Yesterday I traveled into the fictional yet all-too-real mind of a person who hated himself (me) in my post The Benefits of Hating Yourself. Today I want to explore the true and real-life consequences of living that way, and then have a discussion about how it might apply to all of us. I hope that’s okay.

But before I do, I’d like to thank you all for the discussion that happened after yesterday’s post. As a writer, it is terrifying to write something like that, let alone share it with the world. My hope was that it would stand on its own and I wouldn’t need to explain that it was a cumulative look at the unhealthy ways that people who dislike themselves look at both themselves and at others. It was my hope to shine a light on the many masks that are worn in each person’s attempt to overcome their greatest insecurities. It was my hope that sharing such a dark piece of how I have been in the past (and how I sometimes still find myself to be) would push others to lift their own masks for a moment and evaluate how much of the way they look at others is connected to the way they look at themselves.

You all made my day and bedded my worries because instead of judging me harshly  for those truths, you stood next to me and put your arm around me instead. Many of you shared that you saw yourselves in that post, either now or in the past. So, for what it’s worth… thank you. And with that, I give you the next installment of the series.

 

Love your neighbor as yourself? No thanks.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I’ve seen that quoted probably more than a hundred times in the comments following the I’m Christian, unless you’re gay post. It really does seem like such an affecting and beautiful directive at first glance.

I’ve heard it quoted my entire life. I’ve recited it my entire life. It comes from the bible. According to Christians, Jesus declared it the second greatest commandment, second only to loving God.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

But, come on.

Love your neighbor as yourself?

Ummm… no thank you.

I’m being unfacetiously sincere when I ask, could there ever be a more debilitating and more damaging mandate given to the human race?

I truthfully don’t think so. At least not in the world you and I currently live in.

Now, before you draw and quarter me for ostensible sacrilege, read what I have to say, really think about it, and tell me if you don’t agree with me by the end of what I’ve written today.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

It hasn’t worked out for me very well.

You see… I loved my first wife “as myself.”

I looked for fault in her. I looked for sneakiness and ambiguity in almost everything she did. I suspected her of insincerity and deceitfulness. I believed her intentions were most often malicious, far too direct, and purposefully hurtful.

And, without the slightest bit of uncertainty, I knew she had never really loved me, didn’t truly love me, and never would actually love me.

Because of that, I anticipated the worst from her. I expected to be hurt. I expected contention. I expected repugnance. I expected disdain.

I resented her. I disliked her. I begrudged her.

And, throughout our entire marriage, I reviled her more often than not. I wanted our marriage to end. I wanted out.

I loved my second wife “as myself,” as well.

I looked for incompatibility with her. I kept watch for inconsistency in what she did and in everything she said. I looked for any and all weakness and I was quick to help her see it whenever I could find it, which was far too often.

I kept vigilant watch for her to regret her marriage vows to me. I looked for her to mourn the loss of her life without me. I looked for her to become acrimonious about how quickly we met and how quickly our relationship intensified. I sat with baited-breath, waiting for her to admit that I was nothing more than an unhealthy ricochet of a relationship for her and for myself.

And, without the slightest bit of uncertainty, I knew she had never really loved me, didn’t truly love me, and never would actually love me.

Because of that, I anticipated the worst from her. I expected to be hurt. I expected contention. I expected repugnance. I expected disdain.

I resented her. I disliked her. I begrudged her.

And, throughout our entire marriage, I disliked her more often than not. I wanted our marriage to end. I wanted out.

That first marriage eventually ended.

So did the second.

And get this… throughout both marriages, I thought I was a powerful beacon of a human being. I actually believed that I was an incredible person. I just knew that I was so much better than just about every person that surrounded me. I was the guy who was loving and kind to his wife. I was the guy who brought her flowers and constantly and publicly declared my love and admiration for her. I was the guy who had it all together. I was the rock.

My first marriage ending wasn’t my fault.

It couldn’t be.

My second marriage ending definitely wasn’t my fault.

In fact, I was so convinced of it, I’d look God himself in the eyes and tell him so. That’s how blind I was to my own buried, secret, self-loathing behaviors.

And while the demise of my marriages weren’t my fault, nothing else was seemingly my fault either.

Sigh.

Continued on next page.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he’s most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It’s an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!