The previous blog I wrote about Self-Devaluation and The Body contained one aspect that I’d like to focus on in this blog, because I merely mentioned them summarily as self-aggression and how I called it self-flagellation. This is about in fact the concept of self-punishment and what one can ‘gain’ from it – yes, as ‘weird’ as it may sound initially.
Part of the Unlocking yourself process that I described in my previous blog is to open up to consider other people’s views, perspectives and ways of approaching a situation, which can be very enlightening and it’s been the case when taking on this subject to our group chats at Destonians.com. Last Wednesday, we discussed “What do we stand to gain from self punishment?” and it was eye opening to get to know the many ways that people can understand and see this point of self-punishment and how it is lived, why it is lived and the constructs or beliefs behind it that lead us to do such a thing to ourselves.
I bring through something that Leila shared which was “it’s like we rule through punishment/sin instead of compassion/forgiveness” and that’s part of the points for me to take on and integrate as a realization, because upon judging myself, the idea is that I have to feel bad, feel tense, feel anxious, feel ‘within an upheaval’ about it, IS already a form of punishment as well. We’ve allowed ourselves to be wired in a way where we fixated more on the problems rather than focusing on the solutions. Self Forgiveness is the way to Understand the situation that we participated in, take responsibility in it and lay out the foundation to change, to live the correction and solutions.
But! Even if I thought I was doing this, the reality of my situation has proven me that one aspect of morality kept me blind from realizing that I wasn’t in fact self-forgiving and letting go for real, and that prevented me from Living forgiveness, which is living the ways in which I see is best for me in my current experience and life decisions – not hooking on fears of the past of what I did or didn’t do. Therefore compassion I can redefine as being understanding of the situation, not being hard on myself, being able to also stand in the shoes of whoever is involved and not feel ‘bad’ about it because feeling ‘bad’ doesn’t sort anything out either, while also realizing that I can only focus on changing me and being the best that I can for me and those currently around me.
She also expressed there: “and punishment can be taken quite ‘broad’ — any type of tension or discomfort you create, why do we punish ourselves with anxiety, what do you stand to gain from it? what do you fear more than anxiety that you wouldn’t give up your anxiety? do we fear freedom?” And that is in fact THE point that I had to realize which is eye opening and a point of self-honesty: it isn’t nice or beautiful because it does create an awareness of ‘WTF why have I done this to myself? And the reality is that ultimately, in my case the whole reason why I reacted in this form of self-punishment is because of a belief that feeling bad and sorry would make ME seem like a ‘better person,’ someone that ‘cares’ because of how I have defined ‘care’ as ‘worry’ – when it should definitely Not be that of course – and as if I could ‘clear my sins’ through punishment; I could see the traces of religious constructs there as I explained in the chat too.
But beyond that, the ultimate point is exactly about our freedom, our actual ability to be self-directive, to take one’s authority to create, to have a blank slate of creation, instead of focusing on ‘the past’ and ‘what is there to Fix-Ate on’ or ‘feel bad about.’
This is ultimately one the big habits I’ve seen within me and that I have observed in others related to me genetically. It is as if ‘something had to be happening all the time’, something that is wrong, or something to ‘feel bad about’ and if one realizes that one is creating that, then it’s as if everything can suddenly be stopped. The canvas of self-creation is unveiled and emerges for us to walk on. And because we actually don’t decide to act to live words, to focus on self-creation, we– by habit, by patterns and by ingrained acceptance and allowance – bit by bit, step by step, allowance by allowance, just ‘roll back’ to the commonly ‘accepted forms’ of existing, which are mostly related to being in perpetual forms of emotional or feeling experiences, fear for the most part being ‘the mother of all other reactions’ like anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, guilt, shame, remorse… you name it. It is an energetic experience that as BAD as it can get within our bodies and the effects it creates within it, we keep blindly participating in it, creating any other form of story to give ourselves an excuse to almost ‘keep ourselves busy with’ trying to kind of remake a puzzle that is already framed and hanging on the wall, it is that useless to keep living in fear related to past issues – but not limited to the past for sure.
