When I was small, and my parents would fight, I would shrink, go to a different room, try to hide and make my presence as tiny and unnoticeable as possible. I’d feel very sad, too.
When I grew older, I failed at different things. I decided for a while, that I was undeserving of love, even from myself. Recently I saw a video in which Om Swami explains how each time we think of ourselves as worthless, our life behaves in much the same way as that scared child whose parents are fighting. 

Somewhere down the line, I convinced myself it’s necessary to have anger, fear, and other such emotions. I thought, not having them would impede my ability to survive.
I saw a video of a seal, trapped in a fish net (net for fishes, not the other kind of fishnet, heh heh). The net was sharp, it had cut deeply into the body of the poor animal. A group of people captured the seal, cut the net off and freed it. When the seal was captured, it struggled greatly to free itself. It probably thought it was in mortal peril, caught by a predator. It must have felt fear and hopelessness, watching its fellow seals waddle off into the ocean right before its eyes. The seal by itself would have been unable to free itself of the net. Before it was caught, it wasn’t actively struggling against the net- it must have accepted it as an inevitable part of its life. Once the net was cut, the seal waddled off into the ocean to join its friends.

Sometimes I feel like that seal. I struggle with self love. I struggle with my idea of a net.
I’m ignorant enough to not always be aware of the presence of that net, unless I try to move against it and it cuts into me.
However, I know of other humans who managed to cut their own nets. I know of those who, having cut their own nets, proceeded to aid others. 
I wonder if I’ll ever be free of it. 

Image: “The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil” originally painted by Claude Monet