How Do You Come to Love Yourself?
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
How do you come to love yourself? I mean, after all the shit you’ve done? All the people you have let down? All the opportunities you just let pass you by, or worse, all of the ones you flat out fucked up? How do you come to love yourself?
Ever wake up, at 3AM or thereabouts, and find yourself in the middle of a hurricane of these kinds of questions?
It’s a pretty brutal place to be. The truth of it is that we have all had this experience. Many of us have it more often than we would like to admit. Not to anyone else, but to ourselves. Sometimes admitting something to someone else can be easier than sitting with it all on your own. Sometimes admitting something to someone else can feel like you have absolved yourself of it. Except. These things have a way of finding their way back to us over and over again, regardless of the many absolutions we’ve given ourselves through confessions with intimate friends or through sessions with healers.
The thing is that these voices sound strikingly similar to our own voice. And when we have not learned to differentiate, to know any better, we can and do fall into the trap of believing those voices are ours.
In the Toltec teachings there is the entire spectrum of awareness of Tezcatlipoca, the Obsidian Smoking Mirror. It is a spectrum of awareness because there are so many faces to it. So many aspects that arise and confront us, over and over again. We become increasingly aware of them when we take up the spiritual path.
One of them is this one. The one that isolates you, finds you when you are alone or coaxes you into being alone, then proceeds to eat away at you by telling you you are all of the horrible things you fear to hear about yourself.
At the core of negative judgment is something that devours our souls.
This devouring energy is implanted in us at a young age, and it flourishes through the teachings and examples of modern society. But to listen to it is to give yourself over to something that uses your own voice to make a prisoner of you. Or worse.
A friend of mine calls this energy ‘the predator,’ because it acts just like a predator in the wild. First it convinces you to isolate yourself. Then it wears you down. Once you are alone and your energy is depleted, it starts to properly consume you.
Have you ever thought of killing yourself? Like, really thought about it, seen it playing out in your mind? If you have, then you have had some intimate encounters with the predator. That thing showing you killing you is not you.
Sit with that for a little bit.
The reason it is not you is that you are so much bigger than it. And you are so much more than the you that you see committing suicide. Because both the thing that entices you to destroy yourself and the self you see being destroyed are constructs of a mind that is only a fraction of who you are and what you are capable of creating.
In the last few posts about the Stages of Development, we dived into these different energetic levels of what we all are. These levels exist in you, both as energetic centers but also as territories where you consciousness literally exists. Our work if we choose this spiritual path is to dedicate ourselves to healing the wounds at the first three levels, or stages, in order to ascend to the upper three through the bridge of the heart. We do this by healing the remnants of the past in the present. By going into the unseen side of ourselves, within, and finding the places where that wounding is still entrapped in memories of the past.
Those voices that wake up you up and attack you are not just there to challenge or hurt you. They are there to remind you that there are parts of you that are still wounded. That are actually still stuck in the exact experiences that caused that wounding, in you. These fragmented parts of you call out to you through the echoes of the critical voices that wounded you and at some point, took on the sound of your own voice. And they can take on many tones: hatred, helplessness, hopelessness, rage, despair, criticism, arrogance, aloofness, apathy, defiance, desperation. All of them are asking you to heal the parts of you that were once fragmented or ripped from the core of your being through some traumatic experience.
I know this work can be difficult. When I was younger I spent what now seems like entire decades at the mercy of these things. Reactive, frightened, angry, absolutely certain I was alone. As I’ve worked to clear these wounds and energetic blockages I’ve realized that I never was. Not even at the scariest, most distraught and hopeless times. And neither are you. You are not alone. And your are needed. The real you, not just the one that is a small petal of the luminous lotus that is you spirit, the entire thing.
It can be scary. But it is worth it. Because the world needs you. It needs your gifts. Your true essence. Only by healing these things can you bring that through you in a clear and loving way. Each day, as I do this work myself, I am finding more and more subtle ways to become free of the many-headed hydra that this is this labyrinth of wounding. And I find that each day more luminosity floods into my world, into my life.
I pray that this may come to be the experience of all of us, as a collective. We have to heal ourselves so that the world can heal. It starts by doing this work. It is the ultimate act of love. For yourself. For the world. For all that is.