The story that I told myself to justify living in such self-punishment is ‘having to pay for something I did’ and so, having to suffer in a way to ‘demonstrate’ that I cared or that I wasn’t too ‘cold blooded’ about things. Lol when in fact I could have lived it in a more sensible manner by genuinely introspecting and forgiving myself for it and embracing my ‘mistakes’ and move on with my life. I created what I am experiencing at a physical level, and embracing that realization is a rather ‘uncomfortable truth’ that I had to process for a couple of days until I realized that reacting in sadness about it or anger towards myself is yet another way to keep ‘burying me alive’ so to speak, because any other distress or fear or judgment causes further oppression, tension and damage to my body, to OUR bodies.
The best way is to simply acknowledge it, almost like nodding to it and taking it in humbly to really realize that: I truly now have to let go, stop punishing myself, stop causing all of this dis-ease within me, this discomfort and ultimately this habit/addiction of worry and preoccupation to focus on my self-creation. So far been applying this since I got ‘hands on’ for it these past couple of weeks and it’s been going good.
That question Leila posed ‘do we fear freedom?’ is a very, very relevant one because I’ve seen time and time again within me and others how it’s seemingly ‘easier’ to keep focusing on feeling bad, feeling emotional about things and believing one can’t ‘sort it out’ unless we are ‘given the green light’ by something or someone out there and because that won’t ever happen, it’s as if we just keep waiting for ourselves to truly let the ‘punishment’ go and lift up our own veils – which we have placed upon ourselves – and walk out in freedom.
There are some lyrics that I’ve been appreciating lately in Mexican music, and one song says “we are like prisoners and we think like prisoners’ and it talks about how we are ‘pulled by forces’ that seem to take us ‘wherever they go’ and have no self-direction. It is in fact the prisoner mentality that I was in, and it is through understanding how I came to create this, how I decided to ‘label’ my actions and how I decided to react to them – based on these constructs of morality and what seemed like reasonable to do ‘at the eyes of others’ – defined my experience in relation to this situation.
What happens once that one is done sorting through the repetitive ‘inner conflict’ about any point or experience – no matter how big or how subtle it may be – is that what is left is an open path to genuinely Live and be in all authority for self-creation. The reality that I see is prevalent within us human beings is that, it’s ‘seems’ easier for us all to talk about the problems that are happening in the world, in how this or that politician is a corrupt or not or how things seem to be just ‘going nowhere’ but have no proposal to be participating in changing the tides that we’ve been ‘imprisoning’ ourselves into for far too long. It is a form of self-punishment as well because it recreates the problems, it just spreads the sense of despair as if nothing could be done about it. What I do then is to focus back on what needs to be looked at which is self-education, the values, the principles, the common sense as what’s best for all that is needed to be understood and lived and so, the need for parents to have these principles to educate their children too.
I would certainly want more people to become aware of this. I’ve been going to certain therapy and I can hear people around me constantly worrying about this or that pain. I have a genuinely good example in my life of what it is to be healthy in a very round sense of the word by NOT participating in any form of energy-trips related to any form of reaction, basically not participating in fear. My partner is that person and through my interactions with him my ‘habitual’ antsy patterns fueled by all kinds of seemingly ‘usual’ fears – no matter how ‘subtle’ or big they are – have been exposed to the nth degree. I can even say that my whole ‘self-punishment’ deal is a way for me to have that as a ‘constant point to be dealing with’ as an excuse to not deal with the very real and very present opportunities I have to break through those – yes – very ingrained habits (read addiction) that I had defined as ‘normal’. It has been through his constant feedback that I realized how much I can be in fact TENSE and fearing and worrying.
This is another aspect that pertains to my personality. I can be a very ‘intense’ person. This has its pros and cons. I can be a very intense person in a ‘good’ way so to speak wherein I can be very passionate and diligent and walk firm decisions in what I do and how I live it. But I can also be very Intense as in literally being IN-Tension about just anything that I may accept and allow myself to be worrying about or preoccupying myself with. This is precisely where the kind of person I am is basically also formed through the ‘learned ways’ I adopted from people around me. This has to do with being commonly worried, being rather dramatic about things, and it’s funny because I often would get annoyed and irritated by what I perceived as ‘dramatic people’ but, I’ve been seeing how I am precisely that. And this whole pattern of self punishment is a consequence of taking things TOO intensely. My partner helps me out to become aware of this by joking about it lol I then laugh and realize what I’m doing. But as I’ve said so before, I can’t go through life depending on him letting me know what I’m fixating on as a worry point.
