THE PATTERN PAGES
See also: : Healing Self-Hate
|You can enforce mental changes which never touch the depths of the soul. Self-love cannot be gained through the spirit.|
Self-hate is the most insidious and pervasive problem we all have. Self-hate underlies most patterns, and rules most relationships. The patterns springing from it can manifest in a wide variety of ways. That's because self-hate hides so well, and has the ability to co-opt other patterns for its use.
Remember, the purpose of a pattern is twofold: to mask the real feelings/pain we hold, and to play out or create the reality of the beliefs within the pattern. (See How Patterns Work for more on this.)
At the base of the self-hate patterns are a feeling of deep unworthiness. So the pattern must find ways to both hide the real feelings, and also play them out in reality in some way. If reality doesn't fit what self-hate believes is true, the pattern will cause us to do something that will sabotage our success. Whether it's self-sabotage or getting others to participate in our downfall, the self-hate patterns can be quite creative in finding ways to make reality fit the "I am bad" picture.
This is difficult to understand, to believe that we would be so perverse as to purposely create self-harming realities! But it's also a testament to our innate power to create.
There are two parts to the formation of self-hate patterns. The first is BLAME, which usually originates with judgments in the mind/spirit.
When we are children, before we have an understanding of "self" vs. "other", we are particularly open and vulnerable to the input of those around us. We form our sense of self based on how we are treated. We can both be imprinted at the emotional level (made to feel bad), and the mental level (taught judgments of good/bad and right/wrong). But it doesn't matter if the judgments came from our parents, teachers, friends, church, or if they originated with something within our own self. The point is that our mind believes the judgments and takes on the role of carrying out the sentencing. This means part of the self is actively blaming another part of the self. Self-blame is the hate part of self-hate.
The second part of the picture involves the soul. The soul receives the judgment/blame as feelings of SHAME.
Shame can be thought of as the energetic opposite of hate. The shape of hate is outward, forward, convex, active. The shape of shame is inward, concave, passive. Shame causes us to abdicate our own space. Shame says we deserve bad things, do not deserve good things. When we feel shame, we shrink, we give over, we collapse.
Shame doesn't always come from feeling judged. We may feel remorse and regret over having hurt someone we love, or having neglected them in some way. This is not a judgment sourcing from the mind, but pain that comes from the heart and soul. When you love someone you don't want them to be hurting. And when you are the one who causes them to hurt, you feel remorse, regret, and that turns to shame. Remorse and regret can be cried though, and we can always make things right with the ones we have hurt. If we can't make it right with them personally, we can make it right spiritually and energetically, and that energy will reach them on another level. And we can commit to never doing that kind of harm again.
Note: Guilt and self-hate are not the same thing, but are tightly intertwined. Guilt comes from outside ourselves and occupies the space we give up when we feel shame. Guilt pushes on our shame, makes us feel worse. That's when we say we feel guilty, but we are actually feeling shame. The test? Guilt doesn't cry. It can't be healed. Shame does cry, and it can be healed. The only way to move guilt out is to cry our shame and take back our space.
Through the blame and shame process, conclusions are drawn that form our belief system with the concrete belief "I am bad" at the foundation. And then we don't fight back when bad things happen because, after all, that's what we deserve. Or, we fight back while at the same time knocking ourselves down.
|TWO OTHER IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTORS --|
There are two other ways that self-hate patterns can be formed, or contributed to. Usually when we see a person with self-hate as a LIFE pattern, they have a combination of the shame/blame, and one or both of the additional problems here. Knowing these things makes it a little easier to heal. Although sometimes we don't know the source until we begin to cry the pain.
1. Rage in Conversion: This is not actually self-hate. It's what we call a conversion. It actually begins as a thwarted rage response to something external.
When we are hurt, frightened, threatened or left with unmet needs, when we have been mistreated or abused, we are naturally and spontaneously angry about it. If we have no self-hate/self-doubt, then we automatically feel that the hurt or neglect is UNFAIR! And both our soul and spirit try to make sense of the hurting. The deeply felt response from the core of a self-loving being is "why is this happening to me"? "Why did you hurt me, terrify me, leave me?" etc.
If the hurt/fear/anger is allowed to cry at the moment, it heals and dissipates, and the quest for the cause expands to greater understandings, as well as greater abilities to get out of the hurtful situation. But when the rage is not allowed to cry, especially if it is suppressed with threats of MORE violence, it builds up a compressed energy charge. Compressed energy eventually becomes like a volcano that MUST blow. Energy must go somewhere. But when it tries to express outwardly, it hits a wall and has nowhere to go but back in on itself. Then the quest for a "reason" turns inward, as does the rage at being mistreated. The mind builds a rigid belief that says "I deserve this", and soul feels the rage that is twisting and turning back inward. The soul responds with shame and alarm. Is this my fault? Did I cause this? It becomes a twisted pretzel at this point, and we can no longer separate "hate you" from "hate me". Rage has converted itself into self-hate.
