Subject: self punishment - how we do it
Self Punishment - How We Do It
In this third article on self-punishment, we're going to be
looking at the specific ways we punish ourselves.
HOW we do it.
These are the things we actually DO to punish ourselves.
1. We deny ourselves the fun and success and happiness that life
has to offer.
Because we've been programmed so intensely to believe we're
supposed to suffer, and because we're not supposed to enjoy our
lives, this method of self-punishment is very common.
I mean, come on, how many people do you know who are both
successful AND happy? We've all learned you can have one,
or the other, (maybe!) but certainly not both.
And what does it mean to have fun? Usually, we default to the
adolescent's version of fun, which often involves inebriation
"Let's see how much we can drink! Let's see who pukes first!
I would say fun could best be defined as - "feeling the wonder
of being alive".
And how many people will let themselves feel that? For most
of us, life has become a drudgery of getting through the day.
So we can somehow get through the next day.
And speaking of success... sometimes we'll ALMOST let ourselves
succeed, and then at the last second, everything falls apart.
We almost get there - then we end up being denied. This is a
classic symptom of shame, and it's also a way we use to punish
When we want something so strongly...
When we work so hard to get it...
When we do everything we can possibly think of...
and we still fall short - it's often due to shame and
And what ends up happening? We 'learn our lesson' - and stop
trying, stop wanting, stop desiring, and end up cynical and
We might not give up wishing, but usually that's as far as it
goes. We'll fantasize, but we 'know' it's not really going to
Then we end up becoming "the person who never has any fun, the
person who's never happy, the person who can never succeed".
We tell ourselves these types of stories, and use those stories
as a container to hold the bitterness, the pain, the suffering,
that comes from this type of self-punishment.
"I probably didn't deserve it anyway."
Those types of statements become the receptacles of our pain.
Because our pain always needs a receptacle. It's always held
in some sort of container.
2. We embrace self-ridicule, self-rejection and humiliation.
I'll put myself down before you have a chance to do it to me.
"Look how stupid I am!"
Or, I'll humiliate myself. Or else I'll just outright reject
myself. Reject my thoughts and feelings, my desires, my
imagination... Reject my dreams. Reject my worth. Reject
any number of things about myself.
Because maybe then, if I reject myself, it won't hurt as bad
when you reject me. Or so I believe.
This all goes back to punishing myself as a way to avoid the
punishment (or rather - to avoid the THREAT of punishment) from
others. I get so afraid someone else MIGHT punish me, that I
do it to myself first.
3. Another similar form of self-punishment involves the DIRECT
avoidance of the punishment of others.
For example, we may get caught in the maze of projection and
identification - where every person becomes mother or father,
and I become the child.
Or we get caught in the downward spiral of always seeking the
approval of others.
Or maybe we get stuck in the trap of outside validation, where
we need the trappings of success - money, cars, a nice home - as
a substitute for our esteem. Or we need the perfect body or the
perfect mate or the perfect kids or the perfect friends.
And finally, we can get caught in the web of addiction to excess -
whether it's work or drugs or drinking or any number of obsessions
that end up punishing ourselves as a way to avoid the potential
punishment of others.
4. We inflict outright pain on ourselves.
This is very common. Many people end up hurting themselves in
some way, either through emotional, physical, or mental pain.
Often times, we'll create unpleasant or unbearable situations in
our lives, so it seems like it's not our fault. Then we can always
point a finger at the other person or the outside event as the
'cause' of our own pain.
Some common examples include working a job your hate, being with
someone who creates problems in your life, and living in a place
that doesn't suit you.
We can create bad situations and then say we DIDN'T create them -
and therefore, we can't possibly change them!
That's why it's so vitally important to remember...
YOU CAN ALWAYS CHANGE.
Sometimes, (but NOT always!) the best option is to move, or quit
that job, or leave that abusive person.
That way, you can have the time to clear your head, get some
space, and start honestly looking at your present patterns.
So you can change INSIDE.
One of the best ways to begin that inner change is to learn the
'ins and outs' of reality creation. Then you can see clearly
WHAT you're doing to keep that present pattern in place.
For more information, go to -
5. We deny our self love and the love from others.
This is similar to the first two methods of self-punishment.
We just will not let in the love. But because love is everywhere,
it's like being in a submarine under the water. We know the water
is out there, but we can't touch it. Besides, if we sprung a leak,
it could kill us. We'd drown at the bottom of the sea. To stay
'safe', we must stay in our submarine.
Usually, the denial of love starts early in life. As a child,
we develop many beliefs about and around love. Love means I
suffer for others. Love means I sacrifice. Love means I don't
get what I want, so someone else can get what THEY want. And
sometimes, sadly, love means I get abused.
We often attach ugly meanings to love.
"Well why should I put up with all that? I think I'll just
stay away from love."
I end up denying love because I've come to believe love equals
something unpleasant. Then it becomes like - "damned if I do,
and damned if I don't". I can either punish myself by denying
love (because I equate it with pain) or else I can punish myself
by embracing a painful twisted version of love.
6. We deny our Creator and spirituality.
If this is our preferred method of self-punishment then we may
talk the talk, but we don't walk the walk. It's easy to say
you're a spiritual person, or a religious person, but still
lack the personal relationship with any type of divine energy.
It's easy to turn your place of worship into a networking
opportunity, or some sort of duty and obligation - going
through the motions but not really touching the WONDER of
Also, it can be downright hard to let in the help from above,
for so many reasons. We can say the words, but not really feel
the energy. We can end up denying a living, breathing
spirituality - which is always a two-way street. Meaning -
We give, and we also receive. And our Creator gives to us and
receives from us.
From my experience, true spirituality is something you can almost
taste in your mouth - because it's so plump and juicy and rich
with energy. To deny yourself this energy has to be self-punishing.
Because spirituality is such a personal experience, there's not
much more I'd want to say about it, except this: it's never too
late to start developing a relationship; it's never too late to
ask for help.
And as for the other self-punishing actions, I'd suggest learning
how you're already creating your own reality. That way you can
make adjustments as needed. Just go to -
Next time, we'll look at how to a few more details on how
to end the self-punishment.
Anyway, as always, if you're interested in a little help, I'll be
glad to work with you personally. Not with the spirituality,
but with all the other reasons why you might punish yourself.
Just go to -
all the best,
Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Wizard
PS - Imagine what it's like to talk to someone who's already
been through what you're suffering from, and has found the
way out. Just go to -