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Christianity And Self-Hate


Rennyo
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You're here, your ideal is over there, and you can't make any progress towards it.

 

What if you find that you cannot follow Jesus' injunctions to love your enemies, to do unto others, to walk the extra mile and turn the other cheeek? A person who lives such as that is likely, I'll concede, a free person, free from fear, free to live. But what if you find that you can't even leave the house without an evil thought towards your neighbors (not even enemies)? What if you can't see beyond fear and live the way Jesus taught? It seems the only thing left is to hate oneself for not being the person Jesus calls you to be.

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Hello,

 

I debated with myself over responding to this. I'm certainly no theologian, nor am I a mental health professional. But I've been there and bought the shirt, as the saying goes. When I read the accounts of Jesus in the gospels, what I feel is hope. Not a command to be what I'm unable to be, but the belief that God is right here, with me, IN me, in my failings, in my doubt, anger, and even in my smallness. God is also with that person I cannot love (no matter how hard I try). While I do try to increase my own love and compassion, I have let go of that self-loathing. I am what I am and I can only continue to try to improve.

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But what if you find that you can't even leave the house without an evil thought towards your neighbors (not even enemies)? What if you can't see beyond fear and live the way Jesus taught? It seems the only thing left is to hate oneself for not being the person Jesus calls you to be.

Rennyo

 

Two things

1. the one who loves beyond all understanding will be embracing you always what ever you may think,

2. You are not your thoughts. Of course you know that that is not an easy boundary to keep. When I am with my ex I spend some energy letting negative thoughts float away so that they do not cling to me, define me, or define our relationship. I don't always win but I know that I am not my thoughts and I need to let them see the light of day and float away.

 

And I have regularly seen a counselor to help me untie the darkest of the knots.

 

We make a big mistake when we take on all of Jesus' teachings at the same time like a Book of Law. Jesus is always meeting us exactly where we are in a very personal way. This week one of the lectionary passages is the Anointing at Bethany (Mark 14:1 ff). A woman breaks open a jar of perfume, worth an annual salary - $50,000 maybe - and pours it on Jesus. Then there is an argument about this waste when it could be used to help the poor.

 

In the midst of the argument, it is important to see that Jesus and the woman are having a personal moment and that is what is important. This passage doesn't mean that we should always behave like she did. In a sense it is a one off. An so is each moment you will have with Jesus

 

Anxiety leads to paranoia, and fear and hate - at least that is the order for me. Relaxing and experiencing the embrace of the one who loves beyond all understanding helps. I just don't do it often enough.

 

Did I tell you that since I had my music up too loud a year ago the neighbors upstairs walk extra heavy on their floor to annoy me? Yes, that is a thought I am continually helping to fly away. :D:lol:

 

Dutch

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I admire you for looking fear in the eye that is the start. I admire you for being honest with yourself and your Chrisianity. The challenge is can you accept it and learn to relax and enjoy where you are as you become............................................................................................ . . . . . . . . . .

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Thank you Yvonne, Dutch and soma for your replies. It seems like I often do that I've focused on "shoulds" and inevitably ended up condemning myself. Resting in forgiveness and acceptence seems like the right way to go, but I often forget that and put the cart before the horse. I find that easily in Paul, with his teaching on law and grace, but I admit to having a more difficult time seeing it in Jesus, maybe because he doesn't spell it out and break it down like Paul does.

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You're here, your ideal is over there, and you can't make any progress towards it.

 

What if you find that you cannot follow Jesus' injunctions to love your enemies, to do unto others, to walk the extra mile and turn the other cheeek? A person who lives such as that is likely, I'll concede, a free person, free from fear, free to live. But what if you find that you can't even leave the house without an evil thought towards your neighbors (not even enemies)? What if you can't see beyond fear and live the way Jesus taught? It seems the only thing left is to hate oneself for not being the person Jesus calls you to be.

