How to Discover and Overcome Self-Rejection – Episode 96

Episode 96 - How to Discover and Overcome Self-RejectionToday, we are going to discover an easy way to see self-rejection.
Normally, the most subtle and often unconscious reactions can become layered within other challenging feelings. Think for a moment, of all your difficult feelings. Which one do you like the least? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to learn how to discover and overcome self-rejection and to be guided to care for yourself during the times these feelings arise?

Using simple questioning to determine if you like how you are feeling, it is possible to learn what times you are in self-rejection and act to awaken your inner wisdom to guide you intelligently and intentionally toward a caring and sensible response. Acknowledging self-rejection is important because it sidetracks us and makes us either suppress or get caught up in secondary feelings that frequently leave us agitated or depressed. This guided meditation will allow you to become more aware of your self-rejection and help you learn how to observe it. When the layer of self-rejection can be rooted out, it is possible to allow the challenge to lead you to your core need and on a path toward greater fulfillment and self-acceptance.

Resources related to this episode
Resources related to this episode
Robert Strock Website
Guided Meditation Video (YouTube)
Robert’s Book, “Awareness that Heals”
The Introspective Guides (Free Download)

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Announcer (00:00):

Awareness That Heals, Episode 96.

Announcer (00:04):

The Awareness That Heals podcast helps its listeners learn to develop the capacity to have a more healing response to emotions and situations rather than becoming stuck. Your host, Robert Strock, has practiced psychotherapy for more than 45 years. He wrote the book, “Awareness That Heals: Bringing Heart and Wisdom to Life’s Challenges,” to help develop self-caring and the capacity to respond in an effective way to life’s challenges. Especially at times when we are most prone to be critical or to withdraw Together, we will explore how to become aware of our challenging feelings, and at the same time find alternative ways to live a more fulfilling and inspiring life.

Robert Strock (00:46):

A very warm welcome again to Awareness That Heals, where we focus on bringing heart and wisdom to our life’s challenges. We start, as I’m sure you’ve noticed again and again with being aware of what is most difficult for us. Recognizing these difficulties are universal for all of us, whether we recognize them or not, and how we can care for ourselves at these crucial times. Today, we’re gonna discover an easy way to see our self-rejection. And when I say an easy way, I rarely say that, but pay close attention to how we can discover when we’re rejecting ourselves, because normally it’s one of the most subtle places that’s hard to see. It highlights the importance of being aware of what is difficult for you and deepening your realization that without it, we can’t truly move into a healing direction with our wisdom. The self-rejection will take us sideways.

Seeing it clearly and being able to say, I see you, you’re not gonna serve me, allows us to go back to what our original challenging feeling is, and then work on moving that in a healing direction. Even when we see a challenging feeling, we are being encouraged to say, no matter what we feel, oh good, I can see it and have a chance to evolve rather than what we normally might say, oh shit, not that feeling again. This gives a best chance to see the awareness to move you in a direction that is the beginning of starting healing, rather than getting sidetracked by suppressing it, judging it, or misunderstanding or misinterpreting it, this is a major victory. Each time we can observe what we feel without any distancing or judging. We haven’t been taught how important this evolutionary step is when normally many of us are just left with being challenged. Before we go deeper into this, I’d like to introduce Dave, my partner at The Global Bridge Foundation, my closest friend for almost 55 years.

Dave (03:19):

Robert, thank you for introducing me and, and, uh, letting everybody know what an old geezer I am. Appreciate that very much, and, uh, look forward to going into the guided meditation and the meaning of what you’re saying. So thank you.

