The problem of self-hate has been the focus of my first three posts about recovering from this painful feeling. (You can find links to these posts at the end of this blog post.)
In my last post, I also began to examine how we recover from self-hate: by returning to Love, which allows us to connect with our Wise Self. As we work on returning to Love, we inevitably realize that we need to deal with our Wounded Self that develops from our patterns of self-hate.
Step #4: I realized I could allow Love to heal all that is dark, diseased, and wounded in me.
The dark, diseased, and wounded part of us is our Wounded Self. Everyone has this part. It develops when we feel cut off from or forget about Love and our Wise Self.
It is important to realize that many of our problems stem from an inability to feel love, to believe we are lovable, or to love ourselves.
This claim may seem very odd because we are surrounded by people in the world who seem to love themselves far too much, which leads to narcissism, ego-centrism, selfishness, and greed. These problems cause a great deal of suffering in the world. Because of this, we are sometimes afraid of loving ourselves.
It is important to realize that narcissism, ego-centrism, selfishness, etc. are not forms of true self-love. They are actually forms of self-hate. When we are selfish and narcissistic, we are acting from a place of insecurity and lack—we have to keep hogging all of the attention, recognition, and good things for ourselves in order to convince ourselves and other people that we are good enough.
When we are cut off from our Wise Self and Love or we forget about it, we feel confused, dark, worthless, unworthy of love, alone, hopeless. This is what leads to almost all of our problems.
For instance, when we are cut off from our Wise Self and its nourishing love, we feel empty, and we often develop all sorts of addictions or other harmful habits in an attempt to fill the emptiness inside and to find some sort of joy or meaning.
When we are cut off from our Wise Self, we feel gross and worthless, and we may also end up acting cruelly to others in an attempt to make ourselves feel less awful or to take our attention off of how much we hate ourselves. Or as another example, we may feel so gross and worthless that we engage in self-harming behaviors or extreme self-loathing.
When we are cut off from our Wise Self, we feel like we will never be good enough or worthy of love and that we must do more, more, more to prove we are worthy.
Most of us come face to face with our Wounded Self at some point or another. If we forget our Wise Self, we may mistake our Wounded Self for our true self. This can make us feel like we are permanently broken or hopeless or a disaster.
But we are never permanently broken or hopeless or a disaster. When we feel this way, it is important to remember that our Wounded Self is not our true self but is rather our self that emerges when we forget or get cut off from our Wise Self.
Realizing this can be extremely helpful, much like it can be helpful to realize that when we get sick, our physical sickness is not the permanent state of our body but rather a phase we are going through because our natural state of health has become disrupted and imbalanced.
When we get physically ill, we know we can return to our natural state of health by rest, nourishment, and medicine. In the same way, when we encounter our Wounded Self, it is important to remember that we can re-connect with our Wise Self through a type of spiritual rest, nourishment, and medicine. Spiritual in this context just refers to practices that nourish the love, wisdom, creativity, and compassion inside of us.
You can also keep reading further in this series:
Connecting With Love Through Trust and Surrender: Step Five—Seven Steps to Love
Or, you can start reading from the beginning of the series here:
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 If you are a Christian or otherwise religious, you might think of this Love as a shining ray of God’s light, which is what you are. If you are not religious, you can think of this Love as a ray of light of the highest human potential—our potential for goodness, wisdom, compassion, joy, and creativity.