When you love yourself: you love your life. And that is the closest we know to be a happy person.
And you want to be happy, right? It feels like your birthright. Even though I can’t specifically point at anyone who is happy… it IS your birthright.
Birthright or not birthright, we all want to be happy… even though no one has been able to explain how to become happy… so it seems that it will remain a desire… never to be fulfilled. Hope and hopeless… or resigned is our dominant state.
The closest experience to happiness is contentment, with life, with yourself.
When you love yourself you love your life… but how could you?
Our entire culture is about you not being enough, you not smart enough, you not pretty enough, you not having enough… and truth be told, most people I coach hate themselves, are disgusted with themselves, disappointed with themselves… and that is as far from happiness as one can get.
I am just like you, just ahead of you, on the same path.
I am going to use the methodology I have seen work miracles for me… even though they are counter-intuitive, counter-cultural, maybe not all pretty, but they work.
What do I have to do?
I know, that is a big and unexpected bomb I have just dropped on you. But unless you have this sentence as your starting point, you’ll go with the intuitive, cultural method I have seen others teach you.
I examined a number of books on Amazon that say they teach you to love yourself. The truth value of each of those books was 1%. Why? Are those bad books? I don’t know… but they are ineffective. My hunch is: when you haven’t found the cause of an illness, you cannot heal it… no matter how talented you are. Unless the cause is eliminated, the cancer will grow. And self hate is like cancer… as it grows it kills aliveness, it kills you.
Those methods don’t work. Why?
The bible teaches the strait and narrow method… Strait is just another word for narrow. It is anything but straight.
The whole culture, your inclinations, the world seem to work against narrow… They tell you the hundred ways you can make yourself happy… but I call that the shotgun method… you are pelting the whole area, the potential ways to feel good about yourself… while nothing changes.
So what is the strait and narrow method?
It is eliminating what is ineffective or harmful.
You will be doing lists. Lists of activities, list of attitudes that you can see won’t make you feel good about yourself.
You will have to repeat this process a few months down the line… when you will have seen more of your transgressions… and will have seen more behaviors and attitudes to eliminate.
It’s a process. I had help. And today I am happy.
My happy is not jumping around laughing and smiling. It’s more like this: I enjoy my days, I enjoy my activities, I laugh easily, I dance easily, I love easily.
I call it happy. It is the closest to happy I know. No drama, no extreme feelings, it is humming, and it is really nice. Always.
What will be on your list to eliminate?
Behaviors and attitudes.
Behaviors that you don’t like about yourself, and attitudes that sour you.
I call this the integrity restoration phase.
Integrity is a concept that cannot be pinned down for you, because integrity, the way we mean it, is an inside job.
It is judged by you…
You, like everyone else, have two selves. You can call them however you want to… Bob and Suzy, self and Self, higher self and lower self, real self and made up self, Self and soul. What you call them doesn’t change that they are two selves that need to love each other. Intimately.
One self lives in the world, the other observes and until the two love each other, you won’t have an experience of loving yourself.
You can call the two selves the devil you and the angel you. won’t make a difference.
Your one self knows what the other is doing, what the other is thinking, what the other is planning… and either will like it or it won’t.
The list of behaviors and attitudes to eliminate is written by one self, THE SELF… and the other self, the persona, will want to continue, will explain, justify, resist…
There is an inner power struggle, and no love.
I have been struggling to stay alive. MY list has/had one main item on it: my eating. I am lucky: my eating makes me feel bad, so it was relatively easy to see that I am doing that to myself.
Two days ago I decided to limit eating to a few hours a day, so I don’t get the excruciating acid reflux and stomach ache.
It’s taken me three rounds of negotiating the hours between the two selves… and settled between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm, to consider my exercise classes… I am hungry. I was hungry all night. But I am going to do it. I am going to restore the love between my two selves, completely.
Once you have a list with at least three items on it, your job will be to start with one item, and endeavor to eliminate it. Do what you need to do to be able to remove it from the reasons there is no love between you and yourself.
The list answers the following question:
If I wanted to have inner tension, if I wanted my better self hate my other self… what behaviors and attitudes would I maintain?
The big transgression you have will make the list first…
- I would be slothful
- I would self-medicate (eat, drink, sex, Netflix, Facebook, talk, etc.)
- I would not do what I said I would do
- I would be a wimp (wimp: a weak and cowardly or unadventurous person.)
- I would do my job because I have to
- I would be more interested in what others think about me than what I am doing…
- I would imagine that I can do something, and jump right into doing without considering a process, without learning what it takes to produce the result.
