You’ve probably heard of self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage is when we find ourselves acting in ways that are totally contrary to what we have learned. In other words, we “know better”—and yet we do it anyway.
Why do we do this?
Today I’d like to talk with you about self-sabotage in a different way, a way you’ve probably never heard before.
I’d like to explain self-sabotage from an energetic perspective. From the perspective of frequency.
What are Frequencies?
In our daily lives, we exist in a constantly fluctuating range of energetic frequencies. The range always exists, meaning that there is always going to be the lowest rung on the ladder that we could possibly feel on any given day at that particular stage in our life, and, conversely, there is always going to be the highest rung that we could possibly feel given that particular stage of our life.
As time passes, what constitutes our typical range will change. What you are capable of experiencing changes. Over the years, your highs will get even higher. And as time passes, your lows will not be as low as they once were.
Simply put, frequencies are emotions. Emotions are frequencies. They are one and the same.
An emotion is simply a frequency interpreted by the body-mind. So, for example, sadness and depression could be characterized as a low frequency, while the emotions of happiness and joy could be characterized as a high frequency. Sensations in the body such as heaviness and sluggishness could be characterized as low frequency, while sensations such as lightness and flexibility could be characterized as high frequency.
If you feel like you’re slugging through thick mud, you are in low frequency. If you feel like your body is vibrating or floating, then you are in high frequency.
What we experience on any given day is going to fluctuate, from hour to hour, even sometimes from minute to minute. This fluctuation is a normal part of being alive in a body. Even the great enlightened sages and teachers fluctuate: they sometimes feel neutrality, calm, joy, bliss, sleepiness, peace, and sometimes they even feel sadness. We all fluctuate. To fluctuate in frequency is to be human.
The Pattern of Self-sabotage
If we can view emotions and sensations as existing in an ever-shifting range of frequencies, then we can understand self-sabotage and how to gently dissolve this pattern out of our existence.
Self-sabotage is when we engage in an action or behavior that lowers our frequency. It is often an addictive or compulsive behavior. Often, after we self-sabotage, we feel like we’ve just woken up out of a bad dream. There’s this hazy, surreal quality to the whole action of self-sabotage, and when we come out of it, we are left scratching our heads, thinking, “Why in the world did I do that?”
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on self-sabotage in my own life.
I recently had a gathering at my home, where twenty incredible friends gathered to partake in delicious nutritious food together, sing magical songs, meditate, fire-spin, and participate in a group healing session. It was amazing, out-of-this-world! Many who participated in the event commented that it was the highest they’ve ever felt without using drugs.
I too left the event with a feeling of elation. The following day, I felt I was walking on a cloud. All of life made sense, and everyone I encountered looked as beautiful as the Buddha. There was a shine to everything, a glow.
Two days later, however, I found myself reaching for some chocolate. As I am recovering from adrenal fatigue syndrome, I know that it is best to avoid caffeine and sugar in my diet. I have learned, over and over, that what my body needs most is total peace and calm—not stimulation. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that chocolate has negative consequences for my body.
And yet, I ate the chocolate. I ate a lot of chocolate. You could say I totally binged on chocolate.
As you might imagine, the next few days were hell. The caffeine interrupted my sleep patterns, and I was left a jittery, exhausted mess.
Why in the world did I do that to myself? Why did I make that lousy choice? At the outset, this seemed like a complicated inquiry for me to undertake. Yet, after reflecting and meditating, I realized that the answer was quite simple.
The answers to my questions are most easily revealed through an energetic perspective.
Let’s say you are flying high, like I was just after getting together with my friends… perhaps you just got a promotion at work, or perhaps you have just made love to your sweetie for the first time. Whatever the case, you are experiencing a higher rung on the ladder of your own personal frequency range. You are flying; you are free; perhaps you even feel weightless. You feel the world is vibrating to the beat of your own joyful heart, and you hope that you will somehow stay in this ecstasy forever.
But then the ego comes in. The ego doesn’t understand what joy feels like; the ego doesn’t understand what bliss feels like. The ego only knows separation and pain, and so that is what it tries to reinforce.
The ego decides, then, that the only thing it can do is to reassert yourself is to feed your mind doubts, worries, or lies.
When I reached for chocolate on that fateful day, I had the idea in my mind that maybe I would feel even better than I already did by eating the chocolate.
Is that crazy? Well, yes, of course—but that is exactly how the ego operates! The ego feeds us crazy ideas in order to re-establish itself and its own experience (pain, suffering, separation).
Based upon my years of experience as a person recovering from adrenal fatigue, I had learned without a shadow of a doubt that caffeine is one of the worst poisons I can put into my body. I knew this! And…yet…I believed the idea that the ego fed me: that if I ate the chocolate, I would be flying even higher than I was before.
Transcending the Pattern
Why did I believe the lie that the ego told me?
