The Habit of Self-Loathing


            In the past couple of years, this mind has faced itself like it never had before. This is an aspect of becoming conscious to Truth. It lights up every corner of the mind, revealing what had been hidden, and what had been hiding It. This has meant seeing a lot of dark and ugly beliefs, most of which I’d seen over the years. Some I thought were gone, but seemed to review. A few surprised me. I did not have to do anything with most of them but feel them and see them and realize they were no longer really there. These were the shadows of the ego (personal thought system) that had gone. I learned, through this long, uncomfortable retrospective, exactly what the ego was and what it taught me about me (lies). While the actual beliefs went with the ego, some habits and postures instilled by it are still unraveling.
            One of these beliefs was revealed in a deep discomfort with myself that had been with me for the past several years, perhaps since the ego fell away in 2014. Having not realized the ego was gone, I felt a lot of discomfort that I did not understand in that time, and it was hard to discern one form of discomfort from another. Mostly I was aware of a kind of emptiness; a barren quality within. It was not wholly barren, because I was also aware of Truth, and I figured the cause of the discomfort was something I’d understand in time. And I was correct. That particular discomfort fell away a few months ago, leaving the discomfort with myself standing out on its own.
            Everything I felt and saw came up in its own time. There seemed to be an order to this review. This shifted or fell away and that was revealed. In the meantime, I would catch glimpses of what was not yet fully revealed. The source of the discomfort with myself had been popping up now and then in the past year with a feeling and thought as though from a puny voice: “I didn’t think I’d come along.” Something in me thought it would fall away in this process and it didn’t and it was dismayed. It wanted to go.
            There were other feelings and thoughts, too, like flashes of acute dislike of myself and spasms of despair that passed quickly. Eventually it all came together and can be labeled “self-loathing”. I discovered that in ego-identification I not only hated Myself (the Awareness of Truth in my mind), but I hated the self I made in ego-identification. This was not news to me. I’d read this in A Course in Miracles years ago. It made logical sense to me, given what the ego is, and I’d seen it at work in this mind. But it had never arisen spontaneously in my direct experience before. All the disguises and obfuscations and misdirections were gone and I felt this to be true.
            There’s no escaping self-loathing in the ego. This is its heart and I saw and felt how I’d taken it on for myself. That puny voice didn’t want to survive this process because it was so filled with hatred for itself. In other words—that was me! Or something that I once thought was me. I was only able to face it because it had grown small enough for me to tolerate looking at it.
            Which brings me to another interesting experience: I have been even more surprised by how much of what I have felt was “me” has not fallen away. ACIM points out that the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind) will keep what’s useful, discard what is not, and transform what can be made useful. Far, far less has been discarded or transformed than I expected. I truly thought so much of what I felt as “me” would fall away with the ego and I would feel so radically different that it would be, well, a completely new experience of myself. I don’t know how to characterize how I expected to be, because I don’t think I formed any clear idea. But clearly I didn’t expect to feel so like I had always felt.

“You are His manifestation in this world.” (C-6.5)

            I had to see this self-loathing, because my “two selves” are merging: The Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) is manifesting through this person and I had loathed both. No wonder I was uncomfortable! Out of habit I loathed what I had been and to What I was returning. Often I tell students to get in touch with their sense “I exist”. This, I say, is Eternal. Everything else falls away. I had conflated much more of me with the ego than I knew. In fact, because so much of “me” is still here that I didn’t see for a long time that the ego was gone. And even when I was pretty darn certain it was, I’d have spells of doubt because of this. But over and over again I found it truly gone and came to see that what was left was never the ego or had been transformed and made helpful.
In ego-identification I unconsciously loathed the Awareness of Truth in me because it threatened the ego. I unconsciously loathed What I am not knowing It is What I am. And I loathed the limitations of the self because I felt it limited me. But the self never limited me. I was limited because I believed the ego when it told me that the self was me.

“Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them.” (M-26.4)

So now I know the Awareness of Truth as Myself and do not loathe It as It does not threaten me without the ego. And I still experience a self, but I do not identify with it, so I do not feel limited by it, and I have no reason to loathe it.

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Do you want support and guidance as you face your obstacles to Truth and Love? Email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment for mentoring. Learn more at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

will said…
Stirring the pot?
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, no comprendo
Susie said…
Now I am a little confused, Liz....My understanding has been that the 'ego', 'self' and 'me' are one and the same....From this article it seems they are all something different and separate. Can you clarify, please? Thanks...Susie
ACIM Mentor said…
Susie, the ego teaches you that the self is you, thus your confusion! It's where we all begin.

The self (as I use the term) is the body and personality. It's neutral and simply an experience you are having. (In ACIM it is merely called "the body"). The ego is a thought system in your mind about the self as your reality. The ego's goal is to preserve itself in your mind. You ("me") are the split-mind that can either believe the ego or know yourself as the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit/Christ).
Susie said…
...thanks Liz....then the three 'states' are all just different aspects of the same illusion..yes? Love the new pic.....Kings Park by any chance?? S
ACIM Mentor said…
Susie, the three states?

No, I'm not in Perth, but I will be passing through there again on my way home. I've been in Albany, WA, and that pic was taken at a place called The Lakehouse in Denmark (WA, not the country!).
Susie said…
Ha! Just thought it looked like Kings Park...was there myself earlier in the year. A truly glorious place. I hope you've visited it or manage to do so before your departure. X

What I meant with the three 'states' Is the personality not the same as the ego/'thought system'? And is that thought system not the split-mind? All seems a tad complicated!!
ACIM Mentor said…
Susie, I'm about to depart for Perth for five days before returning to the US and King's Park is on the list! I was there only briefly when I first arrived.

The body/personality is what I call the "self". (In ACIM it's just "body"). The self is neutral and has no meaning in itself.

The ego is a thought system of opposition to Truth that teaches you that you are the self.

The Holy Spirit (a.k.a. Christ) is the part of your mind that knows Truth. It knows you are Spirit/Mind and that the self is just an experience you are having.

Your mind is a split-mind, split between ego and Holy Spirit (a.k.a. Christ).
Susie said…
Thanks Liz....yes, I think I understand your explanation... the body/self I understand but the ego to me is also the personality. I know well the difference between the ego/personality and Holy Spirit...
Enjoy Kings Park...and have a safe journey back to the US....
Sx
Susie said…
Thanks Liz....yes, I think I understand your explanation... the body/self I understand but the ego to me is also the personality. I know well the difference between the ego/personality and Holy Spirit...
Enjoy Kings Park...and have a safe journey back to the US....
Sx
ACIM Mentor said…
Susie, if you confuse the personality with the ego, you may not recognize you've released the ego (this is common). By "personality" I mean your personal traits (like a sense of humor or an artistic nature), personal preferences, tastes, etc. Those are neutral, like packaging. When the ego is gone, those are still there, but become expression of the HS. You do not identify with them, and you are not attached to them, so you have no need to defend them or to judge them.

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