A Lifestyle Lesson for Self-Love
Everyone I know and have worked with wrestles with some form of self-hate.
My thighs are too wide.
I could never do that.
My mind is too slow.
Whatever the story, the script always has the same underlying message: I am not enough.
Not skinny enough.
Not talented enough.
Not savvy enough.
It’s a barrage of abuse running wild in our minds and too often we mistake it as our own.
But that’s not how the mind truly works. The human mind is made up of several layers, all assigned to one task: teaching us self-love. Our sacred mind blesses us with Divine energy, our seeing mind shows us the infinite possibilities of our lives, and our synchronic mind reveals the generosity unfolding right now.
These higher layers of the mind go relatively undisturbed. They are highly ethereal and high-vibing, and as long as we practice meditation to be here and now, we can usually access their wisdom quite well.
But there are two other dimensions of mind that can get quite noisy. One is the level of mind preoccupied with our never-ending sensations, sorting through the hunger in our stomach, the sound moving through our ears, and the constant perceptions we create. This one is easily disturbed by physical discomfort, which as we all know, is a part of the deal of being in a physical body.
But the part of the mind I’m most interested in lately is not focused on your soul, your beautiful future, the generous now, or the sensations in your body. This is what I’m currently calling the social mind – the part of being human that includes all the thoughts of everyone on the planet everywhere. It’s the ethereal counterpart to what people say. And here is where all the programming goes wrong.
Whenever you listen to a song about juicy lips, skinny jeans, and glowing skin, your social mind picks up on those cues about what’s normal, acceptable, and good in society. When you see a photo of a wealthy white person on the cover of a magazine, the same happens there. When you watch movies that tell one-sided stories about history and leave out the trials and torture against the BIPOC community, your experiences of oppression and microaggressions may come with some doubt.
The stories in this level of the mind tell us how to survive this earthly chaos by showing and telling us what is good and right. And if you don’t match up, this part of your mind doesn’t really care. It’ll fill up with self-sabotaging scripts that tell you something is wrong with you.
Right now, too many of us believe these scripts are coming from our own mind – that they come from us, rather than the world around us. We identify with them, believe them, and then when we go to our therapist, we say “I’m struggling with self-criticism and self-hate.”
But the thing is, humans aren’t set up like that. Self-hate is faulty programming. It’s the accumulation of crud in our mind that needs nothing more than to get the hell out. It doesn’t need to be processed. It doesn’t need to be believed. And the best possible thing you can do with all that crap is just stop listening as much as you can.
If you – like most of us – struggle with self-criticizing stories in your mind, here are three steps that can help.
SEE: Listen to the thoughts in your mind with a certain level of discernment.
Sometimes thoughts run wild in our minds so quickly that we don’t even notice we’re having them. Personally, one of the scripts that took me a long time to hear properly was one that said I was always in trouble. Whenever I did what I wanted, I expected to be punished.
For years, I just took this messaging for granted, not questioning the validity or truth of it. I assumed that because what I wanted was to do less work and have more fun, of course it meant I was going to be in trouble if I got caught. Clearly I was breaking the rules.
It took me a long time to recognize that this programming wasn’t to my advantage, but it WAS to the advantage of a capitalistic, white supremacist patriarchy who benefited from my believe that my own desires were wrong. But once I separated from the “trouble making” script, I could do something about it.
STOP: As much as possible, simply stop believing the thought.
Once we see a thought as separate from ourselves, it’s easier to disconnect from it and stop believing that it’s worth your time and attention. It sounds simple and straightforward, and that’s because it is. When the thought arises – you’re not skinny enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not capable enough, etc. – just call it out as the delusion it is.
Whenever I “hear” the thought, you’re going to get in trouble for that. My response is Lies!
START: Examine the origin of the thought and go from there.
It’s helpful to have someone support you through this step if you can. A life coach – like me – or a counselor, therapist, or trusted friend are all good people to turn to.
In this step, you need to examine three things:
1. Where did this thought originate?
2. Who benefits from me believing and acting on this thought?
3. What does this thought cost me?
When you understand where the thought originated, you can better understand when your programming began. When you understand when your programming began, you can better understand who in the social mind wants you to continue to believe it. Finally, when you examine the cost to yourself to the benefits of someone else, you can get to work on deciding what the hell you’re going to do about it.
For example, the “troublemaking” script in my mind serves others by motivating me to do work that benefits them, even if it’s no fun for me. I learned this a long time ago when my mermaid, fairy, elf self couldn’t find friends to play with in the wild and had to learn to conform to their requests to play inside. Everyone else got a playmate, while I slowly lost my love for myself just the way I was – wild, reckless, and free.
As an adult, this script still benefits employers, banks, and other institutions who want me to keep grinding away at my life instead of taking a serious look at what would make me happy, healthy, wealthy, and free.
Whatever your script, you can absolutely transcend it. First, stop believing it, and then eventually you can rewrite the whole book altogether.
MAGIC MANTRA: I only believe self-love.
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