I was talking with my cousin yesterday and we talked about driving cars. I have no intent to drive because I was involved in a car crash and even if I was not the driver, I took that as an excuse to create fear. I still again feel the fear as I write this and the same goes with bicycles and relating it back to an accident I had 10 years ago. These fears ‘gnaw’ me because I am over vigilant when being in a car or even when seeing people driving bikes on car lanes. I must admit that thoughts of the car crashes come up when I’m riding with someone in a car and even more so go into a rather intense reaction whenever we may come to any ‘close’ point to crashing. I get agitated and I Know I can change it and it IS a matter of perception and deciding to no longer exist in fear about something that happened some time ago already.
Something that I’ve been telling myself in those moments when being in a car – not driving – is one of the principles that my partner lives by. I tested it out the other day to see if it assisted me to deal with these fears while being in a car and that is ‘always expecting the best of everything and everyone.’ What comes to mind is…. Well that’s disingenuous, we KNOW people are not all good, we know there’s evil, we know shit can happen!! Etc. but even in that response, there I already ‘revamped’ all the sources of fear that can mainly exist in any given moment in one’s daily life, regardless of even defining certain activities as ‘dangerous’ or potentially harmful. The other day while driving in the back of a car and noticing the driver was speeding a bit, I noticed the fears coming up again and this time I breathed and reminded myself: expect the best of the situation. And that was supportive but I do honestly need to work more on grounding myself to reality in those moments and learning to not participate in the ‘what if’ fears.
I realize that I can’t also be externalizing these fears every single time I am driving with someone in a car, because that’s not really the point as I then implant the fear and idea in the other person that’s driving. This is about me practically letting go of ‘worst case scenarios’ which have become a way to ‘spike’ my mind into a reaction in any given situation. And yes this is not only when it comes to cars, but also when crossing streets and dealing with any form of traffic. Can I continue living that way? No.
Even in walking I am extra cautious, extra vigilant and perhaps there’s tension accumulating because the background to that hyper-vigilance is fear of cars as well.
So as I was saying, my cousin said with a big smile ‘well you just have to stop fearing driving a car and that’s it!’ like taking it very lightly. The back of my mind could have reacted like ‘oh it’s so easy to say it!’ because that would be a way to revamp all the reasons and justifications of ‘why I should remain in fear of cars and driving’ and that would mean being free to actually perhaps take the steps to be ‘free from fear.’ The simplicity with which she took the whole thing amazed me, the solution seemed simple and it really is! The ‘hook’ that keeps me ‘hooked on fear’ is made out of reasons, excuses and justifications of why I should remain in fear, and that’s in fact a point of self-limitation that I’m holding on to, no matter how ‘bad’ or ‘credible’ my inner-stories are: IF they are causing any form of tension, discomfort, fear or even anxiety as it’s been happening around that topic, Then I have to let go of it. It is as simple as that, and yes it may be challenging due to how I have also been ‘justifying’ these fears in terms of how there are some reckless people driving on the streets, or how ‘badly’ some people may drive, on how everyone speeds, on how many people die in car crashes and yes, I could spiral myself out of control and really bury myself with all kinds of fears around driving or being in a car… but that’s not the way to exist.
I even realized that one of my last videos on YouTube was about walking through that fear of driving and even if I was getting to enjoy the driving in the lessons, then the crash came and I crawled back into my shell of fearing driving or cars in general and I feel somewhat stuck in a rut about it, because I haven’t been able to transcend that fear. Huge limitation, yes. Do I have the willingness to sort it out? There are other factors around that. Perhaps if the car was available, I would, but it’s not, so for now I leave it at the point of focusing on precisely letting go of punishing myself with the ‘bad memories’ around cars and walk through it. I get somewhat jealous of people that have been involved in crashes were they have been injured, perhaps even badly, yet, they keep at it. What do ‘they’ have that I don’t have? The decision to live without fear.
