I have battled with negativity and negative thoughts about myself for as long as I can remember. Once I had been sexually abused, for a long time, the negative voices were all I would listen to. It was difficult to hear any kind of complement without shooting it down with something negative or dismissing it in my head at least with something that I lacked. By the end of high school, some of the most outlandish and ridiculous beliefs about myself were as real and convincing as anything others had said to me.
As a sexual abuse survivor, it is hugely important that I watch how much self-criticism I form as my narrative. I want to achieve, I want to improve, and I want to normalize how I think about myself, but there is a fine line between that and going over the edge. It is very easy to emulate that my worth is found solely in the sexual gratification of others, specifically my perpetrator. I certainly have the evidence that tells me that I can at least do that, if nothing else.
I’ve also found that the more I perpetuate the negativity of my own self, the more I see negativity in my surroundings and the people around me. The negative voice becomes the most powerful thing in my life, taking over every aspect of what I do and what I think. It seems that the voice is no longer satisfied with bringing me down, but it also needs to cause the fall of others around me.
With everything in life, I need to find a careful balance between criticism and praise. I wish I could walk through the remainder of my life thinking that I do nothing wrong and that I’m the most perfect person in the world, but then I know I could never improve my life or the lives of those around me. Yet, I can’t let myself get stuck in the patterns of negativity that slowly dissolve my life into nothingness, bringing everything else with it. God is all about balance.