“Participant: AJ, whenever I try and get real about my true self and about how I actually am, I get into a real self judging place, and I don’t know how to see myself as I am without going to that judging place.
So you go into self punishment?
“Yeah, self punishment is also an addiction. And we need to come to recognise that it is. So what would you do if you were in another addiction – let’s say you had a problem with smoking and you were giving it up. What would you do? Would you have the smokes lying by the bedside table? You wouldn’t, would you? What would you do with them?
Participant: Get rid of them.
Yeah. Most people jump up and down on them and throw them in the bin and then later on at night search through the bin for that. You see, what we often do is we revert back to the behaviour that is a part of the addiction. Self punishment is an addictive behaviour established usually by our parents, actually. We learnt when we were young children that one way to get mum and dad’s approval is to agree with their punishment of us. So therefore we go into this self punishment phase every time we notice something that we feel is bad about ourselves. Now self punishment is also an addiction. So we need to address that as an addiction rather than actually acting out the self punishment and punishing ourselves even further. So we’ll talk about how to do that later in the discussion. As long as you understand at this point that self punishment, self attack, is an addiction in itself. And we need to address that addiction if we really want to progress. Now the problem is when I’m prepared to punish myself, evil spirits who are around me are also then prepared to punish me, so they come in and even worsen the emotion.
Participant: And that’s what happens because instantly I just hear them, “You’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad”.
Yeah. They’ll start saying things to you, saying, “You’re a bad person anyway”. Because what do they want you to do?
They want you to give up the quest for truth and love and go back to satisfying their addictions, whatever those addictions were. That’s what they want to do. So they want you to punish yourself because in a place of self punishment, you often just give up and go, “Ah, blow this,” and usually we use an “f” word or two. “Blow this! I’m tired of feeling this bad”, and no wonder because you’re punishing yourself all the time. So we go, “I’m tired of feeling this bad, I’m just going to give up anyway and I’ll just go back to my old life.” How many of you have thought like that doing that in the last six months? Exactly. It’s something that happens on a regular basis and it’s something we need to deal with as an addiction.
We have that addiction because we’re invested in our parent’s viewpoint of ourselves. So when our parents punished us,they needed a justification for that punishment and so what we start doing is we start justifying to ourselves our own punishment of ourselves. Now God doesn’t want you to punish yourself, God wants you to change. You’re not going to change while punishing yourself more. We’re only going to change if we realise that that’s one of our addictions and what it’s related to. We’ll talk more about what it’s related to perhaps at another time.”