You’ve probably heard somewhere, and your common sense says, that hatred is not the way to peace and joy. Still, we maintain layer upon layer of self-hate, obscuring that path.
What do I mean by “self-hate”?
Self-hate is guilt, regret, shame, jealousy. Self-hate is abusive thoughts and abuse of your body. Self-hate is not being able to give or receive compliments. Self-hate is being addicted to food, exercise, toxic people, drugs. Self-hate is knowing something or someone is hurtful to you, yet you keep going back for more. Self-hate is trying to be someone you’re not.
Sound familiar? So why do we do this to ourselves?
Because everyone does it? Pretty much. From birth, we’re conditioned to survive through discipline. We hear some form of “Don’t do that!”; “Why would you say that?”; “Put that down!”; “You should know better”; “What were you thinking?”; etc. etc. etc.
Yesterday, my spiritually-in-tune, loving mother said, “You didn’t say that, did you?” (Mom, I forgive you.) Parents do this because it was done to them. This is called “child-rearing.”
At some point, however, we conclude there is something wrong with us. There must be, right? Otherwise, why would people say those things to us… WRONG!!!
With this false belief under our belts, we take it one step further…
We think that we must continue punishing ourselves this way to survive.
In There is Nothing Wrong With You, Cheri Huber describes the thought process:
Student: If I don’t do my work, and don’t make money, then I won’t be able to pay for my house, and I won’t have any food. And if I follow that along far enough, I realize that I believe those things on [my] list are designed to keep me alive. And, if I don’t do them the ultimate consequence is death.
Guide: And that’s what happens, isn’t it? Do this task or die. (laughter) Even if its get a haircut today…
So if we don’t threaten ourselves with punishment and failure, what would drive us to succeed? What would motivate us to keep going? We even chastise ourselves for not being these ultimate spiritual beings–we should be by now, right?
What is so wrong with this form of self-discipline–this feeling of control?
These layers of self-hate are keeping us from our intrinsic, inherent enlightenment. Self-hate is keeping us from learning and loving our true selves. The self-hate isn’t you. You’re beneath the self-hate.
How can you choose self-love instead of self-hate?
First of all, there is nothing wrong with you, so there is no secret that will fix you.
When we stop trying to change into someone else, when we respect our feelings, desires, hopes, and dreams, when we stop thinking of ourselves as separate from one another, when we have compassion for our hateful conditioning, then we can discover who we really are. In other words…
ACCEPT YOURSELF… as you are…right now.
This is pretty challenging. In acceptance, there isn’t anything “to do” except be who you are and love it.
“This is a lifelong process. If you decide to learn to care for yourself, to live your life in compassion, you will be required to practice that until you die.
An internal relationship must be worked on and maintained just like an external relationship.
And that’s good news! When you fall in love with someone, you don’t say, ‘Oh, no, how long am going to have to love this person?’ When we’re in love, we love to love that person, and we hope it will last forever.” -Cheri Huber