I have been reading your websites for awhile. I hesitated reaching out because I thought I can self help through the articles only. I reached a point where I see how messed up I am and I think I also got to the point where I think it is okay given all I lived. However I have a lot of self hate against myself because I did not create safety for myself enough to feel comfortable in my humanness. I feel self hate due to how weak and resource-less I am, and I know it is really bad and I need to rely on God. Now it’s time to fill myself with God’s light and truth, thus my request for you, if possible: would it be able to make a list of truths about the body, the mind and the soul? In a way write about the truth about all the limitations of our machine so we know when to reach for God. My self hatred stemmed from not knowing my limits and where God’s job so to speak comes in, thus I would ask the impossible from myself and hate myself for failing to deliver. I pieced together a few truths about each element as you name them but since you have more experience thinking about the 4 elements (body conscious subconscious and soul), I wonder if you could maybe make a table that shows how limited they are, certain description of their role and where they fall short (ex. soul is very harsh, does not forgive easily etc). I feel this would improve my prayer life tremendously and maybe other people’s as well. God bless!!
It’s wonderful that you’re making such progress in developing self-compassion. Your idea of having something written out that you can focus on is a good one, but in these cases, it’s always better to make something that directly addresses your personal struggle rather than something generic, and I’ll suggest a way for you to do that at the end of this post.
Now when you experience surges of self-hate that keep happening over a long period of time, demons are definitely involved. A common problem that happens in situations like yours is that you mistake the voice of demons for the voice of your own soul. For example, when a thought like “What I did in the past was so wrong,” forms in your mind, that might be your soul starting that conversation, but it’s far more likely that it is demons trying to say something that will cause your soul to react.
Humans are very responsive creatures, and we naturally focus on our current circumstances, while stressing about potential future problems. Hyper-focusing on the past is not the natural human way unless either our soul or mind is feeling very upset by past events. Your mind views your past experiences as critical information for predicting what might happen to you in the future. When your mind obsesses about the past, it’s mainly because it feels past events strongly suggest that negative things will happen to you today or tomorrow. The common problem here is that the mind is drawing false assumptions about what the past means for you today. For example, if it rained all last week, that doesn’t mean it will rain all this week as well, nor does it mean that it will rain forevermore. But many traumatic beliefs formed by distressed minds are based on this kind of sketchy logic.
Now in your question, you are describing soul stress. While minds stress about the past primarily because they are worried about keeping you safe and meeting your core needs, souls stress about the past for different reasons.
One of the core needs of your soul is to be able to view you as a morally decent person. But for your soul to be calm, it needs to feel it can judge you as “good” according to it’s current set of moral beliefs. The problem is that your personal moral code is not a fixed thing. Instead, it is guaranteed to change over time as your soul reacts to new experiences that you gain. What this means is that twenty years ago, you could have viewed yourself as being “good” by the standards your soul was using back then. But today, your soul is using a different set of standards to judge you by, and according to today’s standards, your actions 20 years ago might now seem “very bad.” The actions haven’t changed, but the judge’s evaluation methods have. Since you can’t time travel and relive the past, you will feel very upset when your soul suddenly starts condemning things you did which you now can’t go back and fix.
Changing moral codes is a necessary part of maturing, because none of us start out with a realistic set of soul beliefs. But here’s where we come to a critical question: how do you know if the standards you’re judging yourself by today are better than they were in the past? How do you know if your soul is changing its standards in positive ways instead of negative ones? You can’t answer this question without comparing your soul’s standards to some kind of “master moral code.” So where do you find that?
Identifying the Supreme Judge
What causes one judge to be superior over another? Power. Rank. Influence. Many countries have a multi-tiered justice system in which the rulings of less powerful judges can be reversed or thrown out by the rulings of more powerful judges. The judges with the most power end up with the final say, and that makes their rulings the most important ones. But that’s just how humans organize themselves, and humans are created beings. When we’re looking for a master moral code, we can’t look to creatures, because the very fact that creatures had to be created by someone else demonstrates how limited they are. For a valid master code, we need to look to a Being of ultimate power, and that is God.