How to know if you are holding converted rage? When you begin to cry this pain, it may begin as shame or inward self-hate feelings. But eventually (sometimes immediately) it becomes the outward rage that it was meant to be, and you'll find yourself crying rage/hatred AT somebody or some situation. Then you may go back to crying something inward and self-focussed. Back and forth. This is the pretzel, untwisting itself, and dissipating the compressed energy charge of the rage.
2. Taking In Other People's Hatred: This is a very difficult, but very common way that self-hate forms. It is difficult, because at the root of it is the feeling of being hated. We usually receive this kind of hatred when we are open and boundary-less. Children receive hatred from others all the time, and never know that it's not their own. The hatred coming from another person is actually taken in and held deep within the soul. We have called this the DarkDeath, because that's how it feels when you hold another person's hatred energy within yourself.
The feeling of being hated is horrible and horrifying. There is nothing like it. For the soul it's an experience like death. Several things happen:
- The soul responds to being hated with extreme shame. It's a feeling like being socked in the gut, and we energetically cave in around the wound, which is generally in our heart and stomach area.
- We feel terror of it happening again. And terror hates to be in a state of anticipation, desperately wants to know what happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Terror begins a scramble to "be good", in whatever ways it seems may keep hatred from hitting us again. Yin energy people commonly present this way.
- We feel rage at the unfairness of it. We may try to "prove" how wrong the hatred is, or we may try to prove how right it is, by acting out our complete and total "badness". Yang energy people will commonly present this way.
- Since its origins are not in the mind, we may not be able to understand why we continually feel so unworthy and hated. And we may not be able to distinguish this feeling from our own self-hate. When we take in hatred from another person, we feel it as our own. We own it, even though it is not ours. Mind tries to understand why we are being hated. Mind may form elaborate constructs to explain the feelings. Mind concludes we must have done something to cause it, and begins to act in collusion with the hatred. And so the blame/shame cycle begins.
The bottom line here is that this outside hatred we call the DarkDeath cannot be rationalized or fixed. And it cannot be cried. You cannot cry and heal what does not belong to you. What we can cry is the result. We can cry our response to this hatred, the pain of feeling hated. We can cry the anger at how unfair it feels, we can cry the heartbreak and the sadness. But the hatred we are holding here cannot cry and heal. It must be released and given back to its rightful home.
Why Do We Hold It? Usually we receive this hatred when we are vulnerable and lacking in boundaries, and before we have an understanding of Self vs. Other. So we often don't know that this hatred does not belong to us. In addition, if we live with constant abuse, then we are also imprinted with the belief that we MUST NOT FORM BOUNDARIES or say NO to the abuse, that we must stay open to "what we deserve". Our Belief System then says we deserve this, and that we must continue to accept it and hold it. Staying open to another person's hatred then, becomes the pattern for our lives. We may not have always known how to hold against this hatred. We may not have been able to form boundaries or say no to it. But we can change this now. We CAN give the hatred back. We can form boundaries to prevent ever taking in more hatred again. And we can heal the wounds the hatred created in our soul.
Self-hate patterns tend to act out either the blame or the shame, depending on whether we are primarily yin or yang polarized. Yin people will generally act out their self-hate passively. Generally they let other people do the hating, and they mostly feel only the shame. Yang people will be more actively self-hating and self-sabotaging. Their patterns tend to act out on the self. If they do try to draw others into harming them or create dangerous situations, it will be done in colorful and dramatic ways. The flamboyant and visible self-hater is usually a yang energy person.
That doesn't mean they don't both have shame and blame, it simply means that yin and yang polar people deal with the feelings differently. Both the shame and the blame need to be dealt with in order for self-hate patterns to truly heal.
As we said above, self-hate can manifest in many ways, and can use other patterns to act out. For instance, people with self-hate as their LIFE pattern, might run simultaeous addiction patterns, judging patterns, as well as several of the patterns below.
The Doormat - This is actually one of the Powerless Patterns, commonly co-opted by self-hate. The Doormat literally lets everybody walk all over them. They may feel they have no value in the world, or they may place their value in how MUCH they're getting walked on, and how WELL they can take it. In this way, the pattern both outpictures unworthiness, and avoids the real feelings of unworthiness, because the person can tell themselves they have value because they're being self-less and generous and caring of other's feelings. What they're actually doing is negating their own needs and rights (and often boundaries and property) and allowing others to occupy the space they should keep for themselves by divine right.
