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"How Do I Stop Sabotaging Myself?"By Dr. Margaret Paul
May 20, 2013
Discover why you may be sabotaging and punishing yourself with your self-judgment and self-rejection.
Would you love to manifest your dreams and have the life you want? Most people would unhesitatingly respond with a resounding "YES!" Yet, do you sometimes find yourself sabotaging yourself in achieving this? Georgette finds herself in this position and wants to know how to stop.
"My inner parent took over the job where my biological and step-parents left off. She's negative and critical to the point that I find that I'm consciously sabotaging myself -- just to be sure I get what I deserve. (?) It feels as though I would be out of integrity if I don't punish myself. That message stuck with me from very early in childhood and I continue to struggle with it. By virtue of the fact that this struggle even exists seems to validate the negative assessment that I'm worthless. I'm 60 years old and this life-long habit is still fresh and active, even though the original perpetrators of the vile message are long dead. In my brain, and even my heart, I know that I am not worthless -- no one is. But emotionally, it feels so real. Is this message something that will ever be overcome? I've done so much personal work, and have assisted many others in dealing with similar issues, yet I can't seem to unravel it within myself. Any insight and direction would be so much appreciated. Thank you."
Georgette, the question you need to ask yourself is, "What feelings or outcomes am I trying to control or avoid when I judge and punish myself?"
Your parents were trying to control you when they were critical of you, and you absorbed the messages you heard as a child into your wounded self. The wounded self is the part of us that learned various ways of trying to control our painful feelings and the outcome of things regarding others and events. Because we could not manage very painful feelings when we were little, we needed to try to control as part of our survival.
The problem is that your wounded self is still in charge, and still trying to control. As long as your intent is to control your feelings and outcomes, you will continue to sabotage yourself with self-judgment. Your wounded self is not actually trying to sabotage you – she is trying to protect you from getting hurt, but the way she tries to protect you ends up sabotaging you. So it's not working.
When you shift your intent from controlling to loving yourself, you will eventually be able to stop judging yourself. When you decide that being loving to yourself – and learning about what that means – is more important to you than avoiding your painful feelings, then you will gradually be able to stop sabotaging yourself.
The painful feelings most of us learned to avoid when we were little are the core painful feelings of life – loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others and outcomes. The wounded self is so averse to the core painful feelings of life that it ironically creates other painful feelings such as anxiety, depression, guilt, shame or anger in order to avoid the deeper feelings.
When you learn to connect with a loving spiritual source of comfort, and compassionately embrace these feelings, then you will no longer need to avoid them. When you accept your helplessness over others' feelings and actions, and over the outcome of things, and learn to take loving care of yourself in the face of challenging situations, then you no longer need to attempt to control. This is what will allow you to let go of the self-judgment/self-rejection that is sabotaging you.
The Inner Bonding process is wonderful for developing your spiritually connected loving adult self who is capable of managing your painful feelings.
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