Well, there was clearly some subconscious things happening that I was unaware of. What I was experiencing, the day after the gathering of friends, was bliss. Total ecstasy. In Western culture, the state of bliss is not recognized as culturally acceptable behavior. There is, in fact, a deep suspicion of bliss. Bliss is seen as craziness, madness, as out-of-bounds from normal social existence.
I was in bliss—meaning, I was One with all. I was not concerned with paying my bills, I was not concerned with clocks and calendars. I remember walking around my neighborhood the day after the event, and seeing every stone, every blade of grass, and every person walking their dog as a piece of my own soul. I felt intimately connected to everyone and everything I saw. I felt deep love and compassion. This was bliss. This was what the great sages feel in every moment. This was enlightenment. This was it. I was it.
And then my ego totally freaked out. And, actually, justifiably so—because it felt like it was dying! It indeed was losing its grip on my reality.
The ego came in, reminding me (on a subconscious level) about the mandate against bliss in our culture. It came in, warning me that this high frequency might obliterate all the things in my life that I take for granted: maybe if I stayed in this state long enough, I would lose all my friends? Or maybe I would lose my work, my home? Maybe if I stayed in this state, my body might dissolve altogether or spontaneously combust?
All these worries and thoughts were fed to me, by my ego, on a subconscious level. I took them in. And then on, a conscious level, this thought appeared in my mind: If you eat chocolate, you might feel even more awesome than you already do.
The reality of living in a body in a Universe composed of energy is that energy fluctuates. After a few days, or perhaps at most a few weeks, my frequency, after my friendship gathering, would have dipped a bit lower as the days passed. It would have been normal, natural, and quite alright for me to dip down out of bliss, and perhaps into mid-range frequencies: feelings such as optimism, tenderness, safety, centeredness, stillness, peace, or mellow calm. That would have been normal, and to be expected.
And, yet, my self-sabotaging behavior caused me to quickly plummet to much much lower states such as anxiety and sadness.
If we want to understand why we engage in self-sabotage, we must understand it from the perspective of energy, of frequency. The ego wants to knock us down from high-frequency states—because it fears the dissolution of its own existence—by introducing erroneous logic into our minds. Because we are so high, so open and trusting of ourselves, then, during these high frequency states (where we see the perfection in everything, the love in all), we then can sometimes fail to use logic in making decisions. It is as if the ego knows we are liable to say “yes” to anything, because we feel so good. We trust. And, yet, this trust without logic will ultimately be our downfall, as we engage in self-sabotaging behavior.
Yes, it is good to trust and to surrender to the Universe, but it is also imperative that we continue to use logic and rationality when faced with certain choices in our lives. For example, if we are healing from alcohol abuse, then, whilst in a state of bliss, the ego might arise and whisper: “It won’t hurt to have a drink now. I can handle it; I won’t become addicted again.” If a thought like this occurs to us, we can simply note that the thought is in reference to a pattern of addiction. A warning flag can then go up in our mind. With loving attention, we can review the past of our lives, review our intentions for the future, and make the informed choice of abstaining from the drink.
The Rainbow of Life
Too often, we think of the awakening path as devoid of using the mind. This is simply not true!
While it is true that meditative practices can liberate us from the worries and negative patterns of the mind, it is also true that the mind can be a powerful tool. The mind can serve us on our awakening path when we are its master.
Therefore, when we enter high vibrational states such as bliss and ecstasy, we cannot simply relinquish our logical minds and allow the ego to trick us into making self-sabotaging choices in order to bring our frequency back down into a state of separation.
When we are in joy or bliss we can remind ourselves that it will naturally happen, over days or weeks, that we will at some point dip down a bit, maybe into states such as alert friendliness, thankfulness, peace, quiet, serenity, trust, or tranquility—perhaps not as fun to experience as joy or bliss, but still wonderful states to experience.
And, equally so, we can use our minds to remember that if we are in low frequency states (depression, anxiety, fear), our ego will want to drag us down even further, and therefore will tempt us with lower frequency choices: such as using drugs/alcohol, using sexuality to numb or escape our emotions, oversleeping, binging on “comfort” foods, and consuming mindless media.
When we see how the ego simply wants to maintain its hold on our lives, it is easier to see through these patterns, and enter the light of a new consciousness.
When we avoid self-sabotaging behaviors through using the wonderful powers of our mind, the new “low” end of our frequency range can shift over time: from depression to sadness, from sadness to tension, from tension to relaxation, from relaxation to happiness.
This process takes time. Yet, it is entirely possible that a single lifetime can produce amazing change. In my life, for example, I have gone from suicidal depression as the lowest rung on my frequency range to states of lethargy and sadness as now being the lowest of what it is possible for me to experience during this phase of my life. Each year, it keeps getting better and better. Each day: better and better.
As we attune ourselves to viewing the world from a frequency perspective, to viewing our own bodies and minds as that of energy beings, things just start to make more sense. We can see our lives from a more nuanced point of view, and we can take positive action, rather than self-sabotaging reaction, and enjoy our lives, fully, in all their glorious colors.