Self-hatred is self-love gone bad.
Many people seem to struggle with self-hatred. They judge themselves harshly. They berate themselves. Sometimes they harm themselves.
Self-hatred is not a core issue. At the core of our being, we truly love ourselves. At our deepest core, we want happiness, well-being, and peace. We want the best for ourselves, our loved ones, and others.
And everything we do is an attempt to find happiness, wellness, and peace. Everything we do is motivated by our desire for these things, including self-hatred. If it weren't, we wouldn't beat ourselves up so much.
But many times our motivations are not conscious. They are automatic and habitual. A little self-examination will confirm this.
Is there some aspect of yourself that you "hate"? Do you find yourself calling yourself names because of something you did or did not do? Do you punish yourself so that you won't repeat the mistake? Do you tell yourself that what you did wasn't good enough? Or that it could be better?
So, if you beat yourself up enough, you'll get it right, do better, and finally be happy? This kind of strategy to find peace and happiness ends up destroying your peace and happiness even further.
Self-hatred is a strategy that does not work.
We can not create happiness and inner peace through chastising or abusing ourselves. Yet we get stuck in these failed strategies of self-hating behaviors, repeating them over and over, with even more intensity.
Self-hatred, at its core, is our natural desire for happiness masquerading as a strategy we think will work.
It. Will. Never. Work. Never has. Never will.
Your core is not the problem. It's the strategy. The good news is that strategies can be changed.
When you make a mistake, you can learn to accept that you made one without punishing yourself further.
You can turn harsh self-talk into positive statements that affirm your worth.
You can practice being patient and kind with yourself.
You can forgive yourself and resolve to move forward with a more positive approach.
You can stop giving yourself a hard time for giving yourself a hard time!
A little self-examination is key to changing our strategies when we are suffering and at odds with ourselves. It may not be an easy change at first, but as we become aware of our actions, we can make the necessary modifications and adjust accordingly.
Your happiness depends upon you.