In an article titled Beat Depression and other things I haven’t done, Karl Fendelander discusses how he realized that he had applied the 10,000 hour rule to something he never set out to be the master of: self hatred. This 10,000 hours was a reference to Malcolm Gladwells book, Outliers. On Karls way to what he thought would be a great start to his career, he was an obsessed workaholic drinking throughout his seventeen hour work days.
The anxiety and depression, overwhelming, would turn him to a therapist that would prescribe him antidepressants. With the depression and anxiety came self loathing and suicidal thoughts, ideas that were not foreign to him and would find him trying to end his life as a young child. He would try and hide his pain but it was too much. A podcast called The Hilarious World of Depression opened his mind to seeing the depression he has been battling in a different way. He leaves us with this memorable quote, “I don’t know how many hours I have racked up fighting for my life, for my happiness, but I haven’t stopped. I will master this, too.”
There seems to be this remarkable timing to the way I find stories that relate to my current existence. This story I summarized above has me thinking about two concepts: Self Mastery and Self Hatred. In my journey to solve the first, I have been sharpening the second one at every point of failure. I’ve been hating myself and it wasn’t so clear to me until my partner asked me what I loved about myself yesterday. My lips went to speak but my chest locked up and my mind went blank. I couldn’t say anything and then, the tears started pouring down my face. I had realized that I couldn’t even believe my narrative of the person I had thought that I was building myself up to be. I asked my partner to help me and she started telling me all of the things she loved about me. The tears continued coming. She asked me to reaffirm each positive about me after she said it and I was able to glimpse at the feeling of self love I had ignored for too long. I’ve been a master of self hatred for many years and as Karl Fendelander so strongly put it, I will master this, too.
No matter your state of internal affairs, take some time today to recognize what you love about yourself. Write it down, recite it to yourself, look in the mirror. If you are having trouble doing this yourself, call a loved one and ask them to please remind you. Thank them when they do. Be soft and gentle with yourself today. Master your self love.