The Punching Bag - Usually a yin pattern. The Punching Bag believes physical pain/punishment is inevitable. They anticipate the blows, and like a dog that has been beaten, goes into a submissive stance before a hand can even be raised. When the blows come, there's a sense of relief. Waiting and anticipating it creates horrible fear and tension, and often this pattern will do something to provoke an "incident". Make no mistake here, we do not blame the victim for their patterns. But half the battle of breaking these patterns is recognizing how they are acting out in our lives, even when we don't consciously want what they bring us. When this pattern is found in yang people, it usually lends itself to sado-masochistic rituals where the physical pain is actively sought out and agreed to by the "submissive" partner.
The Garbage Can - Like the Punching Bag, this pattern acts out in what it allows others to do TO us, but usually it stays in the verbal and emotional realm. The Garbage Can literally allows themselves to be "dumped on" by everybody and anybody. Husbands, wives, bosses, even children are allowed to scoff, scorn, belittle, put down, make fun of, rage at and blame the Garbage Can for anything that goes wrong. It's amazing how easily we fall into patterns of accepting this kind of abuse. We may excuse it because it's not physical. But it is still abuse, and the effects are JUST as harmful. NOTE: Blaming the "abuser" doesn't help you get free of the pattern. What is needed here is to deal with the self-hate and shame that leaves the door open or draws these things to you. It's the only way to be really and truly free and in charge.
The Martyr - The various manifestations of the Martyr pattern are often co-opted by self-hate. Sacrifices that are not appreciated and that end with rejection are primary with this pattern. The Fool is a good example of this.
The Bad Girl/Boy - Most commonly taken on by yang polar people. The Bad Girl/Boy plays the social outcast, the whore, the criminal, the Incorrigible One. Their yang energy makes them defiant in their "badness", and they often flaunt it in outrageous ways. They can even feel superior to the "good" people and make a big show of pretending they don't care about being accepted. But the truth is that they do care, and deep down they believe they will never be accepted.
The Self-Mutilator - This pattern can act out in many ways. The act of cutting, burning or pounding your own flesh is both active and passive. It fulfills both the hate and the shame, and that makes it extremely addictive and seductive. Hiding the activity is part of the shame, so one of the best things you can do with this pattern is tell somebody.
The "Accident Prone" - This pattern takes the person and causes frequent "accidents" and injuries that can range from little bumps and bruises to broken bones and critical, near-death injuries. This is not usually a conscious thing! Although there may be some who consciously choose self-injury, most "accident prone" people are operating from an unconscious pattern that literally works in their bodies and lives to cause falls and burns and explosions. Although unconscious, there is a pay-off with this pattern, which can make it very addictive. The sympathy you get when you're recovering from an injury is attention you may never get at any other time. Since you secretly believe you don't deserve this kind of attention, the price must be paid ahead of time, in physical pain.
The Lonely One - Like the Bad Girl/Boy, this pattern is the social outcast. But unlike the yang energy people who carry their Bad Girl/Boy status like a badge, the Lonely Ones are often never seen. They are Alone. They feel (and sometimes are) invisible. They speak with soft voices that nobody really hears. They never seem to find love and even family relationships are outside their reach. They long for companionship and love and warmth and sharing. But they don't believe they deserve it or can ever find it. They walk alone, and they believe they will always be alone, forever.
The Great One - This is the pendulum swing into grandiosity in the person who is trying desperately to avoid how totally value-less they feel. They push their self-hate away, stuff it into a corner of the attic, and walk through life in the Better-Than illusion. Everything is GREAT! They've overcome it all, have no problems, and in fact, are doing better than most other people! They may pretend they're not doing it, but a secret voice is running all the time, running the Judgment Pattern as a means of keeping their own self-hate at bay. Often this pattern is so successful at creating the illusion of Big and Great and Wonderful and Oh-So-Powerful, that everybody in the person's life is fooled. The crash, when it comes, is usually heavy and deeply devastating.
That Critical Voice - This isn't so much a pattern as a constant running critical energy in the background. We may not hear it during the day when we are active and busy. It may only come to our awareness at quiet times, like when we're preparing for sleep, or trying to meditate. This is when self-hate brings forth all the things that it has been saving up, all the things we have ever done or said that we feel bad about. It may replay old scenes and conversations when you said something stupid or caused someone pain. It may simply list the dumb things you did that day. If you start to feel too good about yourself, it will drag something really big out of the closet, something it has been saving up for just this occasion, something that will really remind you how stupid/wrong/bad/crazy you are. Getting this voice to shut up is very hard. You can use any number of techniques - affirmations, meditation, getting busy, getting drunk - but the only thing that stops it entirely is to cry the shame that is triggered by the voice. When you're done crying the shame from something, you can check it off the list and tell the voice, "There, you can't lash me with THAT one anymore!"