The book Compassion and Self-Hate by Theodore I. Rubin helped provide an environment where I could recognize more forms of self-hate in my mental processes and behaviors. It benefited my mindfulness practice by providing examples of thought patterns that could be direct or indirect judgement aimed against myself. I read that book and listened to podcasts about how stigmas are unhealthy and it all served to help me through a period when I was doubting my decisions and my value.

Over the holidays I visited a part of the family I don't feel overly attached to. They were not present during my formative years. They are far enough away that I'm curious about them rather than expectant. I did see that the children were mirroring judgmental and avoidant behaviors that were coming out of the parents first. The parents probably saw these as unfortunate exchanges that were due to stress of the season. The energy the children used to perfectly replicate the behaviors made me think; What if the kids think this is pure love, and their purpose on Earth? What if they think that is how you show someone you care, and how a good person acts?

I do not know if that is accurate, but as a thought experiment I have been processing the implications of these questions for my own childhood. It has benefited me by allowing me to find more acceptance for my past behaviors that have gone against my personal values, and the behaviors of others that crossed my personal boundaries. With greater acceptance I find more mobility around some of the obstacles in my mental process.

Thank you for your thought-provoking work!

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