Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Cure for Rejection
Something that has been bothering me lately, is the NEED of men like me to feel loved, wanted... to feel beautiful. I've been trying to figure out why we are so obsessed with "hotness". It's seams shallow, and yet it's almost sad, this eager desire to be desired.
I think it's because, more than most people, we understand and fear rejection. First, our society has been rejecting us for several centuries at least. The religions of our families and friends often place us in the lowest regions of hell. Coming out, we often fear (and rightly so) that our friends will abandon us. We lose in a very real sense the possibility of a "normal" nuclear family with a mommy and a daddy. Complicate that with strain on family ties, sometimes to the breaking point. And those are just the obvious things.
What about the years of denying a core part of yourself? Of feeling at a very young age that their is something wrong with you, and nothing you can do can fix it? Of reviling and denigrating and even loathing yourself? Is it any wonder we are prone to depression, under such self-imposed hatred? Self-rejection can be just as harmful as societal rejection, I think.
Or how about the inescapable fact that most of the people you want to flirt with will never be able to find you attractive? But you can't. Think how wearing that is, to regularly get over people who weren't even capable of falling in love with you. If you're a straight person who fell in love with a gay person, you know what I'm talking about.
So, we know rejection, and that's why we're so adamant about acceptance. We feel awful and shallow for wanting beauty in ourselves and others, because we've never felt admired or handsome.
I've had so many friends express this to me. I've felt it myself. I wish I knew what to say to make that awful feeling of shallowness, of unworthiness and ugliness go away for you.
I feel bad when I say I'm not attracted to you, because I see you accepting it. You "know" you're ugly. Well, guess what, I know I'm ugly, too. On a 10 point scale, I give myself a solid 6, maybe a 7 on my good days. that might sound pretty good, until you realize most young adults are around a 7 anyways. That's not the point. I can still have confidence in my appearance, attractiveness, etc. I don't need to rely on other people to make me beautiful, because I know I am beautiful. Not because I measure up to some ideal of beauty, or because I'm constantly being hit on. You straight guys being hit on by gay guys, take it as a compliment. I wish I got hit on, even if it was by girls. It's flattering.
All growing up, their was one particular teaching of the Gospel that I hated. I didn't like it, and still have trouble with it sometimes. It's this idea that in order to love others, you have to love yourself. See, growing up, I didn't love myself, I hated myself. I still loved others, immensely. In fact, part of the reason I stayed in the closet for so long, long after coming to believe their was no way for me to change or be happy... a big part of the reason was because I didn't want to hurt my family. In fact, that's probably one of the things I most regret about this experience. They're not being fair to me, because, really, I have done nothing to them, but still it hurts that I might in some way cause them pain.
Anyways, loving yourself to love others. This is true, but not in the ways you think it is. It's not that people who hate themselves are incapable of love. But when you hate yourself, when you are so focused inward on what you do wrong, you have very little time to look outward, to help others with what they need. Without feeling whole yourself, how can you reach out to help others?
I'm not saying that people who are hurting should try to fix themselves first, so that they can love others. In fact, I'm trying to say the opposite. In fact, let me put it in big, bold letters.
LET YOURSELF LOVE OTHERS.
Not shallow, I will love you because of what you give me, love. No, I'm suggesting that you go ahead and love everyone around you as fully and completely as you can. If that means you fall in love with straight people, go ahead. That doesn't mean you should shower them with gifts of romantic affection. It means you do everything you can to make them happy. Obviously they won't be happy with you, so find what else makes them happy. Don't get creepy on them, lol, but allow yourself to express those feelings, more than just longing furtive glances. Love your opposite-gender friends as no other straight people can, because they let romance color their feelings.
When you allow yourself to love others, when you realize that the kind of love that takes you outside yourself is good, and right, no matter who it's directed at...
When you allow yourself to love others, you will love yourself, and that will allow you to love others even More, and then you can love and forgive yourself even More, and then realize that God loves you, no matter what anyone else says, and then love others More.
It becomes a positive feedback cycle. A much better cycle than the other kind where you hate yourself because you love the wrong people so you don't let yourself love them which makes you hurt so you hate yourself more... see what I mean?
So, let yourself love others, please. God loves you, even if you don't love yourself, even if you don't think you are worthy of love.
I love you, too. Be safe.