I hope you do not mind me saying this. We just try my friend, None of us succeed in the way we may want to be fully but I give you some advice if I may. Do not hate yourself. I will tell what I think God wants from you and me in order for God to love us. It is nothing. God just loves us because I believe that is what God does. Your heart sounds to me just fine. Life can be a struggle sometimes and it can really knock us and distress us but that is life and not you. The very fact that your at all concerned speaks volumns to me about the loving person you are. I feel sure God knows that too.

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What if you can't see beyond fear and live the way Jesus taught? It seems the only thing left is to hate oneself for not being the person Jesus calls you to be.

 

Well, you could just convert to "born-again-ism." That way, all you really have to do is say the sinner's prayer and "ask Jesus into your heart." Then, it doesn't matter whether you do even one thing that Jesus taught. You're saved!!!

 

Seriously, don't take it so seriously. We're all on the same bus ride, friend. You just try to do what you can. I don't love my neighbor when his kid drives on my lawn.

 

NORM

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  • 4 weeks later...

Don't discount the value of intent. Regards of what Yoda might have said, trying IS important and it DOES count for something. Sometimes we try to do great things, or be great people, or live up to the ideal - we don't always make it. But making the effort, trying your hardest, counts for a lot I think.

 

Loving your enemy, for example, is difficult at the best of times. But trying to distance yourself from the negative feelings, trying to forgive that person if they have done something to you, trying to find *something* about that person that is good - those are noble efforts. I find it hard to believe that God would judge so harshly that those who fail are doomed. If that's the case, we're all doomed - and I don't believe that to be true.

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We can be angry with someone's particular behavior and still love them. To love someone doesn't mean you can't object to some offensive behavior, that you have to put up with whatever bs someone dishes out, without protest or anger.

Unfortunately, quite a lot of people actually do operate out of just such thinking. If someone else does something I don't like, I won't love them anymore. That is often at the root of dysfnctional relationships, one keeps another or others walking on eggshells, always trying to please, lest that one withdraw his/her love and support. I've had that game played on me in more ways by more people than I'd care to count.

 

And therein comes a basic matter at the root of the problems we may have with this idea of "shoulds." We perhaps really need different words, terms, to express "shoulds" in realistic, healthy and functional contexts, as opposed to unrealistic, unhealthy, dysfunctional contexts.

 

Realistic, healthy, functional "shoulds" provide valid guidelines for our well being and best interests, personally and socially. Such "shoulds" help direct us toward successfully accomplishing goals, and making life go as well for us as possible. If you want others to treat you well, you "should" treat others as you'd want to be treated. If you want to get passing grades in school, you should develop effective study habits and complete assignments as instructed. If you want your marriage to be strong and healthy, you should treat your spouse with respect.

 

Unrealistic, unhealthy, dysfunctional "shoulds" are those that serve as power tools for people manipulating and controlling others, or for blaming and shaming people either into doing what someone else demands, or as reason/excuse for with holding or withdrawing love and support.

 

To use "should in context "if you want others to treat you well, you should treat others well," is quite a different matter than in context of "you should do as I say/try to please me, if you want me to treat you well."

 

"Should" used in the past tense to blame and humiliate, as in, what you should or should not have done, when something doesn't go well, is usually used in ways that is abusive and non-productive, as when it is used to hold someone under guilt, or responsible for their own personal failures, for things past that cannot be changed now, and in many cases, may not have actually made the different the 'blamer' seems to assume it would have. "Bad" religion is chock full of this kind of abusive use of "should."

 

Jenell

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When I was young another young lady who was scared, pregnant and lost. Told me she didn't know how to be a mother or thought she could not be a good mother. I told her I have never been a mother or father, but I felt all new parents feel that way. The only thing I could say was you become a mother by being a mother. I don't know what happened after that, but I remember her fear of the unknown. We have all been there gone through the portal and come out on the other side only to find another challenging situation. In the sixties my parents kicked me out of the house through the portal and into the unknown disowning me. It was scary, but the best thing that ever happened to me. It was a bigger event than high school graduation which came later.

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