Robert Strock (03:35):

So let’s just start off with you looking at the feeling that you least like. Just pause for a second and ask yourself of all the feelings that you have going on that are difficult for you, which one do you least like? And it may be you’re sensitive to rejection, prone to anxiety, you’re loose with your anger, you’re impatient, you’re intolerant, you’re empty, you’re depressed, whatever it is, let yourself just isolate specifically, this is the feeling that I’m gonna carry all the way through this guided meditation and this podcast. And also continue to highlight it in your life when we don’t like a feeling, it is a form of self-rejection. It means you’re, you’re basically resisting it, withdrawing from it. You’re repulsed by it. You feel rejecting of yourself directly. And so can you see, just pause that when you don’t like your feelings, it’s not only gonna allow the challenging feeling to be there, but then you have some version of another feeling about the feeling. So, we’re going to be learning how today to isolate what self-rejection is happening simply by asking yourself, do I like this feeling of emptiness? Do I like this feeling of fear or anxiety? And I’m sure it seems almost like a silly question consciously, but our unconscious is not able to track this. And so, we need to ask the question to wake ourselves up that by not liking it, we’re getting further and further away from what challenges us and therefore how we can respond to that challenge.

Dave (05:44):

I just want to clarify, being a person that frequently has a variety of the kinds of feelings you’re talking about and more, I don’t think what you mean is that you’re supposed to like it. Is that what you mean?

Robert Strock (06:00):

<laugh>? No, as a matter of fact, that’s the joke. Who likes anxiety? Who, who likes agitation? Who likes fear? No, the whole point is that we absolutely don’t like it, and therefore it becomes a second layer of a challenge that usually we don’t even realize it either. It leads to a double suppression, we usually don’t even notice that we don’t like it, and we therefore also lose the original challenging feeling. So it’s a very important question, and frankly, when I share this with clients, they don’t know whether to slap me or, or what to do with me when I ask ’em whether they, whether they like the feeling, they, they think suddenly I’ve lost my mind. So it’s a, it’s an absurd question to the conscious mind, but it’s a wise question to the unconscious mind.

So we need to stay aware of what feelings we have after we ask, “do we like the feeling,” so that we can address it directly and learn how to say, okay, I see that you don’t like the feeling and therefore you’re repulsed or you’re resistant or you’re withdrawing. I’m telling you, I want to go back to my original challenge and usually, almost always, the original challenging feeling is much more potent than the self-rejection, but the self-rejection is important because it sidetracks us and makes us either suppress it or get caught up in a secondary feeling that will frequently leave us agitated or depressed. Now, as you hear this, notice does it stimulate a desire to become aware because that’s what it’s meant to do, to become aware of whether you like your feelings and seeing how this can lead to you getting lost if you aren’t able to track it, be able to speak to it directly from a place inside you that is an observer, as we’ve shared in the prior podcast, that observer is really one of the best definitions to who the wisest part of you is.

So that observer is keen in looking at not only the challenging feeling but your dislike. So let it be or do your best to let it be a Pavlovian-like response, which means that the moment you feel a challenging feeling, you ask yourself this question automatically, do I like it? And when you realize you don’t, then you know what to do. You’re going to isolate yourself, say, sorry, I’m gonna move into an accepting awareness of the, of the rejection. Not to condone it, but to to say, instead of rejecting my challenging feeling, I’m going to accept it with awareness. And the guided meditation that we’re gonna be doing right next is gonna give you a chance to throw yourself into your challenging feeling and then to notice how you reject yourself.

Guided meditation is for so many people, the best way to truly gain benefit in your response to personal challenges. As you invest and bring your own experience to the guided meditations, you’ll give yourself the best chance to change long-standing patterns from suffering toward a state of well-being, peace and healing. It’s important to put yourself in a comfortable body position in a private space where you’re not disturbed, turn off your phone and be ready to really be alert.

Just listen to the sounds. And when there aren’t any, just see if you can enjoy the silence. And wherever your attention goes, just be with your attention. So if you’re thinking be aware, “Ah, I’m thinking.” If you suddenly hear a sound, you suddenly hear a sound. And you start to recognize that you are actually the observer, that you can pay attention to what you’re feeling. You can pay attention to the sounds, body sensations, and you can really let yourself relax into a certain kind of peace as you just let it arise. And ask yourself the question, what feeling do you least like? And it might be something like being anxious or angry, impatient, empty, lonely, guilty, helpless, insecure. There are so many feelings, but the important thing is you’re finding yours and you’re just staying aware of it because you know if you stay with your own feeling, you have the best chance of actually moving in a direction that’s gonna serve you. And then recognize this not liking the feeling inevitably leads to feelings like shame or guilt, repulsion, withdrawal. And these rejecting feelings are much harder to see.

