[Photo courtesy of Sonia F]
We sabotage ourselves and we hurt our own progress; we want to get close to someone, but then we push them away. We’re trying to accomplish something but we do things that are against it.
Then there are the things we do that are destructive toward our health, we smoke, drink alcohol, stay up too late when we know we have to get up early. These are things we do out of habit, denial, and weakness, not really out of ignorance. There are so many things we know are bad for us — we know it because we have seen the ill-effects on ourselves firsthand, not because of what someone told us — but we do it anyway.
It creates a cycle of guilt, shame, and redemption — in which we feel bad, ask ourselves why we did it, then promise to do better. It’s an inner drama that absorbs energy.
So where does this self-destructive tendency come from?
I have two answers: the first concerns the spiritual, the second, the psychological.
1. Spiritual Roots of Self-Destructive Behavior
It’s because we want to go home.
In other words, we have a longing for the experience of unity. We come from the One Being; that is our true nature of our soul and spirit. Our hearts hold the memory of that perfect unity of being.
The very nature of our souls is the Infinite. When your soul only knows limitation, your soul becomes kind of beaten down, and finds a way to express that longing for perfection and infinity in some unconscious way.
Self-destruction is a big unconscious way of getting back to unity, because that is the ultimate end of destruction. To destroy utterly means to nullify, to annihilate, to go back to nothingness, which is the unity that comes before.
So spiritually, self-destructive behavior comes from our frustration and ignorance of the true nature of reality. Consciously moving toward the experience of unity is the way to address self-destructive tendencies at the most fundamental level.
Give your soul and spirit what it is you truly want: the experience that
I am one with all things
and all things are one with me.
The true nature of reality is that we are a focusing of the universe onto a single point. We need to be aware of that one point, and yet we need to be aware that there is something greater. Our individuality makes no sense without the sense of perspective that comes from feeling the larger whole. Our lack of perspective is where most of our suffering comes from.
I have recorded two meditations for you, applications of Heart Rhythm Meditation to ending self-destructive tendencies and behavior.
Meditation 1: The Spiritual Roots of Self-Destructive Behavior (23 minutes — click link to stream, then right click and “save-as” to download)
- how to meditate on your heart — the basics of Heart Rhythm Meditation
- how to make your breath smooth, and what surprising benefits that brings
- the value of sitting still
- the value of watching your breath
- the importance of rhythmic breathing
- how the method of HRM works to achieve unity
- how HRM differs from other methods of meditation
- how to go into your body, thoughts, and feelings, using this as a portal to enter the timeless, and perfect.
- how to ease inner resistance to your feelings
- what to do if you feel no emotion
- why your feelings have such tremendous value
- how to embrace all emotions, and how this leads to self-acceptance, the key to accepting others.
- where self-dissatisfaction comes from
2. Psychological Roots of Self-Destructive Behavior
Psychologically, self-destructive behavior comes from the warring between different factions within ourselves.
We have been told to be a certain way, and that way we are told to be — on account of our gender, interests, family upbringing, or role — may not be in harmony with our true nature.
For example, many women have been given the message that they should be soft, accepting, and nurturing; that they should accept the authority of men, not try to lead, and many other such messages. Some women may feel that this fits with their inner energy, but many other women do not. So there is a conflict with the way they are expected to be and the way the feel within.
The same is true for men, who are taught and expected to be assertive even to the point of being aggressive, to be decisive, blunt, in control, forceful, and so on. Men who feel their true nature is more receptive, accommodating, nurturing, and gentle are likely to be scorned. (Luckily, much of this is changing, as gender norms become more expansive.)
These conflicts — and there are many other examples — set up a situation where we feel we need to manage, ignore, and repress who we really are.
We have a part of our self that says, for example: “I want to get healthier, I want to lose weight, I want to be more fit.” And another part that says, “Life is so hard, can’t I just get a break?”
I think it is not news to say we have warring factions within ourselves. The key is how to we work with this situation? How do we make peace?
So I have recorded a second meditation specifically to work on this issue.
Meditation 2: Making Peace with the Different Parts of Your Self (27 minutes — click link to stream, then right click and “save-as” to download)
- examples of inner conflict
- the cycle of inner drama
- how to discover your warring factions
- how to make peace with the different parts of yourself
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share a comment below.
P.S. One powerful way to give yourself the support you need to do this on a daily basis is to take our online course 101: Introduction to Heart Rhythm Meditation. We also have a course in meditation specifically to help you sleep.
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