“You have been criticizing yourself for years,
and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself
and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

Having grown up in a Christian culture, it is hard for me to believe that there is a religious culture (if it is correct to use the term “religious” to describe the Dalai Lama?) that is devoid of this kind of thought.  OTOH I think about my own mother and how, despite her chastisement of me when I behaved selfishly, she rarely if ever expressed negativity toward herself or other people.  Just never saw it happen.   She was truly an amazing woman.  So, with all this in mind, I am posting this on my seekingspirit page.

Feelings of unworthiness, shame, and self-hatred seem to show up all too often in daily life – we see it in our work, our families, and maybe even experience it ourselves.But there’s at least one person in the world who’s not especially familiar with such feelings. In fact, he didn’t even know the meaning of the term self-hatred.

Jack Kornfield, PhD, reveals more in the video below, and shares two strategies that can help people heal a negative self -image and learn to love themselves.

Take a look – it’s just over four minutes.

How have you used mindfulness – in your work or in your life – to deal with self-criticism or other negative feelings? Please share your experience in the comment section below.

  1. Laurie Whittle, Life Coach, Arizona says:

    As children growing up in dysfunctional families we tend to blame ourselves for the ills of our parents or family members. It is common for children to blame themselves for the alcoholism, abuse, neglect, whatever is lacking or hurtful in the family. Is this our culture? Certainly the co-dependency aspects that accompany the dysfunctions seem to be worldwide. In my own case I finally came to the conclusion that if I removed myself from the situation I blamed myself for, it would still have existed. Therefore, I must not be to blame – at least not as a whole.
    Using this concept I look beyond those childhood days into the days of adulthood, I found that dismantling the scenario for blame also revealed that I would blame me for the same things that I would excuse others. Why is that I asked? Is it because I expect more of myself? No, it was because blaming myself gave me a sense of control. I found once I realized this, I could move in with self-compassion instead and always try to view myself from a third person perspective. How would I treat another in my own shoes?
    Guilt and shame can be detrimental beyond the scope of simple solutions. Both are very destructive and can be used as tools of manipulation against others in struggles for control. These are one ‘church’ I would not subscribe to.

  2. “Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”. ~ Rumi

  3. virginia, LPCC, Cleveland, Ohio says:

    I listened to Jack’s course on The Power of Mindfulness early in the summer of 2014. I was surprised to hear that the Dali Lama was not familiar with the problem of self hatred and castigation as I know so many people here who struggle daily with negative, toxic self talk. The roots of this habit are likely religio-cultural but digging out and examining the roots does not seem to serve to stop the habit. I have personally benefited this year from the use of acceptance and forgiveness practices, some from Jack’s presentation (1,000 joys and sorrows, a working definition of forgiveness (giving up hope for a better past), steady reminders that waking up is a process, requiring patience and perseverance), and some from the work of Tara Brach (radical acceptance) and Rick Hanson (adding positive thoughts to my chain of negative ones, thereby changing the balance of thought tone and entraining neutral to positive thoughts with those more toxic ones). Together these techniques have been effective and helpful. The safety found in mindfulness practice works to allow radical acceptance of our human condition. thanks to nicabm and each of you working to spread this information…a paradigm shift in our culture. virginia