Why do I feel so bad about myself?

    Many of us reach a point where we feel no one could really love us if they knew the “real” us. We may feel that we don’t deserve help from anyone and that we don’t qualify for God’s mercy. We are too flawed, too sick, and too far gone. In this video, others talk about dealing with these same issues. Their message: we are not alone, and it is possible to change the way we see ourselves.

    We are all worthy of love and belonging

    When we sin we lessen the influence of the Spirit in our lives. This opens the door for feelings of shame and for Satan to have greater influence over us. He wants us to believe making mistakes makes us bad people and therefore we don’t deserve love. However, our Heavenly Father wants us to know the truth: we are all worthy of love and belonging, no matter what we have done or where we have been. We can look forward to being freed through Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

    How do we replace shame with hope?

    It can be easy to get caught up in a cycle of using pornography and shaming ourselves. However, we’re never beyond the help of Christ and His Atonement. Making mistakes does not mean that we are bad people. By remembering that we are children of God, we can interrupt the cycle of shame and find hope. Christ’s invitation to come unto Him with our burdens and follow Him never expires.

    Consider approaching Heavenly Father in prayer and asking, “What can I do next to find healing?”

    Ideas for Taking Action

    Here are some ideas that others have found helpful. Prayerfully consider what actions might be best for you, taking into account that they may or may not be listed here.

    • Seek to learn about God’s unconditional love and acceptance through the scriptures, general conference talks, Church media, your patriarchal blessing, and other helpful sources.

    • Consider seeking priesthood blessings as you are guided by the Spirit and if you desire to do so.

    • How have others reconciled God’s love with His expectations for us? Consider talking to a trusted loved one or leader about how to access God’s love or searching the scriptures for examples of individuals who learned to align their behavior with God’s will.

    • Seek to understand unconditional love by evaluating how past relationships have shaped you. How might negative life experiences (abuse, physical or emotional neglect, divorce, and so on) confuse your understanding of unconditional love? It may help to talk to family members, read self-help books, or visit with mental health professionals.

    • Physical conditions (depression, anxiety, diabetes, thyroid problems, and so on) may impair our capacity to feel and comprehend God’s unconditional love. It may help to review your family history for these issues or consult with the appropriate medical professionals.