QA155 QUESTION: I find myself facing a repeating problem of feeling very unacceptable with girls. I’d really like to understand the origins of this, because I know my mother is important in this particular case. But I don’t think that’s really quite all, and I’d like to try to get to the bottom of it.
ANSWER: Well, of course, you’re quite right – it is not all, but it began there when you were a child. Later on, when you ceased being a child, your own reaction to what took place, to your sense of deprivation, to your unfulfillment as a child, has made you – in your confusion and puzzlement – turn your anger about it into very strong impulses to hit back at those who have frustrated you, which is the female race – and of course, mother and all females are one. A similar condition exists, of course, to some degree, with all human beings.
If you feel unacceptable to girls, it is only because you do not accept yourself. Not only because originally you felt not accepted by your mother, but because your counter-reaction to this was the wish to hurt as a response, as an automatic reflex reaction. This makes you feel so guilty and so bad and so unacceptable, and you are in such a battle with yourself about it.
For on the one hand, you do want to hit back at all the female race – all of mothers in the whole world – for not loving you, as it seemed to the child, for not gratifying your needs. This impulse, you feel, is so bad and so terrible that you bind yourself into inactivity, into holding back, into nonmovement toward the world, toward girls, toward your own feelings. And this is where you’re locked in battle, inwardly.
Now, the more you face these feelings, the more you allow them to come out, without judging yourself – and yet knowing that this is something destructive – by understanding why it is there and also that it does not always have to be there, by fully going through these feelings – not in action, not in acting out, but in your fantasies, in your expressions, in your work as you learn to do here – the more you will lose, little by little and genuinely, this urge to hurt.
You can come out of this if this nature is not squashed, if you do not superimpose good behavior over a seething pool of anger and fear and anxiety, and all sorts of guilt feelings and conflicted feelings. Both wanting closeness and fearing the closeness, you become more deprived and more anxious and more frustrated – and therefore more angry. The more this goes on, held in check, being unable to cope with it, the less one can come out of it.
But you learn to face this and not be frightened by what comes out, by realizing this is a condition that exists, not only in you but to some extent in all human beings. And the only way to come out of it is by facing it, letting it come to the surface.
Little by little, these desires to hurt will genuinely disappear. Genuinely! You will no longer be frightened of the other person, and therefore you will not have the need to hurt. You are frightened because you took for granted that they are going to reject you.
You take for granted that if you want, in your secret inner being, to hurt them, that they must want to do the same thing to you. Therefore, your fear of them is based on this desire you have. This desire you have is the result of tremendous frustration you endured as a child. Do you understand that?
QUESTION: Yes I do. You seem to be implying that in addition to, I might say, sadistic feelings I have toward women, I must also face the feelings of unacceptability even more than I already have. Is that true?
ANSWER: Well, I would say not actually more, but I would put it this way. When you can fully face the sadistic feelings without the threat and the terror you still experience – although not as strongly as in the past – when these feelings do come up, you will then understand why you feel unacceptable in yourself.
In other words, you will connect the feeling of unacceptability with the newly faced and experienced sadistic impulses. And that connection is extremely important. And when that connection is not an intellectual process but actually experienced in your emotions – when you are truly affected by these feelings and really experience them emotionally – then the connection will be a reality.
This will be the prerequisite by which gradually, little by little, the impulses will lessen. And the feeling of unacceptability will lessen too, at that moment, when you fully understand the connection. You must then, automatically, whether you want to or not, or whether you realize this or not, begin to accept yourself so much more, because you have the courage and the honesty and the decency to face up to these things that seemed unfaceable. This is always a by-product, my friend.
Whoever begins to accept something he has hitherto thought unacceptable, unconsciously, and he faces up to it and he begins to admit it, he feels so much more self-respect and self-liking – even though the condition has not been eliminated – by the mere attitude you bring to this problem area, by the reasonableness and truthfulness with which you encounter it.
By the reasonableness, I mean that you do not lose the sense of proportion that there is nothing acceptable in you because you have these impulses – which, as long as something like that is unconscious, one indeed feels that way: unconsciously you feel you have no redeeming feature.
There is always the sense of, “If only this were known. If only my secret were out in the open, no one could accept me. And I am so bad because of that, that no matter what qualities I have otherwise, I am unacceptable.”
This mood exists on the unconscious level, while on the conscious level the reason and maturity may be perfectly willing to admit that there are many good qualities there, but they do not meet. The two levels remain unconnected so that the unacceptability cannot eliminate itself as long as it remains unconscious.
The moment it becomes conscious, that reasonableness can be applied. The moment you can see, “Yes, this is there,” then this truthful way, this courage, will make you more aware of the qualities you already have, and also you will respect yourself more for going through just this process that one usually shies away from so much that one tries to do anything else but that.
