I have written about self-esteem on this blog before (http://wp.me/p2iGWm-H). Not very popularly, I’m afraid. The following thoughts on self-hatred will perhaps be even less popular. I share them because I think the path they invite us to has the potential to lead us to a deeper kind of freedom than we normally dare to hope for. Allow me to quote from a favorite author, Jerome Miller. Speaking of the person filled with self-hatred, Miller says, “He acts as judge; the accused is only the passive sufferer of his violences…. This is why self-hatred always harbors within it a profound arrogance that goes undetected because what the person sees is the debasement he inflicts on himself, not the pride which enables him to do so”.
How can this way of thinking lead to a profound freedom? Because if we ever relinquish the role of judge through a humble embracing of ourselves as undeserving recipients of divine favor (our very existence is pure gift), the door is thrown open to an experience of life that ceases to be about holding onto any view of self–positive or negative. Hidden within the confession of ontological insignificance is the serendipitous treasure of freedom to be, and therefore to give, receive, love, suffer, and even to die taking ourselves less seriously in one sense (because there is no pressure to create significance), and appropriately serious in another (because we have been bestowed with derivative significance beyond imagination). Okay, I’ll come up for air now.