Hello again Friend!
In case you missed them, I have been exploring why you won't become a narcissist if you embrace true self love, and why you believe it's possible to HATE yourself into a place where you are worthy of love.
Today we are going to finish our exploration of how we developed our coping mechanisms, self sabotage and all other 'not good' parts of ourselves, so we can finally feel safe enough to embrace self love - the ointment for all our pain.
Let's get to it!
Back To The Stress Response:
In the last blog we were talking about how the mind and body set up automatic reactions - behavioral modifications - in response to feeling that we are being rejected, and how these automatic responses then leave us feeling that we are victim to our own behaviour. Because the mind/body react AUTOMATICALLY we can feel that we are being hijacked, of that we are simply weak/incapable when we can't change our way of being.
In reality, it's your psychology working exactly how it worked to save your ancestors from an environment that has NOTHING to do with the environment you currently live in. It was an evolutionary tool that we now need to expand upon.
What You Do Now Worked For Your Ancestors: That's Why You're Here!
This stress response of setting up automatic behaviors in response to physical danger worked WONDERS for our ancestors that needed to be able to respond to actual physical danger without having to think about what to do - they were able to hear a rustle in the grass and be halfway up the tree to avoid being mauled by the lion before they were even aware of what they were doing. They would filter out all seemingly unnecessary information and zone in on finding that tree and climbing up. No mind was paid to what may be in that tree, or any other strategy that might be better for fending off the lion.
The people who developed winning strategies for these patterned responses to physical threat were the ones who survived - they are the beings WE have evolved from. This is why this response has survived into our modern world.
The only problem is that this strategy doesn’t apply so well to our current conditions.
When you are in this state of STRESS you are not able to take in new information, you are not able to change and experiment with new ways of being, you are not capable of creative problem solving or seeing a LARGER perspective.
In fact, when you are in a state of lack and fear, your mind is going to look for anything and everything it can to SOLIDIFY where you are. To ground down into the status quo to create STABILITY and PREDICTABILITY. Your mind will filter out details about yourself and your life, simplifying what you are experiencing rather than helping you see a bigger picture. Again it is doing this to PROTECT YOU. You need laser focus on the immediate environment around you or to be in hyper alert of threat mode in order to survive the physical attack your mind and body think you are experiencing. Too much information would mean certain death thus simplification and repetition are KEY.
Your mind in stress will force you to do what you've always done. You will repeat patterns of behaviour, have knee jerk rejecting reactions to information that adds complexity to your current world view, you will fight with anything that contradicts what you believe to be true so much so that you won’t even be AWARE that you are BELIEVING things rather than seeing reality for what it is.
You will have no idea that your perception is in fact a PERCEPTION - not a holistic view of reality where all information and all options are available to you to make the BEST choice. All you will have is what you took in, and then have been recycling as reality.
No matter how much you consciously believe you are working to change yourself and your life, you are going to be drawn subconsciously to repetitive patterns of life - to doing the same things over and over again, in slightly different ways - and wondering why you never make progress. You will believe you are ‘sabotaging’ yourself and that this self sabotaging part of you is ‘bad’ because it’s preventing you from becoming who you want to become - when in fact it is really only working to keep you safe and alive. You were trained in your early years that to be yourself was to not get your needs met, and thus any conscious attempt you may be making to become something you have been subconsciously programmed to believe will result in your death will be thwarted by your nervous system before you even get started. You will be coping in ways that work to suppress and deny what you ACTUALLY feel and want to do in order to 'fit into' the society you were raised to believe is 'right' - usually to your detriment. You will HAVE to throw yourself under the bus, look for all your flaws, look to blame yourself for the pain you're in - because to question your REALITY will feel like a massive, scary monster that would lead you to have to learn how to think and reason for yourself outside of consensus reality. You would lose the safety net of 'if I just fix this about myself everyone will like me, and in that I will have success' for the reality that we all have to figure out what REALITY is so we can fit into that - which will usually mean being rejected by humans.
Finding our true selves will mean facing the fact that we are suppressing the parts of us that are VITAL for our survival in real reality, in exchange for the approval of humans, which usually don't actually have real reality figured out. We are hurting ourselves to fit in, thinking this will save our lives, when in fact it is turning off our one chance of true survival, which is to tune into our own feelings - our sense of true pain and pleasure - so we can determine for ourselves what is sustainable and what isn't in real reality.
You Think Being Yourself Will Kill You:
What this all boils down to is this - humanity right now doesn’t understand the concept of self love - of a love and protection that is available from WITHIN - that isn’t dependent upon anyone outside of the self. Also, most humans do not feel capable of being true adults. They don’t feel that they have the capacity to figure things out for themselves, to provide for themselves and to thrive in a world that may or may not like who they are. We are all living with the conditioning we got in childhood which is that provision is dependent upon those around us approving of us. This isn’t actual reality when we are adults - but most of us so deeply believe that it is.
