“I just hate myself,” I heard someone say the other day. They were bemoaning the fact they couldn’t get some simple things in their life right.

How do you feel inside yourself?

When you look at yourself in a mirror, what do you see? As you look at yourself, what don’t you like about yourself? I’m not just talking physical appearance, though that’s part of it.

If you examine yourself in a mirror, at first you’ll likely tell yourself stories about yourself. How you did something wrong. How you never seem to get some things right. How you were laughed at. How you made a fool of yourself. How you always manage to say the wrong thing.

Many of us go on and on about ourselves. What we hate in ourselves, what we don’t like about our appearance, the way we screw up on this, that, or the other thing.

Let all of this stare back at you in the mirror.

Now, stop the stories. Recognize that you tell yourself these stories, but for the moment stop telling yourself them.

Switch your focus to what’s behind all these stories: “Me, unhappy with the way I am.”

Just stay with this realization: you are unhappy with the way you are.

If you stay with it, not telling yourself the stories you tell yourself about what’s wrong with you but just feeling the fact that you are unhappy with the way you are, you will begin to notice a space around this “me who is unhappy with myself.”

It may take doing this more than once or twice, though it can also happen the first time. But you will awaken to the fact that there is far more to you than this “unhappy me.”

We are so prone to focus on the unhappiness in our life, as if it were our basic state.

In traditional western spirituality, this unhappy state of things we feel about ourselves is said to be because of original sin. In this view, we are fundamentally flawed and have to be rescued from outside by God. This is a tragic misinterpretation of the meaning of Jesus.

In eastern spirituality, it’s not much different: there’s karma to be worked out from other lives, for instance. Or years of meditation and self-discipline before you can be “enlightened.”

It all amounts to the same thing: people are generally not happy with themselves as they are.

But stay with the mirror. See the reflection of the “you that’s unhappy with you.”

Spontaneously, there will arise a space around this “unhappy you” that you will begin to recognize as something much more real, more authentic, more truly you.

We don’t start off “outside” of God and have to be brought in. We start off in the being of God, but while growing up learn to imagine ourselves outside.

What Jesus shows us is a reflection of our true being, which never has been outside of God, cut off from God, separate from God. He awakens us to the divine image that is our fundamental self, before all the self-doubt came flooding in.

Original sin is the self-doubting, self-hating state of the world into which we come, not our fundamental individual state. It’s original in that it’s here before us.

We are conceived into a dysfunctional world, born into it, and grow up in it. As the psalmist said in the Hebrew tradition, Psalm 51, it begins infecting us even in the womb through the emotional states of our mother, who herself is more aware of her flaws than of her being in God. These days, research has confirmed that our time in the womb already begins the distortion of our purity.

Our original state is divine.

It’s this that Jesus reveals to us, as I show in Your Forgotten Self. It's in this way he saves us from ourselves, rescues us from the torturous state of imagining ourselves outside of God and left to our own devices, which would be pure hell.

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. He writes The Compassionate Eye daily, together with his daily author blog The Sunday Blog, at www.namastepublishing.com.