It’s important for your soul to have a clear understanding of why God’s assessment of you outranks your own. As your Creator, God quite literally controls your quality of life, both now and for as long as He decides to keep you alive. Just as you didn’t create yourself, you don’t have the power to uncreate yourself. While humans naturally feel intimidated by the idea of dying, as far as your soul is concerned, your death in this world will simply be like riding an elevator to a different floor of a tall skyscraper. God controls when you get on the elevator, and God controls what floor it transfers you to. Until God decides to uncreate you, you will be forever existing on whatever floors He decides to put you on. It is because God has this kind of ultimate power over your being that His opinion of you is far more important than yours.
When you’re stuck in the kind of loop you’re currently in, it’s often useful to stop focusing on the issue of morality and focus instead on the issue of power. God’s ultimate power makes Him the ultimate Authority over you. You won’t like all of the rulings God makes, just as you don’t approve of all of the laws that your country currently says you have to obey. But since having God’s approval is your only hope of having a positive quality of life in the future, it’s in your own best interest to submit to His assessment of you, no matter how wrong you might feel that judgment is. Ironically, it can feel very difficult to accept God’s positive view of you. While humans often associate “Divine judgment” with God passing out negative rulings, in real life, it’s usually His mercy and compassion that we have the hardest time accepting.
Unlike your soul’s moral code, the standards that God uses to judge you don’t change, nor do His methods of assessment. When God looks at your past actions, He grades them differently than you do. At the time you are doing something, God passes a judgment on what you are doing. His judgment is based on all of the factors involved, including your current resources, the needs and concerns of all of your elements, and your understanding of His moral code. If God wants you to do something differently, He tells you immediately. He doesn’t wait many years and then start complaining about an event that is long past. If God does not want you to put effort into changing whatever you are doing, He says nothing to you and lets you carry on. Later on, He might refer to what you did when introducing you to a new idea, but God never gets mad at you for doing something in the past when He said nothing to you at the time you were doing it.
Now suppose a girl takes cookies from her mother’s cookie jar. When the mother finds out two hours later, she says, “You naughty thief! How dare you steal from the cookie jar? Now you’re going to be punished for your crime!” This kind of retro-punishment is the best humans can do because they are unable to be everywhere at once. The mother would have stopped her daughter from taking cookies at the time, but she wasn’t around, so her reaction is delayed, but her punishment is fierce.
Because this is the style of judgment we receive from humans, we assume God operates the same way. So long after we do a deed, when a voice in our minds starts scolding us and telling us how awful we are and demanding that we be punished, we assume that voice is God’s. And yet this is not how God operates.
God is not a physical being, meaning He doesn’t have any kind of body which limits where He can exist. Instead, He is like the air that surrounds you everywhere you go. God is always present with you, and He is aware of everything you are doing. Having these abilities makes it a simple matter for God to work with you in real time. This means that when God has a problem with something you’re doing (or not doing), if He wants you to do something different, He’ll tell you right then.
Now we all do a lot of bad stuff that God says nothing about at the time we’re doing it. This is because God is a reasonable Creator who has designed humans to develop over time. Just as you expect your child to do a lot of dumb things, God expects you to do a lot of bad stuff while you’re in the process of developing as one of His creatures. Just as you wouldn’t expect a little kid to have the maturity of an adult, God doesn’t expect you to have the ability to avoid doing foolish or naughty things.
Human parents panic when their child does something “really bad” because they are scared of harm being done that they can’t fix. Because humans are so limited in power, avoiding problems is much easier than fixing them, so they try very hard not to get themselves into really big messes. But because God has ultimate power, He is not threatened by fallout issues. No matter what kind of mess you make in your own life or someone else’s, God is more than able to handle the cleanup. In fact, before you even act, God knows what all of the effects of your actions will be, and if He doesn’t want those effects to happen, it’s a very simple matter for Him to block you from acting. The point is that you simply can’t “mess up” God’s plans. He is so much greater than we are that it’s utterly ridiculous to think we could create a true crisis for Him.
Once you understand how non-threatening your actions are to God, you can understand why He can afford to take His time in maturing you. Rather than try to teach you everything at once, God slowly introduces you to new concepts one at a time. Since your rate of learning is so slow, it’s guaranteed that you’ll do a bunch of stuff that you’ll later look back on and say “Now that I know more than I knew back then, I can see why what I did was lousy.” Such observations can be a helpful part of growing, but harping on the past and constantly berating yourself is pointless.
