Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easy to Hate Yourself

It's so easy to hate yourself, so common, so lazy to hate yourself. But it is much more difficult to love yourself, to truly love yourself, which is of course different than mere narcissism. The narcissist is a cynic who cannot embrace the full embrace of self and world, who shrinks back from contact, who believes in the hollow of hate within and keeps staring at it, wanting others to gather round and worship the hollow.

You may have trained yourself so well in hating that it comes as second nature, at least insofar as it comes to you. I don't know you. I don't know your deeds. I don't know what guilt you feel inside, and some or all of that guilt may be well-deserved, and calling out for atonement and correction. Such guilt is well-invested in the work of correction (rather than wallowed in as self consumption). That would be authentic guilt. Then there is another kind of guilt that has no correspondence to your actual worth but is simply conditioned masochism. This can become a developed habit. But you are the creation of wondrous ancestors and holy Gods.

That's both a blessing and an obligation.

It's an obligation to treat yourself as something sacred, because you participate in the larger sacredness about you. And if you treat yourself as sacred, a sacred that dips into and touches a larger sacredness, then you will not desecrate yourself or others. You might very well keep your edge up through critique, but this will develop a different feel than desecration or denigration. It will come to have the healthy feel of honing rather than the neurotic habit of scathing.

In health, we are an oscillation between engagement with the outer world, and contact with the inner springs of refreshment. Energy thrown into the hole of desecration, whether of self or of others, is energy that could be directed towards the healthy dynamic. Don't allow yourself to be fooled that simply because your desecration is not towards others that it is permitted. Thou Shalt Not Desecrate Anything Sacred, and this is a tall order indeed. It requires the ability to be gentle, particularly with yourself, while at the same time maintaining high enough standards to keep guiding and structuring your gradual and ongoing evolution.

Love yourself as you would love flowers in springtime, as you would love fresh lambs wet with amniosis upon the grass, as you would tend to new sprouts of corn, as you would caress the rough bark of old-friend trees, as you would salute the Sun as she rides above in her bright chariot, as you would give heed to a relative in need, as you would attend an engaging hobby or a lasting passion, as you would help a friend having a hard time or in a crabby mood, as you would give yourself unto sleep in the hours of darkness.

For Love strengthens, tends, nourishes, grows, corrects with greatest gentleness, guides, if we will be true. And she asks us to be true to all we ought love, including our self, which is to her as well beloved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Thank you.

5:22 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

My pleasure. :) May the many flowers in your garden of self blossom and bring fragrance to this blessed world.

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a dream in the early hours this morning that I was shouting that I hated someone, I picked up a mirror and shouted it to myself. I woke very shocked from the dream that this was still in me. What you write here has reminded me how easy it is to fall into this trap and how beautiful it is to come out of it. Thank you.

6:38 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Enjoy the beauty. :)

10:58 AM  

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