Can you find where you compensate?
July 27, 2021
I used to want to separate myself from those who were "Educated." I did this because the message that reading, having degrees, or some other form of hobby that society deemed as valuable felt like an attack on me. My not having done well in school, and reading having been used as a punishment, didn't endear me to the educated class.
Because I held both stigma and shame about it, I hid my hatred of reading for a long time. Eventually, I faced it. In doing so I picked up the above mantra, "Reading is for Losers." I hope you can see that the pendulum swung way too far there.
Because I had shame about not fitting in, being smart, or not having done well in school, I stood by my not liking to read as a badge of honor. It became part of my identity, and it allowed me to look down on people. I thought those people were faceless as I didn't shun or purposely put down those around me. However, that inevitably did happen, unbeknownst to me. All of this was because I was not willing, or able, to look at what I believed about, and thought of, myself.
Today I understand I am smart and I still don't like reading so I am grateful for audiobooks. Who knows if audiobooks existed when I was a kid maybe I'd have done better in school. Not that I want to have done better.
I hope you can see where you are compensating in your life. When we hide behind an identity we feel forced to carry due to stigma, shame, or any number of other things, we are not loving ourselves. In fact, it is more accurate to say we are hating ourselves, at least some part of oursleves.
I love you,