Martin Luther King, Jr. was referring to opposing forces when he said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” This is one of my all time favorite quotes. I hold a deep belief that light is always bigger than dark; forgiveness takes far more courage than anger; and that while the path can feel slower and harder, love always wins over fear and hate. These values hold strong and true when I think of the discourse of the world. But, today for the first time I read this quote and thought about how I could apply it to myself. I immediately stopped in my tracks.
For years my self-hatred was so deep, and the burden of that hatred was so heavy. On the outside I tried to appear like everything was OK. I led with my ego, and fed it constantly to cover the amount I didn’t like myself. If I had the right look, the right job, the right friends, the right boyfriend – then I would love myself. By all outside appearances, I had quite the high self-esteem and sense of worth. On the inside, I beat myself up over the smallest of things. I lived in constant anxiety and fear that someone would see the façade to the truth. I believed the truth was that I was unworthy of love.