During an online workshop, the intense feelings of self disgust and self hatred came up in the group, and these were explored with a participant so that the group could enjoy the release from guilt and understand the mechanism of self-hatred that is used to stay stuck, to not move in life.
Participant: I’m feeling a little bit shell shocked, overwhelmed, came to realise how I might not be as nice as I think I am, so I’m trying to come to terms with that and take responsibility for myself.
Alex: We get to this this place where the good girl stuff starts dropping away and we see we are not as clean and open and kind and generous as we thought we were. But that is not the truth. You’ve got to keep going towards the truth because the truth is we are innocent, we are love, these are just your beliefs.
P: But I’m beating myself up about it and hating myself
A: Well right there is a place where there is a lot of self-hatred, that is one of our most hidden things, the temptation is to beat ourselves up about it which actually only increases the guilt, and keeps us stuck. One way through this is to recognise that it is not the truth, and to open up in our awareness how much we are affected by this. How much we buy into the idea we think we are toxic. You have to open up to see the denial before you can move it. If you beat yourself up about it you reinforce it. What we are trying to do is to loosen it.
[participant then expressed sadness and regret that came up during the session that she hadn’t done the things in her life that she wanted to do, not been the person she wanted to be or role model]
Alex: we had to do everything we did do to get to where we are now. Everything is an inevitable journey. Everything happened step by step by step, and this regret is just another way to beat yourself up. Everything happened as it did, for you to get to where you are now. The way you know that is because it happened.
P: But isn’t it about the choices I had to make on the way?
A: Yes but you had to make the choices you did to get the learning you are getting. You couldn’t have missed the steps.
P: Wish I’d learnt it a bit earlier and a bit quicker
A: That’s another way to whip yourself and self attack will keep you stuck, you won’t learn the lesson, a wrong choice is a learning point. You have to make the mis-step to get the learning, nothing is wasted, everything is relevant.