Monday, February 23, 2009

I Don't Like Myself. I Want To Be Different!

I have run into a pattern recently in working with people.  These people do not like themselves, or something about the way they are as people, and they are angry or resentful about it and want to change.  This has led to numerous discussions about what is needed in order for people to achieve the change they want make in themselves.  Many people are operating under the false impression that they need to be unhappy with the way they are, and make changes in the way they are, in order to be able to love and accept themselves.  The truth is that we need to love and accept ourselves in order to be able to change!

If I am angry and resentful of the way I am, I am rejecting myself, and "beating up on" myself.  If I am rejecting, and "beating up on" myself, I am not seeing myself clearly, or even looking at myself at all.  If I am not seeing myself or looking at myself, how can I work with myself in order to change.

There is a sign hanging in my office which acknowledges this age old wisdom.  It reads, "To be content and growing, embrace yourself as you are, celebrate yourself as you long to be." - Mary Anne Radmacher  The first step here is a necessity.  "Embrace yourself as you are" means to accept yourself.  Once I have accepted myself I have the ability to examine myself closely and truly see myself accurately.  Once I see myself accurately I will be able to work with the different aspects of myself that I like and those I don't like.  

The fundamental truth here is that I cannot work with something I refuse to accept and examine.  I cannot change something that I cannot see clearly.  

If I am willing to face the pain and sadness that are contained in my misperceptions and negative beliefs about myself, I will then be able to see them clearly as the mistakes and falsehoods that they are.  Once I see them clearly my negative assessments of myself, and the negative emotions they generate will fall away and no longer have power over my me.

The truth is  - 

We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love.  Everything else is false.


Kris B said...

You are right about the problem with not liking and loving ourselves. After Tuesdays Mindshifters I have been pondering this in myself, this lack of valuing and loving myself. I think women especially have this problem of valuing ourselves. Women have not been valued and are still considered property or even less in many countries. Some still kill their female infants and victomize women in horrible ways. Is it any wonder women in general have such a hard time loving themselves and thinking of themselves as having value, realizing that they are love, god, spirit. Most people still refer to God as him, but God is everyone, everything. How hard it is to think of yourself as the devine, as God or Spirit when the world holds so little value in you. It is a struggle that many women work to "win" and for some it seems they only strengthen their egos in their attempt to strengthen their view of themselves as worthy. I think the answer is surrender. Surrender to the higher power, surrender to the higher self. Surrender to LOVE!!

Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comment Kris. It is true that there is even more conditioning for negative self-image with women than men, and there is a lot of work for all of us to do. The difficulty in identifying all the negative thoughts, beliefs, and labels as false, should not be under-estimated. This is why I am so grateful to people like Dr. Michael Ryce who provide practical tools for dismantling these false beliefs and negative realities. I am very glad you are in the group and working so diligently to see the truth of what you are.