It’s About the Journey, Not a Destination
Now when you say “I feel self hate due to how weak and resource-less I am,” that’s like saying “I hate myself for not being fully developed as a human being.” Well, of course you haven’t “arrived” at maximum maturity, because humans were designed to perpetually mature. Just as a 300-year-old tree is still growing and changing, you will be growing and changing for your entire existence. Today you can see that you have a lot of room to grow in certain areas. Of course you do. We all do. This hate you’re feeling is based on a false understanding of how humans are designed. Today you’re focused on being weak and resource-less; twenty years from now you’ll be focused on different areas where you’d like to see more growth in yourself. We all have to learn to be patient with ourselves, and to stop viewing personal maturity as a fixed destination that we can quickly reach if we strain hard enough. There is no destination; there’s only movement, and that movement is either forwards or backwards. As long as you’re moving forward, whether you’re running or crawling, you’re doing great.
Recognizing Third Party Involvement
Now if you reread the question you wrote, notice the language you use here:
I reached a point where I see how messed up I am and I think I also got to the point where I think it is okay given all I lived. However I have a lot of self hate against myself because I did not create safety for myself enough to feel comfortable in my humanness. I feel self hate due to how weak and resource-less I am, and I know it is really bad and I need to rely on God.
What you’re describing here are two different ways to view yourself. The first one that I bolded is a positive view. Notice how it judges you within context by saying “I think it is okay given all I lived.” In the bold statement, we see two things going on. First, there is an acknowledgement that yes, you have some problems and some room to grow. Second, there is an emphasis on compassion and an encouragement not to beat yourself up over the past, because after all, you’ve had a tough time of things.
Now we come to the second statement (the part that is not bolded above). Notice how it directly contradicts the bold statement. Suddenly the compassion is gone, and suddenly it’s not “okay” that you behaved the way you did. That second part is accusing you of doing it wrong in the past, blaming you for not doing better, and encouraging you to continue hating yourself for your current issues.
Now all of this is your soul talking. But why is your soul contradicting itself like this? What’s happening here is that your soul is actually receiving input from two different external sources who are contradicting each other. The first compassionate input is coming from God, while the second accusatory message is coming from demons. How is your soul responding to these two speakers? It is vacillating between them. When God speaks, His judgment of you is kind and a relief to your soul, so it wants to side with Him, which we hear it trying to do. But when demons speak, they sound so confident and authoritative that your soul then feels pressured to align with them instead.
This kind of dilemma is extremely common in cases of ongoing shame. When souls find themselves being pulled in two different directions by God and demons, they often respond the same way that yours is: they find God’s assessment more encouraging, yet they aren’t confident enough to fully reject what demons are saying.
Now the reason I’m explaining all of this is that I want you to get a more accurate picture of what’s going on with your soul. The way that your soul is talking shows that it is receiving God’s assessment of you, and that’s quite excellent. Sometimes in cases of intense self-hate, souls are actively rejecting what God is telling them, and that’s a bit trickier to deal with. But in your case, your soul is listening to God, and trying to align with what He’s saying. So with you, we don’t have to work on helping your soul be receptive to God, because it already is. Instead, your soul needs help rejecting the guff that demons are shoving on you.
Now when souls are being receptive to God (as yours is), demons usually step up their game and try to get your soul all stressed out and distracted from what God is telling you. A common way they do this is to start repeating the same depressing accusations to your soul over and over again. It’s essentially like they’re constantly yelling at you, and this makes it hard for your soul to focus on anything else. If you start paying more attention to your thought patterns, you’ll probably notice that self-hating statements keep forming in your mind at random moments. When they do, you’ll likely notice a sudden depression in your emotions as your soul reacts anxiously to the feedback it’s receiving. But the key thing to realize here is that there is a third party at work, trying to manipulate your soul’s focus. And while demons can be extremely intimidating, they do not have the ability to force your soul to agree with them, nor can they harm your soul’s connection to God in any way. They will claim to be able to do these things, but there is a big difference between actually having power and simply pretending to have power.
A favorite ploy of demons is to strongly pressure you into doing something, then blaming you the moment you give in. With you, we can see this classic demon strategy at work. First, they keep encouraging you to hate yourself for being so weak and resourceless. Then they blame you for hating yourself. Notice how your soul is accepting the accusation of being “really bad” for feeling the way demons are pressuring you to feel.
I feel self hate due to how weak and resource-less I am, and I know it is really bad and I need to rely on God.
It’s actually “really reasonable” to be stressed out by demons yelling at you all the time, but they are trying to run you in circles here, so first they strategically upset you, then they blame you for being upset. This is classic demon behavior, and a game that we can see they’ve been playing with you for quite a while.
