"I hate myself."

One of the highlights from the Influence Conference for me was getting to hear Sammy Rhodes speak. I often joke with Alex that Sammy is my spirit animal. I just feel like I get him. I can relate to so much of what he says and writes. It's like he's the male version of me...except he's way way funnier than I could ever hope to be. 

I've really appreciated Sammy's writing (and tweets of course!) and it's helped me to realize some things about myself that I didn't quite understand before. So when I saw he would be one of the speakers at the conference I knew I had to sit front and center to take it all in. 

His whole talk was so beneficial to me and everyone in that room. He mostly talked about approval, vulnerability, online vs offline relationships, and the like. As he was talking about his story he uttered these words, "I hate myself." That was the reason he was seeking approval from others. And I realized...I hate myself too. 

I mean, I knew I hated myself, but I never wanted to say it out loud. I knew it was wrong to hate myself. I preach a lot about self-love and acceptance. I'm constantly encouraging others to embrace who they are just as God made them. We're all unique and beautiful...and I believe that. 

But still, I hate myself. 

There's so much about myself that I wish I could change. I struggle with my personality, my talents (or lack of talents), my mannerisms, my idiosyncrasies, my hair. Everything. 

I bet it makes God sad that I hate myself. After all, He made me. He. Made. Me. All of me. He saw fit to give me my introverted personality, my love for reading, my lack of enthusiasm for sports, the freckle on the tip of my nose. Instead of praying for God to change these things about me I need to ask Him how I can use my personality, gifts, skills for His glory. I can't be different. I can only be me. But how can I be my best me? That's what I need to focus on - being the best version of myself I can be in order to honor God with my whole life.