Passages from Awareness that Heals

Moving from Self-Rejection toward Self-Compassion, Part 1

In this series, we take a look at one of the eight key practices for navigating life’s challenges that are explored in my new book, Awareness That Heals. For more, order the book today and receive a 10% new release discount and free shipping.

Take a look at any areas of your life where you feel anxious, judgmental, unfulfilled or inadequate—somehow just “not enough.” How well do you care for these feelings when they occur? Do you automatically dislike them? Do you keep them held privately inside you? Are they hard to find? From all of the work I’ve done with myself and clients regarding that state of not being enough, I have found that, whether we recognize and dislike these feelings directly or abandon them inside, we are experiencing a form of self-rejection.

Most of us have the impression that we can easily see our self-rejection. Some have a belief that it appears only when we talk negatively to or about ourselves. However, our inner critic is only a small part of the story: much of our self-rejection occurs on a more subtle level. Without a doubt, life provides situations that are difficult enough—causing feelings of sadness, helplessness, anger, frustration or other challenges. What makes it even worse is this extra layer that we rarely see or are even aware of, where we feel negatively toward ourselves for having pain, anxiety or anger in the first place. This hidden self-rejection accompanies almost any feeling that we perceive as suffering. I want to highlight here that this type of self-rejection is one of the greatest sources of our long-term suffering and the most difficult to recognize.

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