Skill and Lack in Loving

I’m good at a lot of things. I suppose that for order to be maintained that means I have to be bad at a lot of things too. Well I kind of am.

One of the things that I’m worst at is self-confidence. I’ve done a lot of work on this, and the fact of the matter is that I talk a really good game, but it’s just not real. I’m not self-confident. Not about anything. I am constantly trying to convince myself to be. I keep thinking that if I play the part it will eventually stick. The act does stick pretty well, but the emotion has never really caught on.

I don’t remember this most of the time. The vast majority of the time I’m pretty convinced of my own confidence and stability. But then some asshole has to go and compliment me on something. And I just don’t know what to do. At all.

I’m even worse at compliments than I am at self-confidence. I don’t know how to accept them gracefully, how to trust them, or how to act towards a person who has just given me one. I do my best. I try to be honest and grateful. “Thank you, that’ means a lot.” I try to be sincere and also give credit where it is due. “I can’t really take credit for that, but thank you.” I try to defer. “You’re very kind.”

But I just suck at it all. I don’t know how it looks to other people. Maybe it looks totally natural. But it doesn’t feel natural. It feels uncomfortable, awkward, and as though the follow-spot is right on me and I didn’t think to learn the lines.

People have called me out in the past for not being humble enough. I don’t even know what to do with that. I think they’re picking up on the fact that my humility is fake and misreading it as pride. It’s not really pride. My humility is fake because I honestly don’t believe or recognize that I have anything to be proud of.

That’s not entirely true. I am a proud person. I am proud of things that I’ve done and things I’ve made. But I’m proud of the things, not of myself. No matter what it is I’ve done I can be happy with it and proud of it, but that is about the product not the act. Does that make any sense at all?

I’m proud of what I’m writing here. I like the words. I like that they’re vulnerable. I like that I’m not struggling with them. I know I should feel some sort of pride that I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable but I kinda don’t. I feel vulnerable, and a little weak. I feel sad. I feel proud of my words, but not of me.

So what should humility look like for me? Should I defer that it was nothing? The words of the divine spark aren’t nothing. They are beautiful and special. I loved them and I was full of joy and pride when they came out of me. But I don’t take credit for them as much as I might like to. What does it look like to be humble when you have trouble believing in your own worth?

I’m not sure. I might never figure it out. I’m trying. Every day I’m trying.

I know all that was probably kind of hard to read and a little painful. I’m happy you made it down here. It’s not as bad as it probably sounds. Not as sad. My life isn’t supposed to be easy. I told one of my teachers once that part of my path is to suffer profoundly so that I can offer my hand to those who suffer and help them along roads I already know. I’m not sure that I would have chosen this particular form of trial but I have mostly come to terms with it.

I often wonder how to explain this, but the words seem to be present now. There is a big big difference between knowing and feeling. I know that I am beautiful, gifted, talented, special, and loved. But I don’t often feel those things. A big part of my life is learning to feel them. Some days are worse, many are better. The better days don’t outnumber the worse ones yet, but they outshine them. The bad days blur together. They’re a haze. The good days are exceptional. They shine tall and brilliant.

And I am learning not to passively accept the bad days. I have forgiven myself for not feeling loved. I forgive myself for not feeling all the things I know to be true. And when I can’t feel them I reach for them. I push against the walls inside myself and I struggle to reach past them to feel love. Some days I can see it just out of reach. Other days it is nowhere to be found. And some days I grasp it and pull it to myself and throw it about me like a blanket and try to drink it in and feel it in the deepest parts of my self.

Have I said too much? I don’t have anything else right now. Just stillness.

  • aunt darby

    Very brave. It is very brave to be honest. The cover up way the other way is cowardly. And may I suggest when you feel the most unloved. Look around and show someone else some love. And I for one love you very much.