We all fall prey to self-harm when the mental, physical and emotional pain or strain we feel becomes too great to bear.
Self-Criticism, Self-Sabotage, Self-Exertion, Self-Deprivation, Self-Mutilation, they all harm the self! It matters not what you do or to which level you do it, the result is the same. You are harming yourself. This can happen on a minor or major scale, some of which others will be able to observe and some only you will be aware of.
Self-harm is the result of judgement. This could be from others or ourselves. The basis for these judgmental thought patterns can be all of our own doing or maybe it stems from conditioning.
Much of what we do or how we go about doing things can be explained from what we’ve experienced, learnt and accepted to be true from a young age. Negative reinforcement comes from our childhood. This was how we were taught what behaviour is acceptable. “NO! Do NOT do that!” It denoted what was needed and expected from us to conform to societies norms in order to fit in. No-one is to be blame. It is what it is. The best thing that you can do is to assist yourself to unlearn this negative narrative by any positive means possibly and necessary.
Negativity eats away at our inner most being and is the culprit responsible for causing heartache and pain. Many of the ways we negate this pain can be detrimental to our health. We are all guilty of the following; it’s only the degree to which we do it that differs:
I’m too short, too tall, too fat, too thin…., whatever it may be. The strangest thing about our fault finding is that someone else out there sees it as the solution to all their problems. The lack of self-acceptance is the gateway to all types of self-harm. It starts with a negative thought pattern which goes hand in hand with negative emotions. The most important thing is to be able to realise when you are heading down this path, so that you can steer yourself in a more opposite direction or be able to seek help if you aren’t able to achieve this on your own. Know that you are not alone in this plight.
Exams are a month away…, so why delay doing revision or the start of your studies? Quarterly work reports…, you literally have a 3 month head start to plan and strategize, so why leave it until the last minute? Procrastination…, subconsciously we are setting ourselves up for failure. Could it be because we feel undeserving…, and undeserving of what? What is the reason behind this belief pattern? Why do we delay our own good? Only you know the answers. Knowing the answers will make it easier to change your thought patterns, but even if you can’t find them, the change is still possible. You must just be willing and prepared to take the time to do the mental work. “I deserve the very best that life has to offer!” You have to think this, say this and eventually you will believe this. This belief pattern will help you break the cycle and then your new narrative will in-turn bring about a new attitude; one that allows you to enjoy all the good in your life.
Working till all hours, exercising excessively, sometimes we just don’t know how to slow down or stand up for ourselves. Whether your reasons are to excel or to block feelings, these actions will probably yield good short-term results. Unfortunately, it can’t last. Unless you alight from this negative train and board a positive one; taking better care of yourself, you are heading straight for a breakdown or meltdown.
Starvation or overeating, we all do it, but it doesn’t pose a problem for most. Anorexia, bulimia, obesity, it all started from somewhere. We weren’t born wanting to do this to ourselves. It’s a coping mechanism and not a good one. Our bodies need constant nourishment and sustenance from healthy foods and restful sleep. Insomnia is often the result of not being able to switch off. Sleep deprivation can have such a negative effect on your body. It’s not just about beauty on the outside; it’s also about your insides, the way your body works. You know how your work is substandard when you are tired, so consider how your body must be struggling under these circumstances to perform all the necessary functions that are continuously needed. When you are not good on the inside, then you cannot be good on the outside and this could result in you being a nervous wreck and constantly at the end of your tether. Only you are in control of what you put into your body and how you chose to take care of it. This decision lies solely with you. You are privileged to be in charge of this wonderful machine that you call your body. Being in this position, makes you all powerful, so be sure to use it wisely.
Anything we do that is not good for us or our bodies is mutilation. Upon hearing self-mutilation, most people only think of something physical like cutting or burning, but this should not be the case. What about drug addiction and alcoholism? The thing about mutilation, is that it can happen on an emotional, mental and physical level. You are more than just your physical self. You comprise of your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, what you consume, how you treat yourself and the esteem in which you hold yourself. Negative thoughts harm you emotionally and bring you down. They literally start mutilating you from within. It matters not whether these negatively charged thoughts are geared towards yourself or others. It occupies mental space which hampers your ability to function. Positive thought patterns on the other hand will pick you up and lead to you doing good for yourself and others.
Please be realistic about overcoming this conditioning because it cannot be permanently undone. All you can do is to remain vigilant, so that every time ‘self-harm’ rears its ugly head, your ‘self-compassion’ is right there to chop it off. It’s important to have self-compassion because it leads the way to self-acceptance which naturally morphs into self-love. You can be confident in the knowledge that self-harm cannot survive in the presence of SELF-LOVE.
We are the only ones who will be with us forever. If we hurt someone else, they have the choice to walk away. Unfortunately we are not awarded this same fortune, so remember to be your own best friend. Do for yourself all those nice things you would for someone else because you are your very own special someone.
Monkeys sometimes pull out their hair. Maybe its because of a previous trauma. Babies observe this behaviour and then do it themselves. Some mothers are even guilty of “grooming gone wild” with regards to the little ones.
My body is magnificently wondrous and beautiful in every way and I always treat myself with loving care and support.
If your compassion does not include yourself, then it is incomplete. (Buddha)
The Mastery Of Self
by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr.
Genre : Self-help (Mind, Body & Spirit)
The Karen Carpenter Story
Time : 1hr 28min
Genre : Biography/Drama/Music