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Self-Love, Self-Hatred, and Self-Discipline

Self-care has become one of my top priorities since my burnout two years ago. This includes a wide variety of practices that I do regularly, as well as certain routines and rituals.

For example, the following practices:

  • scraping my tongue before brushing my teeth (sometimes I do oil pulling before that)

  • oiling the skin and taking a cold shower (this is refreshing, wakes me up and stimulates the immune system)

  • drink warm water and a Bullet-Proof coffee (the latter is not recommended in Kundalini Yoga, but I like it, also because I have an extremely low blood pressure - it is highly recommended in Keto communities)

  • write and reflect in my bullet point journal

  • an online Kundalini Yoga class with Jai Dev Singh at his LifeForce Academy

  • then a warm breakfast

  • going for a walk to finally get some fresh air and light

Since my body, after a real peak period, has been giving me clear signs for a week (strong tiredness and slight nausea again and again), it's time to commit myself more strongly to it again.

What I still find difficult are regular rhythms, such as regular sleeping and eating times, although I see that they are important for me - and whenever I manage to stick to them for a while, I immediately feel even better. But then, all too often, I fall out of it again....

Daily times outside are definitely helpful in that regard in my experience, as they reset the biological clock. Plus a good evening routine: e.g., reading instead of watching Netflix series, as well as applying oil again before sleeping, for example...

At the same time, a deeper insight has come to me again recently. With this phrase, I'm trying to describe the fact that realizations always come in waves. Something becomes clear to me; I begin to live it; it recedes into the background again; I may even forget it; and then it reappears, brought on by another minor or major crisis, and the insight deepens. And this whole cycle may repeat itself a few times, with deepening realizations over time.

And so it was this time.

After experimenting with a variety of practices and routines, I've seen how the self-discipline I need to actually create new, healthier habits is, in fact, the beginning of self-love. And with that, I felt extremely good for a while.

And quite a few of my new habits have stabilized. I can no longer imagine my daily life without Kundalini Yoga - nor without my cold showers in the morning.

And although I've taken a break from the ketogenic diet for the last two weeks - I'll be back again starting tomorrow - I haven't even touched a piece of chocolate. There wasn't even a hint of craving for it. I bought a piece of cake twice, and both times left it in the kitchen and forgot about it - and finally ate it just to avoid throwing it away. The sugar addiction really seems to be gone, and for that alone it was worth it....

But then I've fallen back into an extremely unhealthy pattern over the past few weeks: getting stuck on TV, Netflix, or the internet in the evenings and going to bed way too late. And even though I know exactly how destructive this is to my sleep, my next day, my health, and all my intentions, I haven't managed to fight this addiction most of the time. I just didn't have the energy for it.

And even when I did succeed - with a lot of self-discipline - for a few days, I kept falling back into the pattern. In the process, I did a lot of inquiry into why that is. Here are a few examples:

  • It's a substitute for my authentic need for community or family. So my first priority must be to find ways to fulfill that need.

  • It's evening, and I just don't have the energy for the self-discipline I need. And once I get started, the aforementioned activities (or perhaps I should call them passivities) hijack one' s attention, so it takes more and more energy to disengage from them. The only option would be to not start at all and unplug from it completely - and I'm not sure I really want to go that far.

  • After an intense day, I need a balance and have to " unwind" through an activity for which I don't need active attention anymore, so that I can sleep at all afterwards. Therefore, I try to take breaks during the day from time to time to decrease the intensity. This sometimes works to a greater or lesser degree.

And while all of this is true, it is only part of the truth. And even taken together, these insights have not yet led to a breakthrough.

And so I became aware of yet another piece of the puzzle:

There's still a kind of deep-seated self-hatred in me that shows up in these moments. It's the roots, if you will, of the self-hatred that I've been working on many times before, and these roots are simply still left.

There's a huge difference between self-discipline that comes from self-hatred (= I need to improve myself, so I'm finally lovable) and self-discipline out of self-love (= I feel worthy to cultivate these healthy routines). And self-love is really the only cure for self-hatred:

  • Taking myself and my authentic needs seriously

  • Respecting myself and taking myself seriously

  • Seeing and valuing the gifts I can give; but only (in the long run), if I also take good care of myself

In self-hatred, so to speak, ego-contraction speaks to ego-contraction. Self-love, on the other hand, goes from Unique Self to Unique Self. It is, so to speak, a Unique Self perception.

And so, my latest commitment is to really love myself and to nurture all my routines from that self-love.

If you've gotten this far, first of all, I want to thank you for your attention. And I'd be very interested to know what it is that resonated with you. What are your own experiences with this topic?

So far what I had posted on Facebook. A friend of mine then told me that he was a bit shocked that I talk about self-hatred in my text. And I would like to clarify something:

  1. I have worked long and hard on myself and lost the fear of calling a spade a spade. When I look at the effects it has on me when I don't sleep enough, I can see that it's killing me in the long run (simply because sleep is so important for repairing our bodies and because too little sleep leads to a weaker immune system). Add to that the fact that I am now - as I get older - feeling these effects directly physically. I literally feel sick because of it. And so I can hardly call this behavior being loving with myself. Rather, it is quite self-destructive. And that deserves to be called by its name.

  2. The inner dialogue that then takes place within me (and which I observe and make explicit) goes something like this: - You wanted to go to bed. What are you doing here? - I simply can't... And then I remain sitting as if paralyzed. That's what I meant by ego-contraction speaks to ego-contraction. And of course there is already a witness consciousness present. This part of me is just curious and wants to know more about what exactly is happening. And it is happy about every new insight.

  3. There are people who do not allow themselves to explore all the depths of their subconscious. And for many people it is probably appropriate to not do so. I have always been one of those who goes into all these depths. And each time I bring treasures back to the surface. In a way, I live very close to that void of which the mystics speak, to that realm where apparently the divine is not (and of course it is only apparently so). And it is part of my Unique Self, so to speak, to dive in here again and again. And so I have already freed very many levels of myself - also that self-hatred, with which I have already dealt a lot. That's why I speak here of the root of that self-hatred that was still there. Because I was so strongly connected to my self-love lately, I hardly noticed this root anymore. And when I finally perceived it, and realized that it is only self-love that can heal this self-hatred, that was already the healing. Last night, for example, I sat down in front of the TV again for a short time - but this time while at the same time holding myself in self-love and wrapping myself up with it. And this time it wasn't hard at all for me to turn off after the movie ended and go to bed.

  4. I talk about my burnout from time to time. And it may be important to clarify again that I am completely at peace with it. It's easy during a crisis like this to fall for the ego story that you're the victim. And then you certainly find someone to blame. For me, too, this temptation was there for a moment. But then - as usual with me - I went deeper. For this I also got help (a stay in the specialized clinic Heiligenfeld in Bad Kissingen, a trauma therapy training, as well as my Kundalini Yoga practice and level 1 training). And with all this I am now at the point where I see this crisis (= turning point) as a huge gift for which I am extremely grateful.


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