Hello and welcome back!
If you have not done so already, please go and read Part One in this series 🙂
Last week we explored some fundamental ‘learning’ principles that will lead us into this exploration of why the Self Love Path is NOT a REJECTION of the Self Improvement path, but is rather an EXPANSION UPON the Self Improvement path.
Knowing that all information is seeded in truth, and realizing that in order to be learning and growing (ie. to be in a state of progressively getting more and more life generating) all we need to be doing is evolving and expanding the truths we have.
Meaning on the Self Love path, we take from the Self Improvement path what was helping us to create more order, and we continue to evolve those things so as to allow them to create even MORE order and complexity in our lives. Second, we take what was still in chaos on the Self Improvement path, and we evolve that into order.
Self Improvement Becoming Self Love
You may have heard me say in the past that the Self Improvement Path never BECOMES the Self Love Path - that they are two different paths that never intersect. This is still true so long as we cling to the dictates of the Self Improvement Path.
Meaning if we never allow The Self Improvement path to be evolved, if we never question what isn’t working so as to bring it into higher order, it must then descend into chaos.
It must start to DEVOLVE if it is not going to be EVOLVED.
If we take what was learned on the Self Improvement Path and expand upon it, we are then moving from the duality (‘this’ is different from ‘that’ and one must be rejected) and the black and white thinking (this is ‘good’ and this is ‘bad’) inherent in the Self Improvement Path into the unification of the Self Love Path and thus we are evolving.
Remembering too that when we say that something is moving us into greater levels of complexity and order, what we really mean is that we are moving our lives in a direction of more joy and creative expression. The more chaotic we are, the more work it takes to simply maintain day to day life. The more chaos the more we are preoccupied with things that seem to get ‘reset’ every day - we are essentially caught up in the ‘busy work’ of maintaining our lives rather than seeing our lives truly grow, expand and flourish. The word ‘order’ can have some negative connotations - the idea of being controlled or minimized in some way - and this is the exact opposite of what is meant by the use here. Remember, the more we understand the inherent order and structure of reality, the more creative capacity we have within it. The more we understand how something works, the more we can create variation. The less we understand, the more we are boxed into the experience we are already having. This moving into higher order is about diminishing the distracting and energy consuming chaos that drives most people's lives so that there is more room for creativity, expansion and expression.
So order = creative capacity. Order = less life maintenance, more new and interesting experiences. Order = understanding how things work, so life becomes less of a struggle, more things can be set in their place and thus there is more energy left over for expansion and expression.
Now, let’s take a look at the order that came from the Self Improvement path, as well as the disorder, let’s look at what is being taught on the Pseudo Self Love path and how that is needing to be evolved, so that we can actually walk on the TRUE Self Love Path in all its glory.
Self Improvement, Pseudo Self Love And True Self Love
One of the main areas where the Self Improvement path got it totally RIGHT is in the understanding that pain means something needs to change. That pain is a ‘problem’ and is telling us something.
What the Self Improvement path has got confused was that it taught us to perceive the pain itself as the problem. In this we all began shooting the messenger (the emotions and the body/the reality) rather than listening to what the messenger was saying. The Self Improvement path was nearsighted and thus said that the emotions/body/self ARE the problem - and thus if we could ‘fix’ the body/emotions/external reality, that the pain would go away. The Self Improvement Path could not see that at its roots pain is a messenger telling us that we are living in a way that does not serve our life. That is why we feel pain. The pain is not CAUSED by the body or the emotions, but rather the body and emotions are showing the SYMPTOMS of something being out of alignment with life/dying. The Self Improvement path can’t see the root cause of the pain, and is thus desperate to change all the external things hoping that will lead to peace. The Self Improvement path also believes the pain is WRONG and should NOT be happening. That reality got it wrong. On the Self Improvement path there is also a belief that we are the CAUSE of the pain, that the pain is our fault due to something being fundamentally wrong with who and what we are. We are in pain because we are, at our cores, broken and in need of repair. This is one of the most chaotic views from the Self Improvement Path.
Self Improvement understood that pain means change. It just could not see what needed to change or why.
