Those so disposed know this: self-hatred always finds a way. If one is disposed to self-hatred, then it will find excuses to flourish like the weeds in the desert able to survive on the mere hint of dew in arid wind. Looked at this way, self-hatred is such a force—and in metaphor at least, a life-force. In the negative sense of flourishing: a poison weed that chokes the fields of more giving plants, and we end up malnourished because these poison weeds don’t provide vegetables or fruits. We water, we tend to the giving plants, and inadvertently splash nourishment onto the weeds. We root them up, turn the soil, but there is a silent anxiety that one day they’ll sprout again. Suddenly(!) that anxiety becomes the weed. Self-loathing is always tended, and therefore attended, by other nourishments. Attended by other nourishments: yes, because noticing and working daily with the weeds becomes the pruning process and feedback process necessary to self-growth, and therefore is conducive to carefully helping the giving-fields give vital nourishment.
This metaphor is apt for those who move. But for those who do not move? The soul so overeaten by poison weeds that it is hard “enough” to metaphorically go outside into exposure and prune the bad and help the good. This “enough” is as good as a feast. It is possible to overeat an excess of dis-energy. The lethargy of an excess of dis-movement. The belly swollen with an emptiness difficult to transmute into activation; the muscles of the will atrophy, and the bloated heaviness of absolutely nothing. Recognize that “enough” can be nothing at all…no visible oppression or tyranny. And into that ungraspable nothingness one understands that the self is to blame. Magically the blame assigns heaviness to thin air, and so every fresh breath that should give life-oxygen seems to blindly prioritize carbon monoxide.
It is even likely that these metaphors end up too as binds, excuses for dis-movement or watering the weeds of self-loathing because they are closer to us. Then the frame of metaphor becomes a prison, and the hard framework slowly bruises our protective skin. Verily, the fact of “metaphoring” emotion is to give an invisible and hurtful presence a solid aspect. Giving materiality to unseen feelings is soothing, as it has the dual function of object-ifying the immaterial winds that hurt us so, and therefore providing distance and apartness for us to see them objectively: an objectivity. (This play on words is fruitful.) Where objectifying, and object-ifying harms is that it give lie to the idea that these emotions are apart of us, but really they are a part of us so never separate.
The only way then to remove these sticky harms that are a part of us is to change “us”. To become a being in which those harms are not a part of us. The noxious feelings are always felt by us and so we ourselves are the source and recipients of toxicity. We must depart into a different “we”. We must arrive different from when we departed. Continual arrival or continual departure.
We must change who we are. How how, how? How? As suggested above, we are not static objects. A table might always be a table until it is acted upon, but it could not turn itself into dinner plates. We, on the other hand, have the capacity to metamorphose ourselves. We can be acted upon, and in turn act of ourselves. (If as some say, free-will is an illusion, it is at least a useful one.) We live in a one way stream called “time,” which conveniently provides the space and potential to morph or evolve.
A lazy mental habit is conceiving of anything as truly static. Another laziness is to think of anything as ever being able to truly “revert”. I don’t dispute the idea that I may revert to depression, or that I revert the computer to its original configuration,etc. Every reversion still occurs at a newer place in time than before. Every return home is a new return, and every “reset” to a previous version still happens newly. The pendulum swings back, but it swings back in time, as evidenced by the clock face changing. Even were the pendulum to stop, time would not. And any “previous configuration” of any system has value because of the contrast between what was and what is, in the previous might have worked well enough to recall, or might still have lessons to teach—it is important to notice that that efficacy of those lessons are recalled for the sake of the present or future time, and so never can be true reversions or returns. The fantasy of the true return is simply that, a nostalgia for a differently experienced present-tense.
When you look to change an habit in your life, or realize a project, where do you look? Do you look at the past, see what your tendencies are, and use that research to modify your present self to have a good outcome in the future? Or alternatively, do you look to the future, imagine the obstacles and situations, and modify your present self to have a good outcome? Or do you do both?
One point of view: a strong foundation is essential for any undertaking. Take the time to build strong foundations, and that base will serve you. Often, those stabilities are outside the self, and we modify our situations to make those undertakings easier. We know that we have moods subject to the external world, and so if those externalities are more stable, so are we.
Another point of view: everything always changes, and the external world is harsh in its undeniable influence. Rather than rely on those foundations—which are at heart subject to the laws of nature—I rely on myself, and find a strong stability in myself that will allow the undertakings despite shifting externals.
Another point of view: everything changes, always. Externals and internals. In being pliant, I can adjust to both kinds of change—myself and my situations are constantly modifying each other and so it is only in flexing that I can achieve anything well.
That with the continual ebb and flow of all things, the pendulum of the days and seasons, things go and return.
Rather than exploring a technique to emerge from self-loathing, I would like to explore a technique for curing dis-movement.
Finally, we come to a point where metaphors and word-objects do no good; life is lived now and all the difficulties or nourishments are invisible yet present in time lived in the present. What a gift that present that is!