The Problem of Self-loathing – March 24 2020

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If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…

Cheri Huber, There Is Nothing Wrong with You: 

Going Beyond Self-Hate

The mind thinks thoughts that we don’t plan. It’s not as if we say, ‘At 9:10 I’m going to be filled with self-hatred.’

Sharon Salzberg

In the West, self-loathing sometimes seems to be universal.

Psychologically, we could say much comes from our parents and guardians, for we learn by modeling the behavior of those closest to us, and we learn to survive by taking on the opinions and behaviors of those who are responsible for our survival; so if our parents were raised by parents who treated them poorly, and if they have not done the work to be free of their own self-hatred, then they will simply pass it along to us and we will take it on as our own. 

And now it’s up to us to change it.

Self-understanding and forgiveness of our parents can help, but understanding does not lead instantaneously to healing. Healing however is readily available in the realm of Spirit.

We are Spirit, individual expressions of consciousness who become embodied to work out those ‘issues’ that keep us from being our highest self. As Spirit we chose every single aspect of this life, including our parents and all of their foibles, in order to have exactly the challenges we needed this time around. We chose them not in spite of how poorly they might do it, but because of how poorly they might do it.

This perspective of multiple lives (and so much more) may seem impractical to those of us raised in the West, but the payoff to this way of seeing things can be profound. 

If we did not choose this life, then we are victims, at the mercy of whatever life throws at us and always just trying to keep our nose above water. This puts us in hell, or at the least, purgatory. Subjugated to something that does not have our best interests at heart, and without a clue as to how to change anything. 

But if we chose this life, then we are in the driver’s seat. We can stop looking at ourselves as victims and begin to know ourselves as consciousness itself, moving in the direction of wholeness.

Knowing that we have choice gives us freedom. By taking responsibility like this, we begin to be able to let others off the hook, let our parents off the hook. I chose you. You did exactly as I knew you would do. Thank you. 

If we chose this life, then we must have choice in this moment as well; and when the voices and feelings of self-loathing come up, we can begin to choose away from those voices and toward life.

We are not these thoughts of self-loathing. We are Spirit. Pure, unadulterated, at-one-with the whole of nature. At-one-with God. Worthy of only the highest form of love possible. And our job, daily, is to remember this and never to let ourselves be punished by these voices. We wouldn’t treat a child this way. And we can assume that a loving God would never treat a child this way, either. 

We are the children of God. It’s time for us to learn to love ourselves, and each other, the way we might imagine God would love us. 

Today I will become aware of the negative voices in my head, and I will see them as the voices of stress release, as simply the leftover stuff of my old, half-learned lessons. I will step away from these voices and find a way to speak to myself the way the most loving parent would treat a small child, the way a loving God would treat this child made by God, from the very stuff of God, in the image and likeness of God.

Island in St. Lawrence River, Thousand Islands, Ontario, Canada

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