What the Self Love path has gotten right is that we are not the CAUSE of the pain. It is not our fault that pain exists. There is a touching on the idea that ‘fixing’ the apparent ‘problem’ is not the solution - again because usually what we think the problem is, is truly a SYMPTOM of the problem, that when the root is identified and rectified, the symptom will go away - however if you just attack a symptom over and over nothing can change because the root still exists.
Also, Self Love realizes that it is the self blame that is obfuscating what is wrong, it is the fear (lack of information) that keeps us trapped in pain, the blaming ourselves as being the reason we are in pain (ie. I am broken vs. something in my environment or the way I am interacting with the environment is broken) and realizing that it is only in the presence of acceptance and love that we can actually learn and grow.
We love ourselves knowing that it is only when we love and accept ourselves that we are CAPABLE of true change - going from something that is non-life generating to something that is life generating, because in Self Love we don’t make ourselves wrong for having been in a death cycle. We stagnate our growth with guilt because to change when we think that means we were wrong, means not changing. It means not changing because we don’t want to feel like we were wrong.
A Foray Into Pseudo Self Love
From here we find a major cul-de-sac in what I am going to call the Pseudo Self Love path.
In this defending ourselves against feeling like pain was our fault, we choose to protect ourselves from that pain by staying the same and simply convincing ourselves we are victims to unchangeable circumstance - that we are meant to simply be in whatever ‘is’ and ‘learn to deal with it,’ and that this is somehow 'spiritual.' We go on trying to endure our pain, believing on some level that if we just suffer with it long enough it will remedy itself. It will shift on its own. That we will be rewarded for our steadfast nature with joy and bliss on the other side of simply sitting in our pain and not doing anything about it.
On the flip side, some will start to convince themselves that that the pain doesn’t exist in reality at all. We may start to believe that the pain is all ‘in our heads’ - that it is an intellectual/perceptual issue at its core, and that if we simply change our beliefs enough, do enough meditation, have enough ‘releases’, do enough spiritual sessions, have enough ‘awakenings’ - that that which is bothering us in our environment will one day cease to bother us. We take on this belief that all of reality is relative, and that pain is only occurring due to a false belief or belief systems in and of themselves, and so we go into this wild goose chase hoping to change out inner world enough that we can be in exactly the same outer world and have it not bother us anymore.
What the Pseudo Self Love path is getting WRONG is in the rejecting the idea that we can fix the pain in the way the Self Improvement path does it (ie. to try to fix the symptom) but then jumping to the idea that there is no real pain, no cause for the pain, or that the cause is 100% internal and if we just think differently enough about something the pain will go away. This is incorrect. The pain exists, and will continue to exist until conditions are remedied. We just need to find the true conditions for the pain and the true conditions for the pleasure and adjust accordingly. Going way the other way saying ‘nothing needs to change/I just need to be positive and the pain will stop’ is not a more ordered or complex view than the Self Improvement path - it is simply the other side of the pancake - only half of the information required for true change, just the opposite half that was presented on the Self Improvement Path.
Unity Is Always The Answer
The real truth is, we must COMBINE these two ideas - that pain is real and something we can do something about, and that part of the ‘doing something about it’ requires that we discover what our core beliefs are, our core woundings and that we do the internal work so as to identify the true ROOT of the pain, so we can then take actual action in our real, physical lives to remedy the situation. We will see that our beliefs were a big part of the reason we were living out of alignment with truth and thus hurting ourselves, so changing our beliefs are important, but we will also see that this change in belief will also lead to a change in how you LIVE. BOTH must change in order for healing/pain relief to take place.
We allow the pain to show us where our false beliefs/perceptions of reality are, we allow that to show us how WE are living in ways that oppose life, we then discover the truth about how reality functions, and this will ALWAYS lead to a realization of how WE need to change how we are living so as to come back into alignment with life. This often looks like opposing the way everyone else lives - and this is a large block we must work through, the idea of being different and being rejected for being different - but in the end, we will have to change how we relate to the world in a lot of ways in order to find true pleasure.