So it is the connection of your unacceptability and the sense of unacceptability you have secretly with this area, this impulse, that will be the key. Is that clear?
QUESTION: Yes, and I suppose meditation will be the best way of getting to these feelings.
ANSWER: Yes, quite true. Nothing can be more helpful or more effective, and can more immediately create an inner movement and an inner change and a difference in outlook and mood and coloring about one’s life than when one says in meditation, “I want more than anything else in the world to face the truth in myself. Whatever it is, I want to be in truth. I want to let out what there is. I have the courage to do this. I request help to give me the courage and the strength to do this. I request guidance from the superior forces deep within my innermost being, for this is what I decide to do. I will not run away from myself. I will not deceive myself. I will stop living a life of deceit,” which everyone does to the extent he has problems and feels discontented with himself and life.
To the extent life begins to open up into light and hope and fullness and the feeling that “life is good,” to that extent one has practiced this truthfulness. Such meditations have the most powerful effect, the most immediate effect imaginable. This goes for everyone, of course.
The greatest stumbling block is the unconscious or only vaguely conscious fear that these unacceptable impulses and desires and emotions are it. In other words, that now the true personality is revealed and “this is me!” – that sort of feeling – “this is the truth about me.”
This fear blocks you off, for you do not want to say this is you, as though this were the whole thing. These impulses are not the last and final reality about your hidden self. They are temporary distortions. They are the result of something wonderful, alive and creative, and in itself beautiful, that has been distorted by the ignorance of the human race.
Not by malice of anyone, but by the ignorance and unjustified, useless fears of the human race at large, and therefore also of those who were responsible for your upbringing. For they have discouraged this best in you without knowing what they were doing. Because of that, that best has turned into something destructive.
If you truly understand this, and if you can meditate with this idea and request your creative innermost being – that superior innermost being that dwells in the depth of you – to help you truly understand and experience this truth, facing the destructive side will not be the horror it now seems.
For it will neither be the ultimate reality of you that you have thought is true and you had therefore had to hide, nor will it be something that is wholly and totally rejectable. For it is a power that is, in itself, creative. Once you let yourself and your emotions experience the power in its negative way, once you have the courage to do that in the proper way – not by acting out but in the therapeutic situation – then you will feel as a personally felt experience that that very same power and force turns into that same beautiful thing it once was before it turned destructive.
Therefore you will no longer be able to feel so guilty and so self-rejecting about it. For there is not a single part of your being you need to reject, any of you. For even that destructive part is not to be rejected at all. For it is, in itself, a beautiful thing.
You have to give it a chance to become beautiful again, to allow its unfoldment in its destructive way by facing it, by owning up to it, by no longer hiding it, by admitting it, by expressing it in a nondestructive way, as I always say.
By doing that, you will feel it transform itself. So then you will know there is not a single, little ever-so-small or large part of yourself that is rejectable, that deserves rejection. All that is needed is allowing the destructive to retransform itself back into its original form, energy, current, emotion, feeling – whatever you wish to call it.
If that is truly understood – that understanding is reached for in your meditation – then a tremendous resistance and inertia will fall off you like a superfluous cloak – or rather the inertia itself will turn into a wonderful energy.
In order to reach this understanding, it is necessary that you take first the thought as an intellectual understanding and, if you cannot feel it as yet, you request and reach for, you declare you wish to understand it emotionally as well as intellectually.
If you reach for this understanding, it is absolutely certain that you will gain it; you will feel it. You will develop the courage, little by little, to let out whatever there is, and then you will see the truth of my words.
Because once again, as so many, many times before, when I show you the way to liberation, to self-realization, I always make clear that you are not to accept anything blindly, but you are invited and advised to give yourself the chance to confirm the truth of these words. And that you can only do when you go this way.
You have nothing to risk and nothing to lose. For the truth of all life is that your innermost being, the real self, the divine spark, can only unfold when you go this way. That innermost being can only unfold and can only manifest when you are no longer frightened by the involuntary processes, when you can let go and let something unfold from within yourself that is not immediately controlled with your mind, and when you activate that which brings you fulfillment in life – the fulfillment that is really your heritage.
Now, I seem to have deviated from the answer I started out giving you, my friend, but I do believe you will see, it is not such a deviation. Your anger about being so frustrated and helpless has turned into this sadistic desire to hit out, to hurt, to revenge yourself for the injustice you believe done to you and that was unacceptable to you.
You have denied this knowledge to yourself, so that it only came out indirectly. And this is where you are. I showed you the way how you can go about it now, in order to free yourself of the shackle of repression and guilt and a pleasureless life. For as long as this is not transcended, the intense delight life can be, the intense pleasure your own body and soul can give you, must remain inaccessible to you.