This deception of powerlessness is pervasive and consequential. It keeps people locked inside themselves. The rubber band of self-loathing pulls us back over and over again from taking the next right step toward our vision of life.
There is a healthy sort of self-loathing that keeps one from taking life too seriously. It maintains one’s humility. But it is ultimately less like loathing and more like honest assessment of our limitations. Loathing may start with this honesty.
It will start with mocking the over-confidence of someone who’s pride may have gone array (or may not have). We can start to be judgmental in this stage. Everyone else has a pride problem. Why can’t they just admit to their suffering?
Rest assured everyone suffers. Loathing longs for others to show their weakness. Not in a shared suffering sort of way, but in a proud “I know you are weak” sort of way. Loathing wants others to fail, to suffer, to miss out on things just like we do.
This sort of antagonistic loathing eventually turns on its owner. Once alone and quiet it begins its attack. What we thought was innocent sarcastic banter zeros in on us. “Who do we think we are? What have we got to show for ourselves.”
Effortlessly it begins to pick us apart. For in despairing at other’s lots we had left our own completely un-guarded. It begins to cease the little we had with the same ironic jokes. “Is this really all you have? And you were making fun of him?”
The little we had left is utterly dismissed. We are shown incapable of harvesting any of it anyway. We had not tended our garden. We had neglected ourselves in surveying the landscape constantly, searching for others to devour to amuse it.
Now it is not so amusing. Now it is rather relentless and cruel, a bully or worse yet an obsessive stalker, someone who is clearly after us. “What do you want?” We try to negotiate. “I want what you want,” it says back. “I want you.”
We feel sort of a deep despairing pull to oblige this spirit. It feels almost like it is not really an option. This thing will define us. This thing knows us. We can’t really do what it is we are hoping. We are not really free at all. Whoa!
This is an extremely dangerous place to get. It would actually quite accurately be what we think of as hell. It is hopelessness. The beginning of the end. But here is some really, really good news: you don’t have to go quietly into that not so good night.
You are actually free. Though any tyrant will use the same cheap line that we are not, we are! The human spirit comes from God’s Himself. As long as we have breath we have hope. No one can take that away from us, unless we let them.
Don’t let them. Fight the loathing monster away. Change your mind. Seriously! Change the way you are thinking. Ask for help. Call out. Kick and scream. Whatever it takes. Shake loose. The Tyrant will always be there. You don’t have to be!