Lastly, in TRUE Self Love - we see that living out of alignment and all the mess and pain that this caused was not at all our fault. We see that we were born into a world that taught us from the get-go how to live out of alignment. We see that this teaching was no one's fault - that humanity has been stumbling around in the dark for a long, long time. We approach the paradox - our messes are mostly unconsciously being created through belief systems we didn't even know we had that were opposing life we didn't know the rules of and thus are in no way our fault - BUT we are responsible for cleaning up those messes, coming into alignment with reality and living in ways that are life generating that are most likely TOTALLY out of context of anything you have seen or done before - because this is what it takes to be happy.
The mess is not our fault, we didn't create the systems that made the mess, we didn't know we were making a mess - and it is 100% our own job to fix and clean up the mess.
If that above did not make sense, I will say it in another way. This information is exactly what was said above, just in a different demonstration. See if you can see how the stuff above IS this next part.
The Hand On The Burner You Didn't Know Was There
You can think of it like this, say you have your hand on a burner.
The Self Improvement path says teaches you that there is something wrong with your HAND that it is hurting right now. Maybe if you just take some painkillers to get rid of the pain, or fix your biology in some way the pain will stop. The pain is happening and you don’t like it, and it is WRONG. The Self Improvement path labels the pain as the problem, your hand as the problem and tries to fix them both superficially.
The Pseudo Self Love path teaches you that your pain does not really exist. It is only happening because of something you are thinking/believing. Or that if you accept it, it will stop hurting. Or if you just do enough inner work - forgiving, not being angry or judgmental or mean or rejecting of yourself or others then the pain will go away. That just by the nature of your being nice to yourself and others while your hand is in pain, the pain will stop and you will feel better.
What the TRUE Self Love path does is this: Realizes pain = a message - and that messages is letting you know where you are out of alignment with life. The second thing is you recognize that unless you see WHY the pain is happening, how to rectify the painful situation and then how to heal what was damaged, you are not going to feel better.
So the Self Love path says - ‘My hand hurts and it's not my hands fault that it hurts, there is something I am not seeing and thus doing without my knowledge that is hurting me. I accept that this is reality so that I can then go FURTHER into seeing WHY my hand hurts, rather than just focusing on the fact that it hurts.’ From there, you investigate into what is going on with the hand. In a state of love, you see ‘oh, my hand is on something hot and that heat is damaging my cells - I didn’t realize this!’ I thought it was totally normal to have your hand on something like this, as everyone around me and my whole family has always done this. I had no idea there was even another way to be!' From there there is the realization that ‘the heat is breaking down the tissues of my hand and that is not life generating, I must remove my hand from the burner.’
Then you go into how you can help the hand heal post traumatic event. You learn to stop putting your hand on the burner (which is hard because everyone you know has theirs on burners, and thinks you are totally weird for taking yours off/denies it is even possible to live with your hand not on a burner), which feels better than having it on the burner, and you learn why you had the impulse to put it on there in the first place. Then you must learn how to put salve on the hand, what herbs support healing, how to be tender with the burnt hand so it can regain its strength - all with the intention of having a fully functioning hand in the end.
With all this information, you walk away with brand new awareness into the self destruction that was simply a normal part of your life, you see why it hurt, you see why you did it, and you see how to live in a new way that is life generating - that literally is something you NEVER could have imagined before when you didn’t even know your hand was on a burner to begin with. There is so much to be seen and discovered, and in many ways your whole perception and perspective of your hand, of pain, of heat and of life itself have completely shifted. There was belief system change that led to external life change - it is change on ALL LEVELS - both within and without - not one or the other. THIS is Self Love.
THIS is what we are looking at.
Love And Acceptance Is Not An End Unto Itself
We do the loving and accepting as a way of releasing resistance to the PAIN and seeing that there is a reason for it.
The Self Improvement path will never let us see what the root is because it blames the symptom/the expresser of the symptom (the self) rather than understanding the symptom is a symptom. This becomes exhausting after a while, and this is why most people then hop onto the Pseudo Self Love path that says there is no root because I could not find it.
This is a mistake.
It was the method that was faulty, not the hypothesis.
The hypothesis that lead us to the Self Improvement path was correct - something needs to change. It is just that the information gleaned on a path where things are being judged as wrong is always going to be less than reality because it rejects aspects of reality that are a part of the information we need to become life generating. EVERYTHING is information we need, so as long as we are judging we are missing a piece of the puzzle and handicapping our capacity to align with life. So long as we are rejecting information, we will never see what is happening and thus cannot remedy it/align with life.
