QA138 QUESTION: I have a problem of self-dislike. I don’t know what is the cause of this, and I don’t know what to do about it.
ANSWER: It is very good that you are aware of this, for very often people ignore this and only suffer from the consequences of such self-dislike. So this is already a good step in the right direction. The next thing to do would be to go very deep and understand your life, your reactions, your innermost self.
I suggest that you begin such intensive work in which, of course, you need help. Now, whatever answer I could give you would not mean much because it would merely be words. It would partly be theory you have often heard, and partly which may be new, but nevertheless will sound too much like a theory.
Whatever I say will not have much meaning for you, because it will sound and be general as long as it is a theory. The only way it can have a reality for you is uncovering layer upon layer of aspects in you in which you hide yourself.
I will give you some generalities, which perhaps will ring a bell or an echo in you. There is, for one, the fact of not realizing the best you can be in certain areas. Now, I know this sounds general, and you do have to specifically find this. On a more superficial level, you dislike yourself for not being what your ideal demands of you. But this is only superficial.
As long as you remain on that level, you would feel very hopeless, because you can never be that ideal. But the real reason is never hopeless, for you can bring to fruition many things in you that still lie dormant.
Because there is a fear in you to do just that, to touch certain areas in you, this is why you dislike yourself. There are certain aspects in your life, within yourself and your outer life, which you do not touch, which you content yourself with very glib explanations and let them be. And that is exactly why you cannot do the best with yourself. Therefore you dislike yourself.
There are certain areas that seem so painful that you do not want to touch them. But I assure you, my dearest friend, that as soon as you really look into it, the pain will not be there. The pain will disappear. The pain is now there because you think there is nothing – you are absolutely hopeless, nothing can change in that.
Now, perhaps the change that can exist and come about in these areas will not be in exactly the form you had in mind, but it will be good and right and total, totally satisfying.
QA148 QUESTION: I have a question about the punitive attitude one has towards oneself that you talked about. I realized some time ago that a usual thought that occurs to me in the morning when I face the day is, “What is wrong with me?” I very quickly find an answer although it might be different from time to time. Can you enlighten me a little bit about the origin of this persistent accusatory questioning that I have?
ANSWER: Yes. Again now, with the recent developments, generally in this Pathwork and specifically in your own work, I transcend all these various layers we were concerned about in the past and try to go to the root of the problem, which indeed is connected with the last lecture [Lecture #148 Positivity and Negativity as One Energy Current].
Here the constant accusing is your battle against your own nucleus of a pleasure/pain syndrome. The self-rejection and the fright of meeting these aspects is so intense that you cannot allow yourself to experience both sides of the same coin within yourself. Therefore you pull away, you push away, and you deny yourself both – or you try to deny yourself both – aspects, each in a different way, each on a different level of consciousness.
You are indeed very near this realization where you can truly experience the reality in you of what I said here. But this must be the way. This will be the way: you will come fully to inner life when you no longer push against a bad and therefore must deny the good, that must always and at all times remain desirable.
For it is life’s nature, life’s essence, life’s very characteristic to be infinitely blissful. When man, through his distortions and through splitting himself off, turns this potential bliss into negative aspects, he will fight this negative aspect and therefore must deny the bliss that is possible, and therefore must be further conflicted by longing for the bliss while at the same time denying it.
QUESTION: Can I ask you something further in connection with this? I now begin to realize that when I accuse myself in this way, I am pushing against what I consider a weakness, and I condemn myself for this weakness. Is it possibly true that by doing that I, at the same time, condemn myself for the pleasure I find in this weakness? Therefore I condemn myself for any kind of pleasure, because it seems to me that at that time the only pleasure can be found in this kind of what I consider weakness?
ANSWER: That is entirely true! In fact, what you just say here is really exactly the same as what I explained. And it just requires on your part to go on working this out and specifically stating into yourself that you do not want to turn away from this – both the pleasure and the negativity in you; that you want to experience it in its essence, as it is there, and see it operating.
QA177 QUESTION: Another person asked a question on anger and you answered, as I got it, that this anger came from the frustration of expecting love from others, of expecting affirmation of our specialness, of expecting others to really to build us up. And that when you finally realize it would never come from without, you perhaps can deal with this anger that you must do it yourself.
All right, how do you start loving yourself? Going away from this idea that it must come from without, when this has really been the pattern of your life – how do you start loving yourself, liking your special qualities if you have them, not clinging to specialness to build yourself up, but liking your own individuality, giving yourself this kind of affirmation? How do you start building this?
ANSWER: Well, I would say that in order to like yourself, you have to find out why you do not like yourself. And the reason for that is always that there are certain feelings and attitudes and aspects which you have absolutely not accepted in yourself, many of which are human and understandable and normal, in a certain sense – not necessarily desirable, but they’re normal. They are part of being human.
Yes, the idealistic standards that you all set for yourself make such an acceptance impossible. And then there are also real impairments of character and of integrity. As I said in another question and answer period here, I listed all sorts of things that were an impairment of integrity. They are the patterns of the neurotic cheating, the subtleness of the game playing, which in a very, very subtle way shifts on others the negativity one doesn’t want to accept for oneself. And so on and so forth. One wants to get away with something.
All these things impair self-respect and self-liking. Now, you have to find out these elements, painstakingly, and view them and regard them and consider them. If you feel anger and hate and rage because you feel you were frustrated as a child, and you continued frustrating yourself all your life due to the negative patterns you have adopted, then this has to be fully owned up to.
One has to seek a way to express this in a self-responsible way without being destructive and not acting it out. This is one way, one thing, that has to be done.
Another thing is that impairment of integrity, the patterns that create it, have to be given up. And therefore, a self-liking will come as a natural by-product. It will be an indirect result. It can never be obtained directly. You can never tell yourself, “Now I will like myself.” It would not work that way.
QUESTION: But to some extent, we all do like ourselves.
ANSWER: To some extent, of course.
QUESTION: I mean, because we’re alive. I think I like me because I am.
ANSWER: Right. To some extent, yes. But we are talking about to what extent is the self-liking absent. And I would say wherever you are unfulfilled and suffering, you must also have impaired your self-liking.