2017 has come upon us. I remember January 1 as if it was just yesterday. I was full of hope, full of expectations, full of the thrill of the unknown. I really wanted this year to be different from last year. 2016 was not the best year for me. It was full of stress… well, more stress than usual. I found myself in a mental and spiritual space that was not the best. It was suffocating, it was unnerving, it was challenging. I isolated myself from others because… well, because I found it easier to stop caring. I’m an extraverted person and I definitely put myself out there. I care about others and as much as possible, I try to support others especially when they’re going through a difficult time. But there comes a point when you realize that when it is your turn to need help, it seems as if there is no one there. No one’s got my back, so to speak. Of course, this may, or may not be the actual case. I wouldn’t want to categorically say that I didn’t have friends who tried to reach out to me or were supportive during this time. However, perception is reality. Unfortunately, this was the reality I lived in.
As time progressed, I definitely got out of that horrible space. I was happy to be rid of 2016, with all of its hurts and pains. I was ready to shed the old Sid and was preparing for the new Sid of 2017.
Not even a fortnight and I seem to be back in the same, old patterns. In some ways, I’m not surprised. It’s a bit ridiculous and overly optimistic to think that the simple passage of time will bring about the necessary changes in my life. Maybe 2017 is the year of acceptance. I need to accept who I am (whatever that means!) and that whatever answer I find to that question, that I would know that I am accepted and loved by me. I think most of my life has been about trying to find love in all the wrong places. I want to be loved by others. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, there is something fundamentally wrong about not being able to love yourself.
Loving one’s self has been an arduous and tumultuous journey. I don’t know why it’s easy for me to look past other people’s flaws and failures, but can’t seem to let go of my own. I think it’s easier for me to believe that no one can love me than to believe the opposite. There are times when I would be walking and unintentionally catch the reflection of myself in the mirror and wonder why I’m still around. I feel like a waste of space… that my very being is consuming precious oxygen that should probably go to someone else who is more worthy or deserving of it than me. Or, that my physical appearance is so ugly or my voice is such a torture to be heard by those around me that I wonder why they tolerate my presence. Sometimes, I even wish that I was anorexic or bulimic so that I could have a skinnier body so that I don’t have to hear one more negative comment about my weight from family and friends. Trust me, I know how destructive these thoughts are… and how they are lies that I choose to believe. But when you are constantly fighting to believe the good about your self, it’s a little bit easier to go back to your default mode of self-loathing and self-hatred.
Here’s hoping that 2017 will be the year that I can learn how to truly love my self. I want to be able to see myself through the lens of my friends who have told me how smart I am, how kind I am, how amazing I am, or how good-looking I am. (Apparently, I made it to a friend’s top ten list hahaha) Most importantly, I want to be able to see myself through the lens of a Father who loves me and cares for me. He sees me as the apple of His eye and someone who is a co-heir of Christ. He sees me as someone who is precious in His sight.
I’m not going to lie, I am a bit skeptical that I will get that far. But, at the very least, I’m going to make the important baby step to move forward in that direction.
Let’s do this, 2017!