I've learned that self-hatred, like depression, is a black-hole that has no bottom, a downward spiral with no end. Loving yourself, on the other hand, is a bright upward spiral that also has no end, much like an infinitely rising sun or an endlessly blossoming flower.
Manuel Loigeret writes about going through imaginary walls and why we need to stop putting people on a pedestal. He uses many examples from his own life -- learning computer programming, learning English, moving to Canada -- to demonstrate why we need to go through the walls we perceive:
There was some fear, that’s for sure, but I don’t think this is the core of the problem. The real constraint was other people. Those who made it and told me it was extremely difficult and nearly impossible. The coders who made me believe that their code was cryptic. Those who told me I could never stand the cold winters of Canada. The teachers who told me I would never be good at speaking/writing in English. Those who told me yoga was only for girls. Those who told me you can only evolve in your career by working from 9 to 5, etc... All these people building imaginary walls to cover their (lack of) knowledge so they could stay in their fortified ivory towers.
When meeting someone whose life you admire, it's so easy to compare yourself to everything they've accomplished. It's so easy to make yourself feel insignificant and unpolished. But their life is an example. They're not our competition but rather bright stars illuminating the night sky, evidence of a journey, proof that anything is possible.
Moments of meeting are moments of opportunity, bridges through the chasm of time that connect our souls and give us a chance to learn and inspire, to enrich and enliven, to exchange maps and magic words and open our hearts and minds to new wonders and new possibilities.
We're all going to the same place, but we're all getting there a different way. There is no 'right way' to get there. So when you're meeting those you respect, remember to respect you.