So as you pick out your one feeling, just from this observer, just look to see if for example, your feeling is anxious, you might be going, ugh, can’t stand that feeling. And it might just be a repulsion. And the key thing is that you’re valuing your awareness of seeing, because you recognize that when you don’t like yourself and you can see it, you have a chance of not only changing your thoughts, but in many cases redirecting yourself from rejecting yourself toward what the original challenging feeling is, which allows you to discover what you really need to deal with the challenge itself. So you’re allowing both your challenging feeling and seeing if you can track your own reaction toward it, which may be just a thought or it may be a feeling, and it can be quite subtle. So, take your time, and instead of resisting the feeling at all, treat it like gold, breathe into it, feel the challenging feeling as much as possible, recognizing the more you’re able to feel it and stay aware of it, the more clues and cues you’ll have to guide you to what you might most need. So if you’re afraid, for example, you’re gonna wanna move toward courage or safety. And by being aware of how you can get sidetracked in self-rejection and learn to see it and then simply gently say, self-rejection, I’m not gonna let you own me. I see you.

I’m not gonna have an attitude against you, I’m just gonna let you know now is the time I’m gonna return to my challenging feeling. And you might say something like self-rejection, guess what, you’re not particularly helpful. Might even smile. I can tolerate you. You are tolerable. That’s all I need to do. And now I’m getting back to my challenging feeling. So again, staying with the example of anxiety, you recognize if you ignore your anxiety, it’s just gonna stay there and may even grow as you ignore it and put it into solitary confinement. Whereas if you are able to use this precious observer to say, anxiety, I’m with you and I have a desire to do what I can to support you. So, you’re looking also for this desire to care for yourself. And it’s always unique to you because your feeling, your challenging feeling, is utterly yours. And you’re getting into a state of awareness where you’re honoring where it is. You’re doing your best to find a place inside you that knows, of course I want to care for myself. And then you’re starting to ask a question,

“How can I possibly best care for myself?” Now, the one that is leading you to this question is your witness observer. And it is the part of you that can see yourself clearly. And if you look at it closely, you might even see it so deeply that you recognize the observer is your greatest resource. And in a sense, it’s more you than anything. Your capacity to observe allows you to see your challenges. It allows you to look for the part of you that wants to care. Now just pause as you continue looking and realize this is a track I wanna be on because I wanna know what’s difficult for me. Of course, I want to care. And that’s gonna require me, not only discovering what I need, but going for what I need. So if you’re in fear, you’re gonna be finding this part that wants to care. If you go, oh no, not fear again, and you’re just outwardly rejecting it, you could say, okay, I can tolerate that, I’m starting to reject it, but I’m going back to my fear. I don’t wanna ignore my fear cause then I’ll just stay there. So you ask yourself, what is it that I need? And you recognize its courage and safety.

And while we’re doing this, we’re just attempting to identify the direction you want to guide yourself when you’re in any kind of challenging emotion. So keep returning to the feeling again and again that’s challenging and see if you can come close to treasuring it. Not that you love it, but you treasure the awareness of the observer. This acceptance of the challenging feeling and this urge to find the place that wants to care for you is utilizing the observer in a way that you want this to be this way the rest of your life. Is it clear to you why you would want to be able to be this resourceful? So, it’s incredibly helpful to realize that the best diagnostic question for discovering self-rejection is just asking yourself, do you like yourself when you feel blank? And the blank is your challenging feeling. Now, you may wanna smack me as you hear this because who likes it when you feel fear, who likes it when you feel irritated or annoyed? But there’s a reason why we’re asking an absurd question. And it’s because unwittingly and unconsciously, we so frequently don’t like it. And then we get caught in not liking, rather than tolerating.