Now, someone else commented in that group chat about living without any fear… and that’s something that sounds to me like a constant ‘battle’ against fear as if ‘fear itself’ was the problem. To me it’s not so. Fears can also be a real indication of aspects that we have to take into consideration, to have basic common sense in how we act or do certain actions, that’s basically precaution. For example the Mexicans that got killed on Friday by a gas pipeline explosion were possibly ‘fearless’ in stealing fuel because of how ‘habitual’ it had become to them to the point where possibly one of them decided to ‘lit up a ciggy’ in the meantime and forgetting about the hazardous task they were involved in. Point is: not about living ‘without fear’ but definitely learning HOW to live in the way that one can handle things the best possible way, handling the results or consequences if things go awry, learn from the mistakes and genuinely live the saying ‘life goes on!’ and move on.
These fears that I’ve mentioned here and in the past blogs have been crippling me to say the least, not only mentally but physically. The point is that they didn’t seem ‘that bad’ but have been quite present in a constant basis and that’s how the cup got filled drop by drop so to speak. Something that I want to change is precisely being the paranoid person that I see I have become. And yes I can see how this may come as learned habits even from both of my parents, and I’m witnessing how it has affected their physical body as well to live like that…. And I also have a living example as my partner of what it is to live without this paranoid-type of fear, and to see that it is possible, and to see how a body can exist in a rather good stability when a person decides to live without fears and taking risks and finding that whatever outcome it may bring, it is part of what life is about.
Going through life with fear is yes, the most basic form of self-punishment I can identify, because we do it to ourselves. I early on in this blog wrote about all of us practicing cannibalism, all of us humans, because we consume our physical body every single time that we think in a reactive or emotional – or feeling – way. This is the most essential form of self-punishment, self-flagellation, self-inflicted harm or ‘eating yourself up’ in a rather literal way. I became aware of this through the education I’ve gotten through Eqafe.com and it’s about time that I tackle this very ‘primal’ way of existing which is that of fear and paranoia in the seemingly most ‘subtle’ yet ever present manners.
Letting go of this fear-habit is perhaps an addiction that I had yet to pin point and decide to work on, because of all the reasons, ideas and excuses I had allowed within me to ‘hold on’ to such fears, as if the fear, the emotional reactions or the paranoia could fix or prevent anything in reality, or ‘handle’ the situation better. They do NOT, Ever.
This leads me to look at another topic I wanted to write about which is precisely how I got to identify my ‘personality’ as Intense and how some people seem to be more naturally ‘chilled’ or stable- but not in a suppressed chilled manner where the discomfort at times simply ‘resonates’ or ‘oozes out’ from someone that ‘seems to be’ o ‘appears’ to be quite cool, calm and collected – but may be in fact be a way to suppress or hide insecurities, fears or any other reaction. I’m talking about the chillness that I’ve seen in a few people I’ve met throughout my life that portray a seemingly ‘impossible’ way of being for me. As they come through my mind and I see them and their attitudes, they live words like patience, calm, equanimity, taking it easy, being quite grounded and present, being relaxed and having a general presence of chillness about whatever they have to face or confront. One of them is my uncle who had a very serious car crash a few years ago… they both could have died and their car was full loss, but they were simply happy to be alive and of course he keeps driving and is one of the people that I believe goes through life ‘letting it go by’ so to speak… not carelessly but simply going with the flow if ‘shit happens’ so to speak, always focusing on ‘well we are alive and that’s what matters’ when seemingly bad things happen to him and his family. Whereas I projected myself being in that and kind of car crash and how I would react and use that as a way to justify some form of chronic anxiety or petrification around cars… well that would be the end of me certainly. And this is also not something I could think of doing consciously, but I have lived this very thing in a more subtle way based on what I shared above.
So, I have the living examples of people that have been through ‘worse situations’ than mine and have no fear to go back to driving or riding cars. I have the example of my father saying ‘I don’t’ regret anything’ as he goes through some of the stories of what he’s lived through in his life and at times, the ‘big mistakes’ he made that took him real money and time to recover from. He learned, he got stronger from them, he doesn’t hold the situation or other people involved in it ‘at fault’ or ‘in blame.’
