Yesterday I came to the conclusion that loving myself is the same as loving God... and faith in God is the same as faith in myself. And I can just keep practicing turning towards God to help me learn to love myself. I'm quite relieved to have figured that out!
What is still niggling me is how much faith in others I've lost. Some of that lost faith is specific to particular individuals, and some is with people in general.
I no longer have faith that others are to be trusted. I am just coming to realize how rare and special it is that I am so open and generous. When I see someone, even a stranger, who seems to be unhappy, I offer to help. I have always wanted to be kind to others whenever I can. And here is where that dreaded idealism kicks in... I never saw it as a choice, I just thought my kindness to others was how people treat each other. I've been shocked by how unkind some people can be, but I have just assumed there was something wrong with them.
I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that my belief that people are nice to each other whenever possible is really an expectation about the world. And that this expectation doesn't actually serve me well at all. I've quit jobs, ended relationships, even moved homes to escape the feelings of hurt and anger experienced from this unfulfilled expectation. Now that I read my words, my behaviour seems extreme, but in context, I saw people as withholding basic human decency in how they behaved towards me. In my perception of the world, that was outright nasty of them... and that nastiness sure seemed personal.
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