It’s something I see and hear all too often in sessions. It doesn’t matter if you are a teenager or a grown adult, self-hatred can be very dangerous. I’m not just talking about physically dangerous (aka self harm or suicide) either, although that is a very real problem too.
But today, I’m focusing the non-physical damage self-loathing does. It prevents forgiveness, it worsens depression, and it hinders intimacy. It leads to a lowered self-worth, which can lead to risky and promiscuous behaviors, substance abuse, and destructive relationships. It can cause you to NOT believe you are who God says you are. Or in God at all. A person who struggles with self-hatred may believe they are not worthy of good, healthy, loving relationships. They may believe are not lovable at all. Many don’t believe that they deserve forgiveness, redemption, or salvation.
I can relate. I just hope you’ll begin to understand that withholding forgiveness from yourself is just as much of a sin as withholding it from others. Forgiveness is the cancelation of debt. If this is a struggle for you, I ask that you please stop punishing yourself and begin the process of acceptance and forgiveness.
Some comfort and wisdom from the May 9th entry in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young:
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backwards, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design. Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses (AMEN.) Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me (amen again!). I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes (amen x3!). Trust Me, and watch to see what I can do.”
And, last but certainly not least: please read this beautiful love letter. It was written for you.