Searching for greater meaning can often be a fool’s folly. For all we have is what is right in front of us. Oh, we can change bad habits or make improvements in our standing. But I truly feel we are who we are. I guess what I’m trying to say is, all the power to improve or get worse lies deep within ourselves.
I grew being told that I was flawed. That I had sinned and come short of God’s love (Romans 3:23 paraphrased). So for a great deal of my life I felt unworthy of love and was doomed to a life of misery. Even though Christian teaching gives a way out through “grace”. It still didn’t calm my soul’s paranoia that somewhere I would slip up and burn in hell. So I spent the bulk of my life walking on eggshells worried that no matter what I had done, it still wasn’t good enough.
The thing that I eventually discovered was, that in order to accept myself, I had to learn to love myself. In my Christian upbringing denial of one’s self is key to living a “righteous life”. Some would say my thought process here is flawed, but it is what it is. But for me to find peace I had to learn to embrace and love myself, flaws and all. Most of my life I hated myself. I hated myself physically, mentally, I hated my habits, basically anything. So no matter the amount of “grace and “forgiveness” I was given. I still hated myself.
My point here is not to step on anyone’s belief system. As stated, this is about me. All I ask is that you listen to cries that come from within. Far too often we compensate for the misery we feel by giving of our whole selves to others or by drowning our sorrows in destructive behavior. Believe me I know. Until I learn to face yourself, listen compassionately to my pain, and learn to let go; I was never be truly happy. Life is more than just giving; it’s about receiving as well.
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FD Thornton, Jr
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