The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss—an arm, a leg, money, a wife, etc.—is sure to be noticed.
I’ve been doing what I call “self work” for most of my adult life. I’ve been fortunate to find the right teachers at the right time. Not only have I had excellent teachers, I had the added benefit of traveling with like-minded seekers who are now some of my closest friends.
Looking back, some of these connections seem miraculous. From a last-minute decision to attend a non-credit class to reconnecting with old friends via Facebook to finding an obscure book standing upright on the shelf at the small local library, I am learning more about myself as the stream of teachers flow in.
That little obscure book has been sitting beside me for days now–I’ve delayed opening it–I’m not sure why. Maybe the title was a trigger: Unworthy, How to Stop Hating Yourself, by Anneli Rufus.
I began reading it today. That little uneasiness I felt was warranted. This author has much to share with me and I bet she has some insight for you as well.
Below are some of the notes I made today. The words “self hate” may sound strong to you–as Ms. Rufus says, “Maybe I no longer hate myself–I just don’t like myself much.” Whatever terminology feels best to you, Anneli speaks honestly to those of us who feel or who have ever felt unworthy.
“We the afflicted, we who hate ourselves, need to know that thinking, actions, and feeling come easily to those with self-respect; that these seemingly simple processes–thinking, acting, and feeling, thus including hope and love–are monumentally different for us, requiring twice as much effort on our part as other as others have to expand. For us, even a simple task–dressing, ordering food in restaurants–means thinking, over thinking, unthinking, striding through thick waves of shame, dread and fear. That sound ludicrously like an act of courage.”
“For more than forty years I believed that I was not all there. For more than forty years I did not understand that I WAS there but someone else had made me believe I was not all there.”
“Start here: You are astounding just for being human, merely for belonging to this species that is capable of language, laughter, creativity, and love. With just one hand you can soothe a child, play a tune, or stitch a wound. With just one eye, you could signal warning or friendship, read the entire contents of a library, or find your way out of the woods. And your brain is the Universe’s greatest creation.”
I hope these snippets stir up your curiosity about what I will share tomorrow and what we can learn together.
“The only way to make a spoilt machine work again is to break it down, work on its inner system and fix it again. Screw out the bolts of your life, examine and work on yourself, fix your life again and get going.”
~Peace be with you~