Something that complicates this issue further is that the more disconnected we are from ourselves, from our true nature, our true desires, our true emotions, our true core sense of self the more we are going to be blocked from discovering for ourselves how reality functions, how we function and how those two things can work together. The more disconnected from our own ‘source’ of awareness we are (which is as simple as our capacity to perceive pain and pleasure - as these two things guide us to what supports life and what destroys life - wether humans agree or not), the more we are going to become dependent on ‘consensus reality’ to get our needs met - because we will in essence be forgoing any attempt at individuality and finding our place in TRUE reality for finding our place within the social construct we are living in. This will often require that we further reject and deny who we are in order to ‘fit in’, causing us to have less and less access to who and what we naturally are, thus requiring us to cope and self sabotage more and more - and so the cycle continues.
Because the truth is, where we are at evolutionarily means that the more we are not expressing our true selves, the more we are not discovering our authentic nature and how that nature fits into REALITY the more lost, alone, depressed, anxious and negative we are going to feel. This will then drive most of us to seek MORE external approval to try to fill the hole of not getting our self expression needs met, which will drive us to reject and deny who we are even more, making us feel even worse and less resourceful, causing us to do even more self sabotage and coping - round and round until we leave this earth.
We get caught in loops of self destruction because we are conditioned to believe that to be ourselves is to die. This rejection of self makes us feel terrible, and in response to this terrible feeling we are triggered to do all the behaviors that have gotten us into that terrible feeling place to begin with - rejecting our true natures to appease those around us.
We are conditioned to believe that to be our true self or to go through a phase of learning where we make messes/mistakes in order to gather information, is to have our needs not met - and that is incredibly painful.
Thus we act in ways that are out of alignment with our authentic truth and with growth itself, looking to be supported by those around us for doing so. This rejection of self feels awful because it is counter to how life works. We continue to deny and reject ourselves, broadening our view of who needs to be approving of us for us to survive, becoming more and more neurotic over time with having to repress and deny ourselves and our own growth. At the same time, the actual rejection we DO experience when we express our true selves or go through a learning process/make a mistake is programmed deep in our subconscious as being a threat to our capacity to survive, so any time we DO embrace ourselves and get rejected we feel terror. Thus we are caught in a loop where being ourselves feels awful because the rejection involved feels like death, and not being ourselves feels awful because even though it leads to our physical needs being met it also stunts our evolution and growth, thus leading to death. But we do not see that this is what’s happening, and rather all we see is a self sabotaging part and a part that needs things to cope with life and we mistakenly believe we are broken and in need of improvement.
This is why the self love path and true growth tends to elude most people.
What Is Required For A True Growth Path:
The fact is, what is required on the self love path is that we start to embrace all the parts of ourselves that got us rejected growing up, and that still get us rejected today, so that they can start to grow and express. This is going to cause us to come face to face with our deepest fears - that we will be isolated and that this will mean we can’t meet our needs and thus we will die. We are going to have to start to rewire the pathways of total meltdown that happens in our minds when we are rejected for something fundamental to us, and we are going to have to learn how to be ourselves in this world whether others are rejecting or accepting us.
We will discover, as we do this work, that life is not as human centric as we once thought it was. That we are not as dependent upon others approving of us so that we can survive as we believe we are. We are going to discover that there are SO MANY ways to live life that ALL allow for thriving and needs being met - and that consensus reality, what the general population believes to be ‘the right way’- isn’t.
We must expand beyond looking for what people think is right and wrong into what truly feels good and bad for US as individuals, and then work within our own selves to find a way of life that supports our true self within the greater system of REALITY - not just the greater system of HUMANITY.
We will discover as we embrace all the rejected parts of ourselves, as we allow ourselves to go through the learning journeys of making mistakes and collecting information, that we become sovereign beings. We become people who are capable of taking in information from our surroundings, are capable of learning things about our own specific nature, and are capable of TRUE PROBLEM SOLVING - in the sense that we are able to figure out how we can create a life for ourself that DOES support who and what we are AND gets our needs met at the SAME TIME. We will come to recognize that no one outside of us is capable of telling us what this life is going to look like or how to create it - but rather the more we learn to trust our true nature and our skills of observation the more WE will figure out for OURSELVES what our specific life is meant to be like. This is what most will call a connection to God. The ability to create a life that supports our expression and evolution with or without consensus reality approval. This is the complete opposite state of looking to consensus reality for life via the abandonment of ourselves - which only leads to deeper and darker states of fear, lack, depression, anxiety and confusion about who to be and what to do.
