It’s hard for gay guys to accept the fact that they’re beautiful, especially when much of our perception on people lies on the physical. The sad result is unconscious self-judgment. My body isn’t good enough, my talent is good enough, my job isn’t good enough, my personality isn’t good enough, ultimately leading to the worst of them all: I’m not good enough.
The more we judge our self-worth on how many likes we have on Facebook or how many compliments we get a day, the more dependent we will become on other people’s approval – rather than our own. It has to come from us first. Once we can fathom the idea that, indeed, we are beautiful and we do deserve happiness, it’s like laying out a welcome mat for beauty to enter our lives. Trust me, I know from experience.
During my early-20s there wasn’t a day that went by I didn’t say something bad about myself. If it wasn’t my tummy, it was my receding hair line. If it wasn’t my talent, it was my personality. No matter how many times people relentlessly told me different, I refused to see anything but what was in my head. And then, an unexpected consequence happened. After a while, the compliments stopped.
I realized that every time a friend would give me a compliment, not only was it un-welcomed, it was fought with. I’d literally argue with them: “Oh shut up. You don’t have to lie to make me feel better, I know I’m fat (or whichever it was).” Like any sane person would do, they stopped the argument altogether. Why give a compliment when it’s only going to be fought against? It was then I understood. I was making them feel bad for saying something good about me. I hated myself that much.
It started off small at first, i.e. waking up in the morning and saying to myself “I am beautiful. I am funny. I’m going to have a fabulous day.” Over time, I found myself coming to grips with who I was and my place in the world that I no longer looked for compliments or validation. Then one Saturday morning, it happened.
I was cleaning my kitchen, whistling a Joni Mitchell song like I always do of course, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. There, staring back at me wasn’t the face I had relentlessly abused for so many years, but it was the face my friends had seen. The face the world sees. The face everyone had continuously tried to tell me was there. It was the real me.
From there on out, I understood the power of our imagination. We think we’re not good enough, and sooner or later our mind plays tricks on us. We see only what we want to see. Refusing to see the truth, we force ourselves to wear a mask – built, nailed, and painted by our insecurities. Insecurities “we think” our defined by the world, but really it’s created by an assumption on how the world thinks of us.
For anyone who is still desperately trying to find their beauty, ask not what the world thinks of you, ask what you think of it. Stop focusing on what the hot guy on the corner thinks of you, instead, focus on what you think of him. Don’t worry about what your friends “might be” saying behind your back, worry about what you’re saying behind theirs. When you let your whole perception of the world start from the inside-out you’ll discover, through it all, you’ve always been in charge of your destiny.
No one can break you down without your permission.