I had finally done it. I had admitted a truth…I couldn’t hate myself happy.
Admitting the truth is always the first step to change.
So, I gathered myself, bravely faced the mirror of my inner being, and admitted this belief I held of self-sabotage and self-punishment was not bringing me happiness.
I felt strangely excited. I had a problem that needed to be fixed. I was an expert at making something wrong, right again. I knew, without hesitation, I could solve this minor dilemma in my life. The answer was simple…I just needed to stop hating myself.
I jumped in with both feet.
I began extensive research, read every self-help book, listened to TED talks regarding self-love and acceptance, bought podcasts, forced myself to meditate, practiced yoga even harder.
And it worked.
I started to understand I had been holding onto self-punishment like a piece of armor, using it to protect myself from getting hurt. I understood self-sabotage was simply a misguided act of self- love. I accepted the idea that focusing on punishing myself was keeping me in punishment. I grasped the concept that all my self-inflicted judgments were keeping me from moving forward into happiness in my life.
I became well versed in all the right positive affirmations to think. I was a walking, talking self-help book. There wasn’t a problem in my life I was not able to think myself through or simply just “let it go.”
After all, it was mind over body, right? Wasn’t that what I had read in all the books, listened to in all the talks, practiced on the yoga mat? All I had to do was control my thoughts…easy-peasy.
Except, I still wasn’t happy.
I had yet to manage thinking myself happy.
I started noticing this distinct difference between the reality of my life and the story I was telling myself.
I was constructing beliefs about my reality based on deletions and distractions. I formed generalizations regarding events that had occurred, and minimized the abuse I was inflicting upon myself under the guise of “someone else was likely doing something worse to themselves.”
I was accepting all these beliefs as if they were facts. As if the memories hadn’t drifted and been reconstructed to suit my needs, but were solid, concrete truths.
I became obsessed with the idea, if I could just control my thoughts, I would find happiness. I spent hours training myself to stop any negative thought or judgment in their tracks and, instead, forced myself to think about something positive, burying or brushing the negative thought and judgment aside.
I became the master of thinking positive. I was Little Miss Sunshine with her perpetual smile and optimistic outlook. I dedicated myself to be the “judgment-free” person of the year.
And yet, I wasn’t happy.
I still hadn’t managed to think my way happy.
Again, I hit rock bottom. After all the enlightenment I was convinced I had obtained, I was still unhappy. Years had now been spent reading, researching, meditating, and I was more miserable than when I was self-punishing.
This so called cure, of thinking my way happy that I had so willingly developed, had become worse than the disease of self-punishment I had been so accustomed to. At the very least, the punishment had felt honest. Now, I had thought my way into being a fraud.
Somehow, some way, I knew I had to disengage from every thought I had been trying so hard to control. I knew I had to rearrange my situation to create a whole different possibility. I knew I had to stop fighting against myself through punishments, judgments and forced, controlled thinking.
But how? What could I now do to change the circumstances of my life. To find the kind of peace, joy and happiness I was looking to attain. To find the flow and ease I had read about.
I found myself back at square one, knowing only two things…
1. I couldn’t hate myself happy
2. I couldn’t think myself happy
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