Why do I hate? Why do any of us hate? That’s the fleeting thought I had a few days ago. You see, I entered a contest on All Poetry called “Fleeting Thoughts II” Entrants were to write a short poem about fleeting thoughts of hatred. I let my mind ponder my fleeting thoughts of hatred.
The first thing that came to me in my fleeting thoughts was “Why do I hate?” This became the title of my poem. As I thought about hatred and self-hatred, I realized that many people deal with this problem daily. Just in the few moments that I let my myself mind wander thinking of hate. I found myself easily transported back in time to when I battled daily with self-hatred, also called self-loathing. Below is the poem I wrote.
Why Do I Hate?
Why do I hate?
People will judge.
Why do they like me?
I’ve gotta get out!
What am I doing?
Why do I judge?
I don’t like me.
Where’s the door?
Why do I hate?
Why do I hate?
I hate me!
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How did I come to hate myself? It is a long story and I refer you to my blog, titled, Depression and Mental Health Awareness, written on February 5, 2015. Suffice it to say I began hating myself as a young child, probably age 4 or 5. I don’t remember a time before and even during therapy that I didn’t carry on silent conversations with myself. I would belittle, criticize, and call myself names. This in therapy is called “self-talk” and everyone does it. The problem is when these thoughts are negative and directed inward. We then need to learn a new inner talk that is positive and self-affirming. This negative self-talk becomes habitual and then is so ingrained in our inner soul that we live out this negativity and self-hatred in our daily lives and in our choices we make daily.
We then need to learn a different inner talk that is positive and self-affirming. Where do we start? Here are six steps to help change your inner dialog from negative, critical thoughts to more positive ones.
- Listen to yourself talking inwardly and recognize the negative and/or positive things you say.
- Make a list of the negative things that you say…write it on paper so that you can keep it with you.
- Now make a list of positive things about you…this list will grow and become longer with time.
- Practice saying internally, “STOP!” when you find yourself inwardly speaking negatively.
- Substitute positive, affirming thoughts silently for each negative thought you have.
- Continue these steps regularly as you develop new self-talk habits. The change in self-talk may take several weeks to several months, but you will see steady improvement.
You should see steady improvement in your internal dialog. You can also get a trusted friend or family member to tell you when they hear you putting yourself down or speaking negatively about yourself. Believe in yourself and your ability to break this cycle of self-loathing. You are worthy of love and that includes loving yourself daily. Next blog I will discuss in more detail ways in which you can replace the negative critical thoughts with self-loving, self-affirming thoughts.
Write and tell me whether these steps help you to change your inner dialog. What was the hardest thing about learning to change your hatred to love in your self-talk? What was easy about it?
May you stop hating and love yourself.
How toTurn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion-http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/how-to-turn-self-hatred-into-self-compassion-1112135
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