There is nothing wrong with you
“There is nothing wrong with you” by Cheri Huber
When I heard the title of this book for the first time, I got really excited and was very eager to have it in my hands. Curious and open minded I started to read the first few chapters and soon caught myself getting bored: “Are you serious? Again a book about loving myself and bringing it all back to my childhood and all the things heard and experienced during those young years?”
I observed how feelings of increasing resistance came up while reading through Cheri’s description about the relationship between survival, self-hate and punishments from others and ourselves. Over the last 15 years I have been spending so much time and energy to reflect on myself and to transform the painful footprints of my past into something powerful and positive in my present life.
Therefore, I was not ready to go again through the same long, painful process of revealing the harmful effects from the past and family history. I know that it can be life saving to have a good therapy with an adequate therapist that helps us to look at our life from a different point of view, understanding how we have become who we are today.
But then we need to apply in our daily lives the things we have discovered about ourselves, about family and society and we need to communicate directly with our lovers, partners, parents, children and friends. No therapy can take this away from us! Only when we are exposing ourselves out there in sincere, honest interactions with our beloved ones, we will heal our wounds and come to peace with who we are and with those around us.
Then, Cheri starts to describe the different forms that self-hate can take. She uses the example of somebody who wants to start running. No matter what this person does to put her plan into action, the voice inside her head tries everything to make her feel ridiculous, insecure and make her give up on her intentions. She has to deal with sentences like “Do you really think you can just put these shoes on and become a runner?” or “You look ridiculous, this is not the correct way to run “
Something in me gets startled, wakes up and moments of clear recognition flush through my consciousness. Yes, I clearly do hear this voice when getting new projects or dreams started and often I even listen to it; but never had I recognized it as a form of self-hate: being secretive; trying to be different; maintaining voluntarily uncomfortable physical positions in order not to make any waves; striving constantly to be perfect, to be a good girl, a good boy.
At first sight they may come from shyness or modesty that are all considered as “positive” qualities. Yet, the more I read about these phrases that are constantly running through our mind, the more I can see myself being reflected and caught in this vicious dynamic whose only goal is to avoid my own awakening.
“God, Mirjam, again!” ; “Nobody will love you when you express your anger this clearly” ; “Buying something for myself and then feeling guilty” and most of all: I have done, said something wrong and a feeling of panic comes up: “How can I fix this? How can I get better?”
The statement that there is truly nothing wrong with me, that there is nothing to fix, nothing to change or to get better at, that the way I am IS already perfect – this brought an immediate feeling of deep relaxation and inner warmth to my whole being. My breath gets fuller, longer and I can almost feel the fluids and energies flow again freely through my body, finally set free after being stuck for so long.
I love to set goals, to make plans and to have visions in order to grow and move forward. But that tension that often comes up while putting pressure on to myself, either in form of time limits, visible or measurable results or discipline, makes me feel get stuck and that I can´t move neither forward nor backwards. The deep belief that I am perfectly fine the way I am, transmits a direct release to my nervous system and emotional state; I soften on all levels and feel connected to my inner most being.
Cheri’s simple and clear way of pointing out these so common ways of constantly beating ourselves up brings my awareness about the destructive process of self-hate to a deeper level. Yes, there is still so much hidden self-hate being anchored in my way of judging myself and others. And yes, I witness it every day: the only way out of these conscious self-beatings is to become still, to practice mindful awareness while meditating and especially while going present and awake through my daily life so I can act from a place of compassion towards myself and others.