I used to hate myself.
Maybe I still do. But I don’t really believe it much or perceive it as such.
When I say that I hated myself, I should clarify, because it’s a rather complex thing.
Here’s my best attempt to explain it.
I had an unquestioned, unconscious belief that myself was an object that limited and harmed the real me.
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In other words, I had a sense that the real me was this thing closer in, and the thing that I believed to be good and right and true.
Myself was the thing just a little further out, and it contained all the unwanted stuff pinned on me. Like fear, anger, frustration, anxiety, worry, jealousy, etc.
I felt that the real me hated myself.
So much so that I actually recall instances in which I wished (in horror) that myself would get cancer and die a painful death. I thought and sometimes said, “I hate you, you evil motherfucker. I hope you die a miserable death. Go fuck yourself. I hate you, hate you, hate you. Stop torturing me.”
I sometimes screamed at myself.
I wanted to be only the real me. I wanted only to be good and pure and free of unwanted experience and conditioning.
Then, through the course of life and the misery of pitting the real me against myself for years – the exhaustion, the physical illness all of the fighting produced – I started to realize that I was doing this.
Unconsciously, perhaps, But I was doing it.
What was I doing? This gets difficult to say, exactly. But it had something to do with how I was placing my attention and how I was believing that I needed to maintain a contracted state to protect the real me.
When I began in investigate this, I started to see the falseness of it.
The division I imagined between the real me and myself turned out to be unfindable.
What I found, instead, is what seems to be indifference.
Initially, that indifference seemed unbearable.
For years I had thought that I needed bliss or joy or something a bit psychedelic.
I had imagined that the bliss/joy/psychedelia would protect me (the real me) from everything unwanted. I’d only experience wanted stuff.
Indifference didn’t meet my expectations.
Indifference didn’t protect anything.
Indifference didn’t care about objects.
Indifference didn’t even have knowledge of objects.
Separation doesn’t make any sense to indifference.
But through luck, I started to notice that indifference wasn’t the dull, lifeless, horrific thing I had imagined it would be.
What I am calling indifference could alternatively be called openness or unconditionality.
Or maybe love.
It’s not love of something. There’s no object involved.
But love seems like a correct word to describe the unconditionality and aliveness.
This has surprised me very much.
And it continues to surprise me.
I didn’t get to get rid of myself. I didn’t get to protect the real me.
I didn’t get rid of unwanted experience.
I don’t experience bliss or joy or psychedelia endlessly.
Sometimes I am fearful, angry, sad, anxious, worried, depressed, and so on.
I make lots of mistakes. I am sometimes mean and petty. I often recoil into a contracted state.
But by tuning into the indifference, I get to discover that I am that and that is me and the real me is myself and myself is the real me.
It’s so simple. So simple that I can’t understand it or own it or do anything with it.
All I get to do is tune it, let go, inquire, see, tell the truth.
Now and now and now.
It’s very humbling.
None of my fantasies came true.