Among the myriad ways we’ve learned how to beat ourselves up, my personal “favorites” (#sarcasm) are self-deprecating humor and ruthless self-flagellation. Shit, we’re really hard on ourselves. Like… whoa. Maybe because we’re so fearful about that kind of harmful talk coming from another person that we get out in front of things and… and what??? Do it to ourselves? Really? That can’t be the right answer.
Before the other person gets the chance to punch you in the face, you… punch yourself in the face? Really? C’mon, y’all.
Of the worlds religious people, I’d wager that the ones who identified as pagans/polytheist would hold themselves in high regard when it came to intelligence. We consider ourselves a clever lot, yes? Well, for a bunch of super-smart folx, punching ourselves in the face is not terribly bright. I promise. It’s not.
Self-criticism is one thing. That’s something that can be used toward achieving a disciplined self. Self-loathing, “brain weasels”, and beating ourselves up are useless methods and ultimately, counter-productive. There is no penance to be paid for life’s failures, but there is a commitment to ourselves we have to honor: we have to get up one more time than we’ve been knocked down. If, like me, you need a chemical ally to make sure that happens, more power to you! If you don’t? That’s badass, too!
Holding ourselves to a high standard through Virtue practice is admirable, but we have to ask ourselves: is self-abuse really part of our “high” standard?
(See y’all tomorrow)