My self hatred stemmed from not knowing my limits and where God’s job so to speak comes in, thus I would ask the impossible from myself and hate myself for failing to deliver.
Demons do know your limits, and they were the ones pushing you to expect the impossible from yourself, then encouraging you to hate yourself for not delivering. Your soul didn’t know better than to follow their lead at the time, so it was very easy for them to keep you stressed out.
Identifying the Right Goal
So given all of this, what is it that you actually need to focus on? At this point, focusing on the different priorities of mind, body and soul is the wrong strategy. Getting better at spiritual discernment would be the more useful focus for you, and that means getting better at recognizing when demons are trying to con you. Right now you’re making the common mistake of assuming that all external feedback is actually you talking to yourself. But instead what’s happening is your soul is receiving messages from two external parties–God and demons–and it is trying to align with both, which means one minute you are being kind to yourself, but the next minute you’re hating yourself. What your soul needs to work on now is being more selective about who it agrees with. Again, it’s really great that your soul is receiving messages from both sides. It just needs to get better at recognizing when demons are trying to con you, and refusing to accept their rubbish.
Learning to discern between God and demons is quite different than learning to discern between your various elements. Given the kinds of games demons are playing with you, I suggest you start by downloading all of the charts in this post:
Focus especially on the chart Recognizing Conviction #1. Every time you start feeling self-hate, pull out this chart so you can identify the source of the thought you’re having. First, put into words exactly what you’re feeling, either by saying it out loud or writing it down. This will help you see the logic that demons are using to try to con you. For example, one morning you suddenly start feeling really sad. This will be your soul reacting to something demons just said. But what exactly did they say? Ask yourself “Why am I feeling so bad right now?” Then write or say a clear answer to that question. Perhaps you say, “I’m remembering when I did X in the past and I feel really embarrassed that I did such a stupid thing.” Once you have your logic clearly spelled out, look at the chart Recognizing Conviction #1 and see how your current thinking lines up with how God versus demons talk to you. What you’ll find is that these thoughts that are dragging you down have clear markers of how demons try to upset your soul using false conviction. The chart will help you pinpoint exactly how they are trying to con you, and once you can see through the con, it will be easier for your soul to reject it.
Next to every description of how demons try to con you, I also explain how God would communicate to you, so your soul can start to learn the key differences in how these two supernatural sources talk to you. Practice is the key to getting better at this kind of discernment, and the best kind of practice you can get is working with the material that demons directly give to you.
Now whenever demons talk to you, God often speaks at the same time, countering what they are saying to you. Using the chart to help you identify God’s Voice, try to listen for His counter-statement whenever you get hit with a wave of self-hate. By doing these two steps, you’ll not only getting better at recognizing when demons are conning you, but you’ll also get better at focusing on God’s Voice. Both of these are fantastic exercises for your soul, and they will help it gain the confidence it needs to start flat out rejecting the guff that demons are trying to shove on you. The less your soul accepts what demons are saying, the less self-hate you’ll experience, because in your case, this self-hate is resulting from your soul temporarily agreeing with what demons are saying about you.
As far as having something written out that you can keep reviewing, I recommend that you write down any messages from God that you identify in the midst of doing these discernment exercises. His feedback is going to have an uplifting effect on your soul. By collecting your own list of things that God says to you personally, you’ll have some great material to review when you’re trying to focus on Him and/or tune demons out.
I realize all of this can sound a bit overwhelming, but it’s actually fantastic that you’re graduating on to working on spiritual discernment like this. So hooray! This is fantastic progress! Becoming more aware of how much supernatural entities are engaging with you is an important step towards developing a positive relationship with the only supernatural being that matters: the God who created you.
In closing, there is a caution that I should mention. Demons much prefer that you remain ignorant of when they are messing with you, and they can become very aggressive when you start trying to improve your discernment skills. Often in an attempt to discourage you from trying to resist them, they will switch to a different attack style. In some cases (not all), their new tactic can be very alarming. Education is the key to prepping for increased demon aggression, because demons have the greatest advantage over you when you are ignorant about how they work. If you want to get more educated quickly, my demon book will be a huge help. So that’s another option to be aware of, but in the meantime, focus on doing those discernment exercises using the guidance chart I mentioned.
This post was written in response to Martina.
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