What does it mean to work on oneself?
Working on oneself means coming back to oneself, to one’s essence. Remembering who we truly are. Remembering, because we used to know this once. And now, coming back to it. The wholeness. Individuation. Maturation.
We have not been created to be tense, enraged, nervous, sad or bitter. This is not our essence. Our essence is calm, harmony, gratitude. This is our primordial being, this is our soul, this is who we TRULY are.
We have been born with energy heritage that makes us less resilient to certain situations and events. On account of this, something hurts us so much that we, in order to adjust to life and our setting, put on a layer that we use to protect ourselves. That layer is our mask we use to protect ourselves against any recurrent pain, use it in order to be accepted and not rejected, so that nobody can see who we really are. Because who we really are is something somebody didn’t like and criticized us about it or punished us or rejected us. Somebody who told us what we should be like. And who knows what else.
Generally speaking, individuation of the man has been very much neglected nowadays; life imposes certain standards on us, as well as norms for how we think and behave – so much so that we can save ourselves only if we have a very strong identity with very supporting surroundings and here I primarily think of the family. And this, you must admit, is a rarity.
Any negative state, our reaction-emotion, tells us we are not in harmony with our Primordial, our Authentic one, in which we used to be before the Taming came along. I call this taming, while in fact this is inadequate adjustment to circumstances in which we lose ourselves as beings. But, it is never too late to start looking for ourselves. This is the only task we have in this life.
We got scared? We were sad, had a shock? We were helpless? Our parents criticized us? Constantly? We were never good enough and we bent to the demands? We met other people’s expectations? We were constantly blamed? Yelled at? We didn’t get enough attention? We were alone? Our friends were jealous of us? We felt rejected? After such situations and as regards our energy and other types of heritages (and here I’m talking about the energy one which consequently goes into the emotional one as the basis for all unbalances), we may say to ourselves we shall never feel that way again: rejected, angry, scared, sad, hurt. We may even self-punish us. Or perhaps we defend ourselves. We defend ourselves with fear, we defend ourselves with rage, we defend ourselves with all sort of emotions, by withdrawing and that starts to build armour around us, a layer, a mask. In order not to reveal our sadness and helplessness, and who knows what else. We tame ourselves into behaving and reacting in a certain way.
We have been “hit” where we are most vulnerable, where our soft spot is in relation to our energy heritage we got at our birth. You may notice that some people react only to certain situations, while others couldn’t be bothers about them, but react to something else. A brother and a sister, for instance. The sister is very prone to the feeling of guilt that has made her give in to other people’s demands in order not to be blamed. She has fulfilled the demands of the parents in order not to feel guilty. She has also felt fear of the punishment she would get if she failed to meet the demands. Over these feelings she has been prone to, came a layer of perfectionism and excessive responsibility. In order to be accepted and not punished and humiliated, for this inflicted pain, she has gotten a layer of fictitious perfectionism, extreme responsibility and self-punishment. Because of the expectations of the others, she has suppressed all of her intimate striving and desires as unwanted. And thus she has lost her authentic self and entered into a disease. Her brother didn’t have the same reaction to the same things and events like her. He simply had a different heritage.
Well, it is precisely what we react to that constitutes our soft spot that needs balancing through this work on ourselves. Thus we change the habits that were used when we were taught how to live, thus we take our life into our own hands, thus we free ourselves from the memories of our ancestors and thus we became our own.
It is interesting that life keeps on bringing, again and again, the situations that hurt us the most specifically in order to balance ourselves and stop reacting to them. Why is it like that? Because it is precisely what is ours and what we have neglected and suppressed as undesirable that has huge energy, wants to come out and be accepted. And it uses purposely this energy in order to attract the given situations. That is why we wonder and say we have no luck and the life does not favour us. But the life loves us dearly and always supports us. We just need to understand how. In energy terms. We need to change the tune.
So, we always attract our apparently weakest spot. When first you realize that this is good, that this is not a bad destiny, but rather a call for a change, everything changes. Therefore, everything that is happening to us is good, we just don’t need to resist. We need to accept.
Jung has said: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Most often we discard some parts of ourselves used for adjusting to the surroundings, parents, etc. In order to “survive.” We discard those parts of us that made us be punished, and so on and so forth. Those parts are less valuable to us, they are bad. No. The truth is that these parts are not bad, but rather somebody has told us they are bad and we have adopted that as a truth and a conviction. And we have suppressed it as bad and less valuable – No, I must not be that.
And this is exactly what you are allowed to be, because it is you. This is the place where your soul is hidden, this is your essence.
The pinnacle of the work on oneself is when you accept yourself and then also any situation and any person that come along. The pinnacle of the work on oneself is also the state of gratitude for all that is happening to us. When we feel comfortable in our own skin and our body no matter what is happening around us, i.e., regardless of external circumstances. It is then that we take the responsibility for our reactions, it is then that we become aware of ourselves and the people around us. Until then we have just kept reacting automatically in line with what we could remember; in line with what used to “hurt” us once. And what used to hurt us are precisely those situations and people that insisted on the unbalance we have inside of us.
The work on ourselves is a continuous work that just keeps on even after the visits to a therapist, until the end of our life.
By working on ourselves, we in fact go back to where we used to be. We give ourselves a permission to be who we really are without any feeling of guilt or fear. Because it is our only duty in this life. To lose the restlessness caused by self-rejection and to bring back the wholeness and awareness of the wholeness.
There is no magic wand, but there are techniques that need to be practiced every day. Dedication and continuity, and the desire to find our lost self. The reminders for this will always be some states or a disease.
I have succeeded and so will you. As you can see, this is your responsibility. You are responsible. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your friends. I will give you all of the available techniques that suit your state at all levels. And I will encourage you, and motivate you and inspire you. And I will guide you along this wonderful road of finding yourself.