- I would have all my attention on yourself, on what I want, what I don’t want… and get upset, frustrated, angry, fearful all the time
You want to break down these “beingness” words into their components by asking: what do I DO that I call slothful? for example
- I say: it’s not worth it
- I stay in bed after the alarm goes off
- I take the elevator to get to the second floor
- I say: I don’t have energy for that… etc.
- I cheat on my diet
- I fantasize about love, money, success…
- I’d say: Don’t tell me what to do!
- I’d say: No matter what I do, I can’t… etc.
Things that are obvious to you.
You will need to create new habits. The old habits fight for survival, so if you are a wimp, it will be hard. Hell, it will be hard, no matter what you are now. Building new life-habits is hard.
But it will get easier, because you’ll be practicing muscles that have atrophied, but can be brought back to life by practice.
Every time you win over the “evil inclination” you’ll be jubilant. But don’t celebrate early. It’s OK to feel good about yourself, but don’t think a victory in a battle will win the war.
This is war, my friend.
When I do your Starting Point Measurements, one of the measures is the level of your integrity.
The highest I have ever measured was 10%.
So beware: the world is filled with people just like you: low integrity score.
And the world, the culture is like a chicken coop or a crab bucket: the majority will pull you back to misery.
So mum is the word. Especially to people who are close to you and supposedly love you.
Don’t share what you are doing, don’t ask for support. They will not help you, they will not support you.
Why? Because if you clean up your act, it will make them look bad. And they don’t want to look bad, and they don’t want to change. They want to give lip service to change… and that is all they want to give. Look good while being bad…
Just like you.
In every area of your life… by the way.
Because how you do anything is how you do everything, you are slothful, entitled, conceited, arrogant, attention-seeking, needy, domineering, wimpy, grouchy, resistant, haughty, arrogant, self-aggrandizing, judgmental, stupid, ignorant… etc. etc. in every area of your life.
Here is an example, a behavior we all have: assuming…
I have a student who drives me nuts. Turns out he assumes things to be true, assumes things to know… I muscle tested today: He assumes 70% of the things he acts upon. He doesn’t know. He assumes he knows. But doesn’t know that he is basing a life on assumptions and not facts.
In every area of his life. Health, wealth, love and happiness. Ugh…
He is not even an extreme case, by the way.
I can even find examples of that in my own life.
For example, when I read, I first assume that I know all the words… Then when I read a sentence, I assume what the vague sounding word means… so the sentence makes sense.
I have had to create a habit of looking up every word I am not 100% sure what it means.
I use my reading as a habit forming practice. I also use my sleeping as a habit forming practice.
I call these spiritual practices, because they deal with the invisible.
Most things that make your one self hate the other for are in the invisible. Maybe visible for you, not very visible for others.
What if you committed to this process? What could you expect?
If you fully committed to this process, you’d see your life change.
- At 10% integrity you’d start to gain energy from the practice, you’d start to have hours, maybe even days, when you would be happy with yourself.
- At 20% integrity you’d start to produce extraordinary results and a nearly 90% level of happiness…
You’d find your ambition grow and your desire get lower, so you could spend more time earning what you want, and less time fantasizing.
Because the Universe doesn’t give a hoot… no. But because everything comes to you through people, from people… it would feel like the the Universe cares.
There would still be tornadoes, it would snow, and it would be hot. But it would “happen” to a now whole different person who could deal with anything.
And that would make all the difference.
- 1. You can go and read another article, and forget about this. I expect most people will do just that.
- 2. You can say: I need help… and start one of my programs to get ongoing support
I plan on doing some almost free workshops in the coming months. Teaching this same thing, and help you start your ‘not to do’ list.
Many of the crucial behaviors that robbed me of my self-love were also invisible to me. And I was lucky: I had some credible people point them out to me.
I have written about some of those others pointed out to me: lying and gossiping were behaviors that I could not see myself.
My hunch is: you need support. Because left to your own devices is how you created the life you have… and left to your own devices you will continue doing the same things the same way… and when you read this article again in a year or two, you’ll realize that you could have gotten ahead but you didn’t.
You’ll see that you remained the same: not loving yourself, not loving your life.
For now embark on a self-study course, so you can see that what I teach and how I teach is right for you. I have a style you may not like: it is not for weaklings, it is not for people who want nice-nice.
I am velvet hammer: I hit you to get a predictable and ugly response so you can see it. It is not for everybody… so test it out first.
I recommend my Playground recordings from 2014. And if you buy them before the deadline, I’ll throw in two other programs, the happiness, and the skill-finder workshops.
Go to step 2