and well I always think that things are working for my bad and not my good. And I also find it really difficult to open myself to people so I always try to be happy even if I’m hurting inside so people really don’t notice and then I carry all my problems alone and cry (a whole lot) until I feel better. I want this to stop because it has prevented me from having many good friends.
A: I believe you are speaking with the right person because I have been there and I believe that God, who helped and is still helping me, will come to your rescue.
Let me try to paint a number of scenarios and you might locate your own experience(s) in them. You grew up in a home where daddy and mummy are perfectionists and believe that if your results are not the best in your class, you must be a dullard… You play the violin skilfully but have a lot of pimples on your face which never seem to clear… You’re in the boarding house and you wet (urinate on) yourself without knowing it, sometimes in the class because of a dysfunctional bladder... Or your father is hardly around and when he is, all he does is verbally and physically insult you for the smallest of mistakes you make.
Can you imagine a 16-year old lady who has been sexually abused by her wealthy and highly influential father, five different times since she was 9years and strictly warned not to disclose to anyone if she doesn’t want to be disowned? Really, the list is endless but a child grows to either love or hate herself depending on what she was exposed to in her growing-up years. It is almost natural for a girl that has some major physical deformity, or that is abused physically, or sexually or verbally especially by authority figures, or that is never good enough for her parents, teachers or pastor etc, to hate herself. Have you come to a point where people come to you, are interested in helping you out but you tell them they cannot understand and after trying to make you talk, they give up?
The bad thing about this is that this self-rejection and self-hatred are the root causes of many relationship problems. People who hate themselves don’t want to relate with other people because thy feel very inferior and fear they might be rejected so they will rather bear it all alone. Because they don’t love themselves, it’s hard and almost impossible for them to love others – you cannot give what you don’t have.
The problem is that you have based your opinion of yourself on what others have said or made you think about yourself and not what God, who knows you more than you know yourself, says and thinks about you. You have probably not received proper love all your life and so you have not learnt to properly love yourself. You don’t see any reason to love yourself or you feel you are not worth loving because others don’t love you. You cannot see yourself as proper or right, you only see your flaws and weaknesses forgetting your beauty and strengths.
I must tell you sincerely that getting out of this is one of the best things that can ever happen to you because you will live a BETTER life with God, with yourself and with others. But it is not a one-day job, the more you are willing to let go, the more you receive. The answer to hatred is LOVE! The solution is therefore that you receive God’s perfect love, love yourself in a balanced way, generously love God in return and finally, love all the people who come into your life. I need you to believe that God’s word is true and He says that when He created you, He saw that you were good (Genesis1:31)! He says He has loved you with an EVERLASTING love (Jeremiah31:3)! He also says that two cannot walk together except they agree (Amos3:3). Since these words are true, you need to get into agreement with God that all He created, including you, is good and that since He says He loves and accepts you, you can no longer hate yourself.
To get out of this and live a more fulfilling life, join me as we accept God’s love for us and make that love, the basis for our love and acceptance of ourselves. Let us receive His affirmation knowing that we are changing and becoming all that He desires us to be. I need you to search for scriptures that talk about God’s love and meditate on them until your mind is renewed. You can start with Ephesians3:16-19 and Jeremiah29:11. There is so much power in God’s word to root out every wrong thing that has thrived in our hearts and prevented us from living the abundant life Christ has given us. You will find these confessions very useful, say them as many times as you can and believe them because they are God’s words.
‘God loves me with an everlasting love. He loves me so much He gave me His best in Jesus. I receive His love and because He accepts me, I accept myself. I know I need to change and I want to change. In fact I believe that God is changing me daily but in the meanwhile, I will not reject what God accepts. I can love what God loves. I don’t love everything I do but I accept myself because God accepts me. As God’s love fills my heart, I love myself and everyone that comes my way.’
You have questions you want to let out of your heart, right? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate if you want the question(s) addressed personally or through the magazine.