In each of our minds we have these ‘go-to’ patterns, the default mechanisms that we activate automatically because we’ve been living in/as them for so long that they’ve become habitual. For some it might be certain fears or anxieties, for others it may be anger or apathy and for most of us it may even be all of the above.
One of these mechanisms for me is a certain cycle of reaction that I trigger/go into whenever I see something in/of myself that I am dissatisfied with or that I see has to change, but that I’ve not yet made a directive decision and commitment to change or that I simply haven’t followed through with.
So the pattern plays out as follows: first I see myself and the point that requires changing. Something specifically that I’ve been walking is for example reacting in anger towards my partner. So step one is that I see it. Step two is where I fall into the ‘trap’ of seeing through/as/from the mind. So I see this point that requires changing and then I react to it/myself in self-judgment. From there, a set of other reactions/consequences gets triggered where I go into apathy and an experience of depression and wanting to give up.
What I have come to understand about this pattern is that it is a deliberate self-sabotage mechanism, it is a self-manipulation and deception tactic and the purpose with it is simple: to avoid taking self-responsibility and change.
What is interesting is that I see that I’ve carried a belief since childhood that “feeling bad” is a good thing, that showing remorse is a good thing.
So have a look at this: we teach kids to ‘say sorry’, we scold them so that they will feel bad about what they have done and identify themselves as ‘being bad’ in situations where they make mistakes or deliberately act out in self-interest or harm others. We do not teach them to understand cause and effect, to understand the sequence of events (inside and out) that lead up to the point of making the mistake or doing something deliberate that caused harm to another. What do they learn from this? Certainly not how to take responsibility for themselves or their actions.
This is exactly how I have played out this pattern where I’ll make a mistake or do something that is harmful to another or that creates consequences in some way because I was acting in self-interest – and then, instead of looking at the point practically in terms of how I can prevent the same point from happening again, I go into a default mode of literally scolding myself, of feeling bad and then believing that this is a good thing because it shows that I know that I did something wrong, that I want to change.
But ironically, as it also is with children – feeling bad through being scolded does not support us to change. Instead we diminish ourselves inside ourselves, we think that there’s something wrong with all of who we are and we start acting out in secret and compartmentalize the different aspects of ourselves to hide from ourselves and those around us.
I have a distinct memory from when I was around four years old and I deliberately hit a younger child out of spite and self-interest. I knew that it was unacceptable, but only from an external perspective of knowing that the adults would scold me and that I would in turn feel bad and I was scared of that. So I tried amending the mistake by making the other child laugh. But nowhere within me was a point of self-honesty or self-responsibility to look at why I had done what I did, nowhere was there a real recognition of it being unacceptable in terms of standing in the shoes of another and realizing that I wouldn’t want anyone hitting me so therefore I am not going to do that to another.
Lately I have started realizing how, all the dysfunctional behaviors that we live out as adults, actually comes from the way we were ‘educated’ by our parents and teachers growing up. They taught us to be dysfunctional without even knowing it, thinking that they were teaching us ‘right from wrong’.
I realize now that there is no merit or purpose to ‘feeling bad’. If it actually led to a substantial change and taking responsibility for our actions it might be relevant. But since it completely diverts attention from the actual point in question, it is most definitely not a supportive pattern. The thing is that I have thought that if I don’t feel bad, I can’t change. But I realize now that it is in reverse: I can’t take responsibility for myself unless I accept myself.
Accepting myself however, is not the same as accepting my actions or my behavior as valid and justified. Accepting myself means being able to see the full scope of what I am accepting and allowing in a moment in self-honesty without judgment or blame, because without seeing clearly, I can’t change.
In terms of the pattern, what I see is that the specific point of changing/correcting myself has to happen at the moment of seeing myself, where I – instead of going into self-judgment as an automatic default reaction, accept myself and accept what is here as the mistake I’ve made. It again doesn’t mean that I have to accept my actions as acceptable, but I realize now that I can’t change, if I don’t see the point in its entirety and I can’t see the point in its entirety if I am looking at it through self-judgment and reaction.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that feeling bad about a mistake I’ve made or where I’ve done something I know is unacceptable is an appropriate response and is the solution to correcting myself which is something I realize that I learned growing up from how adults tries to educate children through scolding them which I realize is not an effective way to learn
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to automatize a reaction of scolding myself when I’ve make a mistake/do something I know is unacceptable where I take it for granted and do not even question it but automatically go from seeing the mistake to reacting to it, thus taking myself away from the point of correcting myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not stop up at the moment of seeing myself within making a mistake/doing something unacceptable and immediately embrace myself and accept myself and look in self-support and self-honesty at how I can change/correct myself and take responsibility for myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to, after going into self-judgment about what I see within/as myself trigger a chain-reaction of emotions from anger to rage to apathy to depression to self-pity and eventually to giving up and going into a suppressed state of hiding from/within myself – in which I lose touch with reality and abdicate responsibility for myself and lose my grounding for a moment, until the energy runs dry and I ‘feel normal’ again or until I make a decision to stand up and correct myself which can last several hours or days, where I then am not living effectively or within the potential of who I can be
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that it is not only myself that I am harming and creating consequences for when I accept and allow myself to react emotionally to my own mistakes, but that I also create consequences in the lives of others and affect their lives by not taking directive responsibility for myself and for who and what I accept and allow myself to be
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not automatize my self-correction and self-support process by immediately embracing and accepting myself within self-honesty when and as I see that I’ve done something that I know is unacceptable/a mistake
When and as I see that I have made a mistake or that I’ve done something that I know is unacceptable and I see myself going into self-judgment towards myself – I stop and I breathe. I breathe myself back into my body and I embrace myself in self-acceptance and I push myself to look at what I’ve accepted and allowed in directive self-responsibility without judging myself.
I realize that I’ve created a belief that feeling bad about making a mistake/doing something that I know is unacceptable is a good thing and that it is the solution to change, when in fact it is not in any way supportive for actual change. Because actual change requires that I understand the events leading up to my mistake/doing something unacceptable, that I understand the cause/effect relationships involved in the moment, which I can only do if I accept myself unconditionally within the moment.
Therefore, I commit myself to embrace myself and accept myself because I realize that it is the only way I can change. And I commit myself to let go of the belief that it is good and supportive to feel bad about something that I’ve done. I commit myself to support myself to automatize this correction so that when I make a mistake, I immediately look unconditionally within self-honesty and self-acceptance and from there create a correction for myself through taking full responsibility for myself.
Investigate Desteni, investigate the forum where one is invited to write oneself out in self-honesty and where any questions regarding the Desteni Material will be answered by Destonians who are walking their own process. Visit the Destonian Network where videos and blogs are streamed daily. Suggest to also check out the Desteni I Process and Relationship courses as well as the FREE DIP Lite course