These are all decision to live that I take a living lesson from. There’s also my partner whom I am quite grateful for because he’s put up with this ‘opening’ of this admittance of fears and self-created emotional reactions in me that are here for me to face and it’s for the best, because the moment is ‘ripe’ to see this through, even if facing some physical consequences, this can be a learning point for me to also then remind myself of how much I burden myself, my physical body, with all the literally useless indulgence in my mind as fears and reactions and what ifs and projections and worries and….. All that trash needs to be taken out.
I mostly decide to approach this as a quitting of a habit, an addiction. I’ve seen how ‘addicted to conflict’ as human beings we are, well perhaps many of us, and I even shared other examples of how we are addicted to sharing and giving likes to people presenting conflicts, we almost ‘rejoice’ in some kind of bad news or conflict going on between people, or pointing out the faults in others… but how much attention does a post or process of self-creation, self-support gets? Not many, but the tides are changing and I root for that change in how we support each other’s process of self-change as well.
It’s about letting go of the habit, the addiction to fear, to drama, to anxiety, to have something to constantly be ‘worrying’ about or ‘fearing’ or future-projecting about. I truly want to commit myself to be a different person with the person that I am relating the most currently which is my partner, so that I can stop repeating myself about all of these ‘subtle fears’ and worries that I bring up in our conversations. So I take it on to remind myself of expecting the best, which is not in a way thinking positively or being disingenuous about the reality of things, but as a way to focus on what normally unfolds in a rather predictable and stable way, and how even if things come up that are unexpected or not the way we planned or simply go wrong, I can also learn to go with the flow of it and take the best route to walk it, perhaps sorting it out, perhaps facing with continued consequences, it will all depend on the context.
Another nice ‘principle’ that my partner holds as part of his ‘pillars’ to exits is ‘everything will be fine at the end, and if it is not, then one knows it’s not the very end yet.’ I take this in a very existential way though, in a way realizing that things may continue ‘flying up’ around us, things falling apart, cans of worms being opened up everywhere, going through distress, drastic changes in our lives within and without. I see it as part of our process in order for the new to emerge, for which the old must go and we are witnessing that at a global scale in many ways, some seem quite drastic and alarming, some others not as much but equally significant and equally part of the same process of existential change. This is again WHY I emphasize on the importance of getting to understand the ins and outs of self-creation and existential creation, so that one can have a grasp of ‘how things really’ work and learn to trust ourselves as life by Living as Life as what’s best for all no matter ‘what.’ This is the only genuine way to go through whatever things we may experience in our lives and so, instead of reacting in all kinds of self-punishy ways like fear, anxiety, worry, anger, blame etc.… to best practice understanding and cooperating with being and becoming that which we CAN in fact direct and be the authority of, which is ourselves, to be and do what is best in the situation for us and for everyone involved.
For all of this, there’s Eqafe.com to explain it all and I must now honor that source of education and information and live what I’ve learned from there to no longer allow myself to fall prey to my own ‘reasons and justifications’ to exist in any form of self-inflicted harm, abuse, punishment or tension. I now redefine living intensity as the force that I know is within me as the life that I am – and that has been ‘on the waiting’ – to grow out, to be liberated from the self-created yoke of the fears and justifications, to live that passion to apply myself in these very ‘basic’ aspects such as not allowing myself to participate in these kinds of paranoid fears and worst-case scenario situations that come up in my day to day and trusting in myself as life to recover and get well from the consequences I’ve created now that I have realized and seen firsthand the effects of participating in, essentially – and excuse me for my words – my own self-created mind fuck. Let’s call things for what they are!
