I've been with men who only wanted me for one thing - now I feel insecure and down on myself. How can I heal myself from a lack of confidence and self worth?
The questioner's philosophy
We all want and need to feel loved and experience the security that comes from that, but our first love needs to be with our Higher Self - the God within. If we first focus on that relationship and find the love and security that comes from there, then all other relationships will find their rightful place. We need this relationship with our Higher Self. For us to be healthy and happy this must be our primary relationship. By nurturing the relationship with our Higher Self first we are laying the foundation for a happy fulfilled life.
The first step for you is to determine the values which you consider important and then set out to live up to those values. Adopting the right values will bring you closer to a relationship with your Higher Self. You have unconsciously adopted the values of many of your peers without maybe even being aware of the values by which you have chosen to live. You need to be a lot more conscious about determining your values and not simply accept what seems to be college convention on how a young woman can act.
You say you are from a Catholic background and that you would like to be more involved in your faith. I suggest you find a group at college who teach the Catholic faith as a personal relationship with the inner God and discover what they have to say about the values to live by. Ask them questions as to why they promulgate living by these values. See if their answers have the ring of truth for you. It may be fashionable at college to be what is considered "sexually liberated" but does this current trend match up to ancient teachings that have stood the test of time?
I also suggest you consider confession. I know this is out of fashion in the Catholic faith at the moment and the thoughts of going into a confession box may not appeal, but the principle is sound. Consider finding a mentor from the Catholic faith who you could open up to and share the mistakes you feel you have made and ask him/her to help you learn from these mistakes. Choose this person wisely - stay clear of judgmental people and seek out someone who you feel will understand you and support you in making the changes you desire. Sharing the mistakes you feel you have made and learning from them, will help you leave your unfortunate past experiences behind and help you move forward with your current boyfriend.
As you become familiar with Catholic values consider adopting the ones that have the ring of truth for you. Be open to the possibility of adopting values they may promulgate that you may not fully understand or appreciate. Be aware that adopting these values will set you apart from the mass of college students on campus and may mean that you lead your life differently from them. In this regard be prepared to stand out from the crowd rather than go with the crowd. Stand up for what you believe by being an example of the values you espouse. Doing this will bring a feeling of dignity and self worth back into your life.
I suggest you stay close to your adopted mentors - remember that the morass of unhelpful values present among your college friends can act as a powerful distraction from the path that is best for you.
By finding a college group that can support you in the adoption of timeless and universal values for right living, and by deciding to stand up for those values by making your life an example of the values you espouse, you will be able to enjoy your remaining time at college, your confidence sense of security and self worth will all return and you will have a greater chance of finding true love with your current boyfriend.
Further Help and Resources
To learn more about codependency I suggest you visit All About Counseling. This is a counseling website that describes codependency and helps you understand it.
If you want to learn how to nurture your relationship with your Higher Self and through that relationship find your sense of self worth and be protected from harm, I suggest you order my book, Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off.