Self-love and acceptance. I deeply struggle with these. And I doubt I’m the only one.
I wrote something in my journal recently while falling asleep. And when I awoke the next morning, I felt that weeks worth of stress had melted off of me.
Here’s what I wrote:
Why deny it?
Deep down, I’m just a little kid who wants to play video games, read fantasy novels, and watch anime.
That’s who I am.
I (also) have a dream. I imagine a world where anyone can pick up their chosen tool- whether a pen, a paintbrush, a microphone, a keyboard, or whatever- and go wherever they want, be whoever they want, create whatever they want, and contribute to the world however they want.
That’s how I feel whenever I pick up a (video game) controller. I feel like the master of my own fate. I want that feeling to be true in real life as well.
In my job doing marketing and fundraising for a human services nonprofit, I learn a lot about addiction recovery.
Just earlier on the same day I wrote the above journal entry, we talked about how desire acted out in harmful ways leads to addiction. And ultimately, our harmful path leads to self-punishment.
It’s the same whether we’re talking about an alcohol addiction, a video game compulsion, or a tendency to procrastinate.
We have a desire, but for whatever reason we pursue that desire in harmful ways. Eventually, down a long road, we continue to give into the harmful behavior while beating ourselves up for it. A catch-22 of stagnancy and suffering.
The cure is love.
Like so many other situations of brokenness, we must learn to love. In this case, we must learn to love ourselves. We must learn to love the person we were, the person we are, and the person we will be.
We must begin to accept our desires. Accept them, and not judge. What we do with our desires is what matters. We are only responsible for our response to the world as it is given to us. For myself, I feel that many of my desires aren’t something I can change. At least not easily and quickly.
I know that’s why I woke up feeling healthier, happier, and stronger than the last several days. Because I simply accepted myself. And that acceptance lead to love and forgiveness.
Why deny who I am? Why spend emotional energy hating my past self? Instead, I can choose how I act now and in the future. My life has brought me to this place and given me dozens of potential paths.
So, I choose the path of love. I choose the path of acceptance. I choose the path of honestly and openness. I choose the path growth. I choose to contribute to and impact the world.