I had a breakdown today. And then I had a breakthrough. Funny how they seem to go together.
I have tried so hard to not be selfish, that that's exactly what I've become. My thoughts have been consumed about me - what happened to me, what I'm doing wrong, how I could be better, how I am bothering everyone. I heard a quote today -
"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less."
I've been spending so much time, effort, and money on trying to be a better person when I should be using those resources to get to know others, loving them and blessing them. Because me moping around literally does nothing. There are a million people feeling the exact same way as me, and I'm doing nothing for them in the name of selflessness.
At the end of my life, God isn't going to say, "Wow, Jessica, you were so selfless, lying there on your bed all day, thinking you didn't deserve anything." No. When I die, I want to be remembered as a girl who loved others so much, always cheering them and encouraging them.
Who cares if I don't "deserve" happiness - does anyone? Who has right to say that one person is more important than another? If I heard someone telling a girl that she was worthless, that she deserved nothing, that no one cared about her, I would be furious. So why do I treat myself that way? What makes me so much worse than everyone else? Nothing. And me constantly thinking of myself (and how bad I am and how useless I am and how bothersome I am) is selfish. Completely selfish.
So I'm sorry.
I'm sorry that for these past few months, the only person I really cared about was me and how "terrible" I am and how "worthless" I am and how "unlovable" I am.
I'm sorry that I always ask permission before telling stories. (Example: "Can I tell you something?" "Are you too busy?" "Do you mind if I say something?" "Want to know something?") If I believe that every person is valuable, and I do, then I am valuable too and I shouldn't be so scared to share my thoughts, my feelings, my secrets, my life with others.
I'm sorry to the 99% of my friends who I am fake with. I tried to be selfless by only showing you the happy side of me, when in reality, I cry myself to sleep and wish that more people knew my darkest secrets. By only showing you part of me, I was selfish, not letting you truly be my friend. Maybe I've hidden myself from everyone because of pride, or shame, or maybe even good intentions - I'm not sure. But I don't want to do it anymore.
And I'm sorry for apologizing too much. If anything goes wrong, I think it's my fault. If you're having a rough day, I put the blame on myself and how I'm a terrible friend. I thought this was me being selfless. It's not. It's taking the focus off of you and what you're going through, and instead putting it on me and how I'm not a good friend and how I need to do better.
I'm sorry if I've ignored you or hurt you. I probably just assumed I didn't deserve your friendship. I don't believe people when they say they care so I put up a lot of walls. I'm really sorry that I do that. I wish I didn't, and I truly am working on it.
But this selfish selflessness ends today. I'm not going to feel bad about myself for no reason. I'm not going to view myself as invaluable or useless or anything else. I want to prove to others that they are loved, not by loving myself less (what message does that send?) but by loving myself completely and saying "Join me, let's love everyone, let's love ourselves."
I've been wondering lately how to be a good example in this world. Well, maybe if I climb out of the pit I've put myself in, I can actually be seen. Because I'm worth being seen and the words I have to say are worth being heard. I know that now.
One last apology. And this one is to myself.
I am so sorry for putting you down, hurting you, not getting help, calling you names. You're good. You try so hard. You deserve the best. You've been through a lot. But you're going to be okay now. And I'm going to love you.
This post was written straight from my journal. If it doesn't apply to you, that's completely fine. This is here for me. (Sorry if that's selfish. Ha. See what I did there?)
Photo credit: Natalie Hagen.