There is nothing wrong with you

Cheri Huber wrote the best book I ever read about self-hatred, entitled There is Nothing Wrong with You. She walks the reader through the recesses of the mind and how it endlessly tries to control outside circumstances by blaming and criticizing the self.

What if there was nothing wrong with you? Nothing that needed to be changed: no weight to be lost or gained, no pathology that had to be eradicated (or covered up), no character defect or personality flaw that needed to be overcome? How would that change your life? What would you do with your free time?

Katie Hendricks talks about moving away from the idea that your life is an ongoing self-improvement project. She recommends that, instead of putting our attention on what is wrong with us, we focus on what we are becoming. Our attention can then be placed on the much more fun question of “what wants to happen?” and how to be a full participant in life.

There is no evidence that judging, criticizing, ridiculing, humiliating, badgering or tormenting ourselves (or anyone else) leads to anything like actual change. What these actions are very effective at is creating a sense of collapse, resignation, and helplessness–which can give us a reason to engage in those very behaviors that we judged to begin with.

The antidote to self-hatred? Taking a good, deep breath and conjuring up the feeling of someone or something you love. Instantly, you create the space of true potential and possibility, the field where anything can happen.

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