Here are my thoughts after reading Nouwen’s imperative titled, Trust Your Friends.

“Much of your ability to trust your friends depends on your belief in your own goodness.”  I kept reading these words of Nouwen over and over.  I couldn’t think about anything else in this imperative other than “your belief in your own goodness.”  My interactions with others over the last few weeks have caused me to look into what exactly I believe about myself.  And it’s not good.

I don’t think I’m good enough.  I don’t have an exact definition of “good enough”, I just know I’m not it.  I’m not attractive enough, I’m not successful enough, I’m not a girl’s girl enough (i.e. have lots of girlfriends), I’m not bubbly and cute enough…in every area of my life, I feel like I don’t measure up to the standards and expectations of those around me.  This is why, when a busty girl with a tiny waist offers my boyfriend a shot at a wedding, I flip out and contemplate breaking things off because he must not really want to be with me.  This is why, when a friend of a friend is talking about how well their job is going, I shut down, keep quiet, and question why I am a part of this group in the first place.  I have nothing “good enough” to contribute to anyone.

I am unsure how to rid myself of these thoughts; I am unsure what I need to do, what steps I need to take, what books I need to read, the number of counseling sessions I need to attend, before I can truly feel okay about myself and my place amongst others and in this world.  And not a temporary okay.  So many of my blog posts about the inner greatness I am experiencing at that moment is temporary.  And it’s times like now, the times I’m feeling worthless and of no real value, that I question if I ever truly believed those good things about myself.

This can’t be normal.  Who feels this way about themselves?  Who thinks such terrible things?  Maybe on a whim when dealing with something unpleasant, but every single day?  Every moment of their day?  If someone were to tell me they thought they had no value, that his/her significant other didn’t really want to be with them, that family members didn’t think or feel positive emotions when thinking about them, I would have so many words of encouragement and advice and “of course you have value” prefaces to examples and memories and made-up scenarios.  But right now, in this moment, it’s me.  It’s my inner voice screaming through and all I want to do is shut her up.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

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