The pendulum of self-pride and self-punishment
For some of us the pendulum swings from pride to self-loathing, making it hard to know whether we love or hate ourselves. When we accomplish something, we are happy with ourselves. But when others criticize or judge us, we also self-berate. Sometimes this self-hating can even come without any apparent instigation. We just can’t help but fault-find within. This is all tied up with the ego, our lower, baser nature, the immature part of us that thinks it is the centre of the universe. When walking a spiritual path, transcending the ego is central. On this path pride is seen as an enemy for it is arises out of an over-glorification of the ego. The noble soul, on the other hand, is humble. But when one is centred in their ego but aiming at humility, this objective itself can lead to self-loathing. If I’m trying to overcome pride, I might think I need to tear down the self through disapproval of it. But the spiritual path is one of love, not hate. Just as excessive pride is the sign of an enlarged ego, self-loathing is too, especially when the result of feeling hurt by others. This hurt also arises out of excessive ego. So, to still this pendulum, we need to diminish the grip the ego has on us, and this is done out of love, not loathing.