We love and accept the self for a few reasons:
1. We can only change and grow in an environment where we are being loved not judged as wrong and bad.
2. We can only LEARN by accepting reality as being how it is meant to be NOT TO STAY THAT WAY FOREVER but to show us WHY the pain we are in is existing, so that we can CHANGE to a new way that is life generating and therefore not painful.
Acceptance is not an end in and of itself, it is an understanding that to accept what is is to learn about what is and why what is occurring is occurring, which then enables change a to something new. We can only truly change that which we understand. Without understanding true change is impossible. This is what life is. Continual change, growth and expansion through learning from what IS.
This is the paradox. We love what is, in ORDER to GROW and CHANGE.
This is the Self Love path.
Going from death, to life, to ever more life.
Listening to pain and pleasure, aligning with truth, and seeing how the external stuff becomes easier to understand.
On this path we will eventually WANT to nourish ourselves and take care of ourselves well when we understand life.
The Path Never Stays The Same
We also must take into account that because this path is founded on love, it is going to be ever evolving and growing too. We are going to be taking principals and then BUILDING on them - meaning we take what we have, and when we learn something new we ADD it to what we had before, rather than trying to get rid of what we had before and replacing it with the new thing.
We see that on this path we are moving towards UNITY - not just flipping from half truth to its opposite half truth - but rather finding truth in the unification of the two sides.
So we move from chaotic action (Self Improvement) into INTELLIGENT stillness, so that we can gather more information - through love and acceptance - then we move into INTELLIGENT action. It is not about saying that since chaotic action did not work, it’s opposite - no action - is truth. Again this is just two half truths being incomplete and thus unusable. We move into the space of UNITING the intelligent, observing, receptive stillness into intelligent, proactive, love based action. Unification. Addition. More complex.
This path is complex. It is full of expansion and growth. It is not an exclusion of anything, but a bringing everything into right order and right context - because everything contains a piece of truth, nothing is ‘outside’ of truth - it is simply incomplete on its own.
If we take on the Self Love path, we must be prepared to always be learning, growing and expanding, taking what tools we have and adding too them, never expecting to ‘land’ at ‘it’ and stay there forever - as that is antithetical to love.
Love is about bringing that which is, into higher order - putting everything in its rightful place. It is not about rejecting anything, getting rid of anything or in any way devolving, but about evolution and expansion upon what is.
We can see that in love, there is rightful anger. There is rightful unforgiveness. There is all things in their place. Every emotion is a messenger that we NEED to understand reality better, so we can better align with life. We accept all emotions again not to stay in them forever, but to understand their cause so we can process THROUGH them to what needs to change both internally AND externally.
We love ourselves as a way of offering ourselves the one thing we are worthy of - LIFE. Life is that which is coming into ever higher orders of complexity and organization. Coming into higher orders of creativity. We must understand that true love is dynamic and again includes everything in its time.
Sometimes self love looks like rest - stopping the fighting with reality, so that we can be in our own presence and allow for the expansion that naturally wants to take place to take place.
Sometimes love is taking a scary action or making a big change that you know brings you closer to life generation.
Love sometimes looks like loving the ‘mess’ that we are - again because we are so fundamentally worthy of not having to be a mess, and the only way of getting to that place is to understand that we are GOOD that the mess is not our fault, that we are worthy and that we are the ones holding ourselves in the mess (disorder/chaos) through our self loathing. It is the loathing that is the cause of the pain, and it is only through loving the self that we can clean up the mess caused by the loathing that was also causing us pain. We love the loathing. We love the mess. We release our resistance to what is, so we can see the truth of it, why we are doing it, and from that loving place, we can change in order to support ourselves more.
To truly love the self is to give ourselves what we need in the moment. To see the root, we must release resistance to what is - allowing for it to stick around forever, and the paradox is, when we really do that, things change 🙂 When we want things to change because we are judging them as wrong, we can’t get the information and thus they must stay stuck.
Love is all things. Love is all things. In the right time, in the right place, always expanding and growing. Love is dynamic and can’t be fit into a box.