“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one's self.” - Phillip James Bailey
I have been thieving myself for some time now.
I’ve stolen directly, from my personal account, the things I need to progress in life, to make my life all it might possibly be. I’ve been doing this for years. If it were an illegal act to sabotage one’s efforts at every turn, then I would be in prison for life.
In reality, I have been imprisoned – by myself, no less. I’ve been locked away from the world with my own master key and done my utmost best to remain in isolation, even, to the point, of actually being institutionalized. When it comes to harmful and heartbreaking acts, as an adult, I have done most all of them to myself.
That’s not to say that my crime hasn’t affected other people. In fact, I’ve only recently fully realized the impact this has had on those who love me or have cared for me, and even acquaintances that I interact with in the workplace or at school have not gone untouched by my self-inflicting hand. In denying myself participation, I’ve denied them the chance to know me, to be part of my life, and for me to be a part of theirs.
In not allowing myself to participate in life to the fullest, in feeling that I am unworthy of accomplishing my goals and following through with activities that bring me a sense of achievement and happiness, I’ve committed one of the worst acts that I possibly could.
I’ve lost so much time in wasteful self-loathing, in denying myself the opportunities that have come my way. Even during times of great distress, I would not accept the hands of friendship or help extended to me, or, I would simply let go when it seemed too hard to hold on – to anyone or anything. Often, I would give up without the bother of putting forth the effort that I know is within me to succeed. This underlying feeling of being undeserving has not only denied me a fuller life, but has hurt those who have stood by me time and time again, only for all of us to fall back in continual disappointment.
A most recent example would relate to school. Here I am in my final credit course toward attaining my high school diploma, (which is something that I have desperately wanted for at least ten years) and if I do manage to earn the credit, it will be just barely, with a mark that will be far below my potential. It’s as though my inner thief knows that I am so very close to accomplishing something important to me and wants to steal away this opportunity to succeed.
Although it seems I have separated myself from my crimes, I am now learning that I’m the only one who can take responsibility for my criminal ways. I am worthy of accomplishments and the only one to account for my own personal success and failures.