This is a tricky one.
I first really realized I had a problem with self-acceptance and self-judgement in 2011. At the core of many problems that can present themselves in the human psyche is a reluctance to accept, or pointed and deliberate rejection of reality, whether it be the reality of ourselves or our environment past/present.
I had a friend tell me the other day that I need to read less and write more. I’ve been so focused on information intake that I have severely cut back on output. The thing is, the things I really want to talk about require demanding a vulnerability of myself that is not easy. I was listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast the other week and he questioned James Altucher about his willingness to be vulnerable in his blog. The saying “if it feels uncomfortable, you are probably on the right track” or something to that effect came up. This feels uncomfortable… so I’m probably on the right track.
The trigger for me sitting down and writing this happened 20 or so minutes ago when I realized that I had to admit to myself that my ego was guiding my behaviour much more than I cared to admit. Ego specifically for me is a fiery issue because a lot of my energy for music and my internal values align with humility as the true way to inner peace and contentment. So when I noticed that my behaviours were becoming more ego gratification based than I would like, given my energy and near crusader like attitude to the battle against ego, I not only found it very difficult to admit… but very difficult to accept.
The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter who you are, there are always going to be ups and downs and hurdles in our minds. We are going to see ourselves fuck up. We are going to see ourselves doing things that we do or have not imagined our true selves as doing. But it is OKAY.
Why is that significant? Why is it important to know that it is OKAY if we fuck up?
There is a difference between condoning a behaviour, and accepting that what is done is done and learning from the experience. If we can’t accept something about ourselves… not only can we NOT truly learn from it, but we are passing judgement on ourselves and diminishing our self-love and self-acceptance. Humans are not perfect. Inevitably we WILL fuck up. 100%. There is no infallible human being on the planet. While that is not an excuse to ENABLE these fuck ups ahead of time and deflect responsibility with a mantra like “I’m only human”, it IS a reason to forgive ourselves when we “see the light” so to speak and are given an insight on how our maybe well intentioned behaviours have negatively affected ourselves or those around us.
My beginning of my deliberate work on the area of acceptance in my life began with my experiences with MDMA in 2011. I had learned many things about myself and the workings of my mind prior to MDMA via marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and the mental states that they can create. Discovering marijuana in 2006-2007 dialled down the social anxiety knob in my mind from a 12 to a 2 until eventually, now 7-8 years later, I turned my biggest weakness of social interaction into my most valuable asset and am now earning my living as a competent salesperson. Psilocybin effectively turned off my OCD intrusive thoughts (OCD and psilocybin will get a separate blog post in the coming weeks) and I experienced a level of mental clarity that had been unprecedented. Through these altered states I learned what was possible and brought these experiences into sober life, where coupled with working with a professional counsellor, I was able to rework my thinking and see how our thought patterns create problems for us and how we CAN deliberately work our issues (and we ALL have fucking issues) and resolve them.
Where marijuana created a nearly anxiety free state, and mushrooms created a nearly OCD free state, MDMA created a state of total acceptance where I realized that I had had little to no self-love/acceptance. So much of my mental bullshit, when it all boiled down, was me beating myself up for not being perfect. How could someone SO invested in psychology and self-development allow themselves to slip up or loose themselves. How could I, ME, not be 100% on my mental game 24/7. It was an unrealistic expectation. Our unrealistic expectations of ourselves, or our mental overinflation of our abilities to cope with things/challenges that arise in this human condition CREATE SO MANY PROBLEMS. We truly ARE our own worst enemies.
Acceptance allows us to move past things. It seems so basic but we don’t do it. Addressing acceptance at it’s core will allow oneself much greater freedom to BE. To exist and grow without ourselves beating ourselves up for not having done ALL growth in advance of our current predicament or realization about ourselves.
Now you may not need a drug experience to realize these things about yourself. In fact depending on your personality and biological make up it might be the LAST thing that you need. Personally, I can truly say, that my experiences with the substances of marijuana, psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT have truly helped me change my life for the better and if you got any personal insight out of reading this, it may open your mind to challenge the current drug war/drug dogma that is flying around the planet. Most people that know me well, or have been following me on twitter have probably picked up on my anti-prohibitionist attitude and this is the beginning of me really pointedly speaking out and building a case for the invaluable self-improvement potential of psychedelic substances.
I could have just focused on the concept of acceptance and left out how I arrived at certain realizations… but this isn’t a politically correct Newspaper media outlet, and I have no intention of keeping my mouth shut when it comes to being served bullshit on a silver platter by said media outlets. I ultimately believe that a lot of doors to positive mental health are being kept shut by the war on drugs and acceptance is just one example. I would like to dive more into various things that I have learned through substances and this will be a recurring theme or idea in future blog posts.
Agree? Disagree? General thoughts? Let me know in the comments below