And in so doing, every time to come face to face with what is RIGHT for us but that was rejected by our caregivers - we are going to feel like choosing ourselves is DEATH. It's going to feel like choosing to hate ourselves, choosing to try to fix ourselves, abandoning our emotions and desires and looking to do what we have already done will be BETTER. WE will feel that manic high/hope that comes from the next 'self help' path, the next addictive hit, the next filling our schedule to the brim so we don't have to have space and time to think and feel is relief - when really that is the anesthetizing agent of consensus reality sinking in.
Choosing life is going to feel like death for a while, and choosing death will feel like life.
Thus, this is complex, and so we fall into these two extreme categories that tell us that either self love means we are PERFECT and can never admit we need to learn or grow OR we swing the other way and fear that if we love ourselves we will NEVER grow and change, and thus we must continue to remind ourselves of our flaws and faults as much as possible in order to spur growth.
Both keep us stuck.
Those who embrace the false self love that says I never have to grow or change, that loving the self means working to convince the world that who and what you are in this moment is PERFECTION get caught in death because without growth there is only death.
Those who fear loving themselves as they are at this moment due to the fear that to love who they are right now will mean they stay a less than ideal, lackluster, messed up, struggling mess forever - believing that it is the right amount of self berating, pushing, focusing on all their flaws and working to ‘improve them’ that is the ticket to growth and success in life - who get caught never able to move forward because their brains are actively working to keep them from change and expansion due to being in total shut down and fear mode.
In reality, self love is a complex idea that requires total acceptance of the self in this moment with the understanding that this will mean that we grow and change the most we ever could.
If you are fearing loving yourself, know that there is only goodness on this journey. It will be horrifying at times. You will face your fear of death over and over. You will have to let go of scapegoats and coping mechanisms, be with the traumatized parts of yourself and give yourself loving approval BEFORE you change - as this safe feeling that comes from the inside will be the things that ENABLES you to be different. To find true life. To follow the guidance you have that WILL show you the truth. It will be horrifying at times and that's NORMAL. It should feel like you are going to die sometimes - that's how you know you're on the path.
THIS is the core of truth - we are all here to be continually improving. This is the ONE characteristic that is shared among ALL life - growth. To refuse growth is to put yourself on a trajectory of death and decay, as that which isn't living is dying, and that which isn't growing can't be living. But when we move from a place of improving to become worthy, this is the key that gets us trapped. When we can see that we are worthy of love and validation as we are, right here in this moment - two things happen:
- We feel safe enough to learn something new, to expand our awareness and to stretch beyond what is comfortable because that 'risk' of love going away is removed - which is what MUST happen to grow - we must learn something new!
- We can grow without that having to mean we were 'wrong' or 'lacking' before - that we are wrong and lacking NOW.
Not Loving Ourselves Is The Reason We Kill Ourselves In 'Normal'
I believe it is this fear that we are fundamentally unworthy that drives us to 'toxic' self improvement - where we are running like hamsters on the self improvement wheel, chasing a 'becoming' that we think will make us lovable to others - rather than seeking that which is interesting to US to grow into and explore. In this we are constantly seeking, overriding our own pleasure/pain signals, driving ourselves over the edge, pushing too hard and never getting where we are saying we want to go, because where we are trying to go isn't where we actually want to go - it's where we think we should want to go to get loved. Also we find this other side of the coin where we REFUSE growth because to us it represents too much shame, too much admitting that who and what we are right now isn't 'it' and we feel we will lose too much love to admit this.
Without internal self love, awareness of the self being good enough right now from WITHIN - we will always be trapped chasing the toxic growth, or refusing it altogether.
The point here is this - in order to even DISCOVER what you are here to grow into, you must start from a place of self acceptance. This is going to open the door for you to discover all the parts of yourself that are natural to you, that are a PART of your gifts and that will lead you to understanding your ‘purpose here in this life. Without this inner sense of being good as you are, you will ALWAYS be looking outside yourself for what OTHERS think you should be, and this will never, ever satisfy you as you are a unique individual. You are the only one with access to the information about who you are meant to be.
If you believe that self love means never learning, growing or changing, again you are stunting yourself. If you believe that in order to love yourself you must deny all growth, all change, all admission of not knowing, running from discovery and looking to be seen or perceived as ‘arrived’ and perfect - so much so that you get lost in defending yourself rather than having any openness to discovery - again you are hurting yourself more than anyone else.
Ultimately, true freedom lies in the truth which states that you are worthy of love NOW> You are worthy of discovering yourself, of making mistakes, of making messes, of not knowing and going on a journey of discovery. You are worthy of finding how you can BE YOU in this world, get your needs met and be happy even if others don't approve of you. You are worthy of love and acceptance without having everything figured out.
The more you make space for this, the more you will discover. The more you will grow and the greater you will become. The more you resist this, the more you will be stuck in loops of suffering.
THIS is the true self love path.
If this message resonates with you, and you want to take a DEEP DIVE into how to rediscover your truth through the trauma of being rejected, you can check out my Mystery School here: https://www.patreon.com/AliyahMS