I thank everyone that participated in that chat and Leila for providing her insights that reminded me of all of these things that I was ‘aware’ of at a knowledge level – through the self-support and educational material at Eqafe.com – but ‘conveniently’ forgot about. Now it IS time to step into self-creation and that’s where the white canvas is and where my focus and attention will be on deciding to live in an equanimous way – yes that is quite the challenge for me as I write it, but challenge taken! – to live my intensity in a balanced way, to yes be intense in expression for self-creation, for all things that are beneficial for me – but no longer take things ‘too heavy on the heart’ as they say. To not take things SO damn seriously all the time – yes things and life are a serious matter BUT I tend to definitely be ‘too intense’ in the seriousness where it becomes a source of affliction and that has to be changed because CARING is not the same as WORRYING about things.
Genuine care is then to support myself first to breathe and slow down whenever I am experiencing any form of ‘spike’ in my heart beat and feel the pulse elevating because of one single thought that crossed my mind. I then live the commitment to be diligent about not leaving these thoughts ‘go by’ but take them on, self-forgive them because I realize they are the result and consequence of having entertained too many ‘righteous’ constructs of why I should be fearful about this or that – and remind myself that fear can’t ever be supportive when it comes to creating anxiety or any other emotion within me. Then, I rather live precaution instead of fear, for that is a reasonable way to consider reality and its potential outcomes, while also being aware that I am not able to ‘prevent’ life unfolding and all the various factors in it, but I am able to face any outcome the best way that I can, trusting myself in being able to act the best way that I can, and that means not portraying a face of strength and composure as if nothing happened all the time, but simply being able to trust myself in facing the momentary expressions of fear or any form of tension and trust myself in being able to take me back to my ‘zero point’ where I’m stable and nothing is moving within me.
I can also commit myself to practice being generally more chilled, realizing that I can’t even think of being the ‘savior’ of anyone nor prevent anyone from being harmed. Even if I cause that harm, I can always admit it to myself, see how I can do things differently from here on and move on with life. But I can’t keep holding myself captive for the ‘what ifs’ and ‘what was’ anymore.
Here I can also remind myself of the principle of shared responsibility so that I know that there are a bunch of factors that lead to the creation of a certain thing or situation not working out or going off or being destroyed. There is more than meets the eye and this is not in an ‘esoteric’ sense of the saying, but simply as a way to not get ‘hooked’ on certain moment and events that I keep ‘seeing through’ the eyes of my mind.
This implies also to change how I see or perceive situations, how I take in actions and information, how I have to also let go of assumption as in knowing exactly ‘how things are’ because I most likely cannot know. I can know about my experience, and yes I am even that ‘out of myself’ that I cannot exactly yet know what goes on with my body, so this is also part of the things that I want to now not be negligent about but be considered and attentive of, which is my physical body, to learn to be more aware of its pains and discomforts and not let them ‘go by’ ignoring them, but taking them as a cross reference of who I am in my mind and so, what I need to work on.
The decision then is to not remain a prisoner of my own repetitive thoughts and experiences, of what I did or didn’t do in the past. That’s only another comfort zone to not dare to change, live and express and I am definitely ready and willing to live and express, I just ‘thought’ that I had to still feel bad and drag my past corpses around as unwanted souvenirs lol.
Even daring to ‘be well’ and feel OK, and appear generally in a good stance within oneself seems at times ‘too good to be true’ or ‘how dare I!?’ but it is then also a point about allowing oneself to be OK and to genuinely Be Life and stop living in constant self-torture. I noticed this yesterday at a social gathering, some people that had not seen me in a long time said I looked really well like ‘radiant’… I said ‘oh well it’s supplements I started taking I guess!’ but the moment wasn’t intimate enough to say ‘you know what yes I’ve been practicing stopping existing in all of this self-blame and self-flagellation for the world and things in my life not going ‘the best way’ or how I thought they could.’ But, for those that did engage with me in conversations, I was able to share some of what I do and how I approach things and that is great too, because then they may get ideas of how to work through some of their own problems, confusions or worries.
The best way that I can advertise this process is with my own process, with my own way of living. And honoring the information and message that I’ve been privy to for the past 11 years J
So, cheers to this and to facing the current reality of the world and situations around us in a way that we can be sure, we are not going into panic, fear or anxiety, but cover our bases and act according to what seems most reasonable and best for all to do.
Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone that knowingly – or unknowingly – has supported me to walk through these aspects of myself.
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