Self Destruction

“If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago.”

—Cheri Huber, Zen Teacher

The Wizard’s Reflection


The darkest shadow, the most extreme place of the light denied, is the realm of self-annihilation. Over time, our cultural training, traumatic experiences, and unskillful self-understanding allows for an accumulation of seemingly inconsequential self-negations. As this happens, our self-deprecating postures turn from charming social quirks into self-punishing jabs, which increasingly cut to the bone.

Learning to discern self-destructive influences takes courage and perseverance. Though they come in many forms, including substances, lifestyles and relationships, they always have a generative layer in the body-mind-emotional habits. They disguise themselves as what we long for, as belonging, empowerment or a way out. They co-opt our body-minds with their narratives of justifications, leaving us feeling at their mercy. In such a state, the only way back to self-love is revolution.

Suggested Divination Meanings

Am I in some way beating myself down rather than supporting myself?

Am I self-punishing to keep others from blaming me?

In what way can I stop adding to my challenges?

In what ways has my humility become self-deprecating negativity?

What behavior do I justify with cynicism even though it is destructive?

In what way am I beating on myself that feels “normal” to do so?

What beliefs about myself do I hold that are representative of my inner child denied?

In what way can I become the calm eye at the center of my inner storm?

What actions can I take to discharge my aggression in ways that release it without harming anyone, including myself?

What negative thoughts & feelings in me have momentum in my life at present?