And if we tolerate it, it allows us to go back to the original source of our suffering. Can you see clearly now how you can guide yourself and not be owned by the challenging feeling. If you keep your observer on both the experience of it, it’s not just observing, it’s giving you encouragement and permission to feel it and also the challenging emotion and that results in a tolerance and uh, moving back to the challenging feeling. And that challenging feeling, whether it’s anxiety or fear or anger or frustration, you’re looking for, well, what would be the need that would best help me and really more accurately, what would be the needs that would most help me? What would the thoughts be that would care for me while I’m feeling afraid? Instead of yuck, we might be saying something like, it’s universal, we’re human, everybody feels fear. There’s nothing at all wrong with feeling afraid. It’s how we respond again, from this precious observer. As you look closely, you will find places where you say, I can’t stand being or feeling this way. And then a key is tolerance. I can tolerate you. I’m going back, I’m gonna deal with the original challenging feeling.

If you’re in a state of intolerance, and you feel it, first of all that awareness, recognize requires a certain amount of courage and humility. And then you look again for that place that wants to care. And that’s gonna lead you to the possibility of asking a question, how can I move toward tolerance, kindness, maybe even tenderness? But you can’t move in these directions if you don’t stay aware of the challenging feelings because they’re the source of motivation to inspire you to fulfill your caring instinct. So whatever you’re feeling is, and again, keep staying with your feeling, can you hear a voice that’s saying, “I want to care for myself?” You can use your own words, but the meaning needs to be, I’m suffering and I want to try my best to find the direction to lessen my suffering, to be more soothed or to be more strengthened, or whatever the particular need is. You might find your friendly mind saying, hang in there when you can’t feel capable of being motivated to care or find tolerance. And then you’ll have to put your attention or you’ll want to put your attention on, oh, come on, I wanna find a place inside me that would rather care for myself than hate on myself.

Hopefully, as you’re even hearing this, a little smile goes in your face as you see the absurdity of having a challenging feeling and not caring and then realizing, oh, I can see it now that observer can see it. This is an evolutionary step when you can just simply start seeing the challenging feeling, let alone finding a place that wants to care, and then adding that to asking a question, how can I move toward caring? Just that movement is a way to make a pivot in your whole life where it’s hardest is for you when we’re used to either being absorbed or exiting and getting out of there as fast as we can. So give yourself a reminder. I want to be aware of my challenging feelings. I want to find the place inside me that cares, and I want to ask the question that is gonna move me toward well-being or healing. And when the self-rejection comes in, I wanna tolerate it. I wanna speak to it and say, I, I can tolerate you, but you’re not the center. The center right now is my original challenging feeling. And as you stay with us meditation now and after, see if you can appreciate this great work and dedication that you’re giving to yourself and to your life and seeing it as a part of the work that is so valuable for your lifetime and realizing that when you take great care of yourself in this sort of way, you’re really taking care of the world around you as well.

So, really notice where you’re left after the guided meditation. Are you more encouraged that you can see that your challenging feelings can get distracted by the self-rejection and that you can see, by asking that magical question, do I like it? And you see that, of course you don’t like these challenging feelings and so that is a form of self-rejection. Can you see it and do you feel more encouraged? Maybe on a one to 10 scale you say, I think I got it 3, 5, 7, no matter where you are, recognize that it’s a lot harder to be able to notice the self-rejection if it’s not in a guided meditation. So it’s important to keep coming back to it and to encourage yourself to keep asking, do I like this feeling, every time you’re aware of a challenging feeling. And it’s only by getting into a deep practice that you have a really good chance to be able to see the self-rejection, disempower it, and then focus on the challenging feeling.

And then you can do your work that we’ve been working toward all the way through of how do I move toward my needs? What do I need in order to help best take care of my challenging feeling? The most important discovery that I’m hoping that you take away from this podcast is asking this question, every time you have a challenging feeling, so you can root out the self-rejection or else it’s very likely that your effort to move toward what you need when you’re challenged will be sabotaged. I would say an overwhelmingly high percentage of times we’re rejecting ourselves when we have a challenging feeling and it’s mostly unconscious. And if you don’t think you do, keep looking carefully. Cuz sometimes the self-rejection can just be a tightening of the muscles or it can just be moving away and disassociating. So, let yourself make a statement, I wanna remember to ask myself, do I like this feeling, as absurd as it sounds, every time I have a challenging feeling so that you can really work with going back to that challenging feeling and then getting onto the biggest work of taking care of your needs whenever you’re most challenged or you’re in a challenging situation.

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