Attaching to Self Sabotage
By: Jessica Ahlers
Have you ever had someone ask you the question- “Are you a self saboteur?” If someone did ask you that question, how would you answer it? I feel asking ourselves this type of powerful question strengthens our ability to truly be honest with ourselves. After all, if we can’t be honest with ourselves, then we’re definitely not being honest with others about who we are underneath our many worn masks, nor are we kidding anyone. Most of our relationship view points are truly our own, and if you ask someone else what they think about their relationship with you- you will most likely get a response that differs greatly from what you think you will hear. I have found in my own life that no matter how much I might try to lie to myself about how others like to play the truth is always there for me to see in my reactions to others around me.
It takes the deeply hidden intricacies of the mind to develop the many unsuspecting pathways to self sabotage. In the end, we usually are not aware that we are trying to sabotage ourselves because it is a difficult subject to approach and be honest about with ourselves. Have you ever experienced a breakup, where the conditions yielded a person you never even thought existed due to the self developed perception you already maintained about them? This is a very common feeling after the ending of a relationship. Most of the time there are plenty of circumstances that yield this situation. I feel all of them are rooted in the understanding of what it means to be honest and open to the possibilities of the world around us. When we can remember that we are one with all, and whole beings, then our awareness that all traits exist in every one of us- no one excluded- is heightened.
Buddhists believe that if we can look at every person in the world with the understanding that everyone is suffering, just like us, then we will cultivate more feelings of compassion and understanding, rather than seeds of anger or frustration which typically lead to a dead end and more suffering for ourselves. In trying to practice this challenging way of viewing the world, I have found it opens many doors to self reflection and kindness. When we can be honest about our own suffering, as well as the suffering of everyone around us, a major part of the human condition, we can live a life that shines authenticity. With authenticity, our abilities to sabotage ourselves become weakened. Transparency within our own world leaves more room for opportunities on all counts- especially when it comes to happiness.
Recently I lost a friend that I had known for years. I have gone through many stages of mourning this relationship. I have felt anger, sadness, and helplessness. But in the end, I can see how both of our commitments to self sabotage caused our relationship to end. It was very difficult for me to accept this person’s behavior, and couldn’t believe how I was being treated. Basically, I was in disbelief of my own self generated view point that I had for years, and had to come to terms with the fact that not only do the qualities I witnessed exist in this other person, but they also exist within myself- I just have not accepted them fully, which is why I felt so angry and plugged in.
Our issues got in the way of enjoying one another without the limitations we placed on our relationship through our view points. We both judged one another in some form, and the judgments got in our way of simply having a good time and being grateful for the manifestation of awareness we both represented. Our quest to reject an opportunity for happiness in our relationship with one another was our own self sabotage. The most any of us can do is walk away from these experiences wiser, so we can continue to be open to the joy of being that we all deserve rather than repeatedly living out life times of suffering.