When Michael Jackson died, I became riveted to the stories that emerged about him. Not so much about his death, but his life. It seemed that after he left us we were finally getting insight to what he was like as a man, not just an icon.

Deepak Chopra, who had been a friend and spiritual advisor to Michael for 20 years, said that Michael had been physically and verbally abused as a child, and he talked about Michael's subsequent prescription drug addiction and need to isolate himself from a world that saw him in extremes, eager to both idolize and demonize him.

Deepak spoke frankly about Michael's self-hatred, the collateral damage from his childhood abuse. That made me sit up and take notice. THAT was the part we hadn't been talking about all these years.

Self-hatred.

Why hadn't we seen it more clearly?

As Michael's face was reshaped, piece by piece, right before our eyes, why weren't we asking each other, "Do you think Michael Jackson is struggling with self-hatred?" rather than so quickly proclaiming him weird and bizarre as we snapped our minds shut?

Deepak recalled Michael's self-hatred driving him to so many plastic surgeries that he then started dressing to cover up his disfigurement. The press--and we, we can admit it--judged him even more harshly then.

Why didn't we see the obvious earlier? And as the obvious became more extremely obvious, why did we still sidestep it into the blind certainty of judgment?

Could it be because feeling empathy for Michael's self-hatred would have put us in touch with our own self-hatred? And could our quick judgment of Michael have reflected our longtime, automatic judgment and rejection of the self-hatred plaguing us?

Self-hatred hurts. That's why we'll do almost anything to avoid feeling it, even while it's driving our behavior. Deepak revealed that when talking about his desire for so much plastic surgery "Michael would cry and say, 'Deepak, you don't understand how ugly I am!'"

What deep, hidden part of us also wants to cry, "You don't know how ugly I am!"

Sometimes we would rather adopt a generalized feeling of unworthiness or despair than feel our self-hatred. We might gravitate to relationships, work, financial straits, or illnesses that keep us so depleted or so occupied with coping and struggle that the deeper, "worse" feeling of self-hatred can't be felt. Not directly anyway. Yet it still drives our lives.

If we want so much to avoid feeling or admitting to our self-hatred, why am I bringing it up? To increase our shame or make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already do?

No, the opposite.

Self-hate is energy. BIG energy. Big energy mistakenly turned against ourselves. The fact that self-hate is so destructive and debilitating is proof that it is energy used inappropriately.

Energy used the way it was truly intended always strengthens, nourishes, and balances us. It gives us peace and joy. Only misdirected energy causes our personality to suffer. The greater the energy we misdirect, the greater our suffering.

How can we redirect the big energy of self-hatred so it becomes nourishing strength and a foundation of inner peace and joy?

We can open to that energy in its true manifestation: self-love.

Self-love and self-hate might seem conflicting, like opposites, but they really are not.

Self-love is your essence, the spiritual essence of all of us. While self-hate rejects various aspects of self, self-love welcomes every aspect of our being including self-hate with open arms.

Self-love doesn't need self-hate to change. Self-love has only love for self-hate. But in the loving embrace of self-love, self-hate does change. Naturally, automatically, and all on its own.

Not because it should change or is coerced, but because it is at last in the environment that gives it exactly what it needs to transform. You can almost hear self-hate sigh as it lets go and morphs into the energy of love.

How does that happen?

The vibrations of our true nature, unconditional love, are so strong and pure that self-hate automatically reconfigures itself to match. That is because in the presence of energy that is our true nature, misdirected energy will transform, returning itself to that original, love-based design.

So we don't have to try to eliminate or change our self-hate. Rejecting it won't help. If it did, we would all be healed by now.

What will help is noticing the feelings of self-hate that we have been pushing down or numbing, and then inviting them into the open arms of the self-love of our spirit.

We might not feel the change at first. It is often subtle until we adjust our awareness to perceive it. But even the slightest softening of the jaw or dropping of the shoulders--or the tiniest inner peace, so subtle that we normally would call it "nothing"--is a sign that the energy of self-hate is reconfiguring itself. Transformation has started.

Welcoming self-hate into the open arms of the unconditional love of our spirit for even just five or six breaths each day will keep the transformation going.

It might feel like nothing, but it's a big deal.

We are all beautiful and deserving of love, whether we know it or not. Let's keep talking about it.

To read a pivotal lesson I got from my self-love guru that helped me sort out my thoughts of plastic surgery, go to
http://martianelson.com/CoachingStories.html and click on "Chloe's Story."

Author's Bio: 

Martia Nelson is an author, life coach, and spiritual mentor who helps people open to their true self and deeper levels of happiness, prosperity, and fulfillment.

Her book, "Coming Home: The Return to True Self," is praised by best selling authors Deepak Chopra and Shakti Gawain. It gives readers a deep understanding of their innate goodness and reveals easy techniques for opening to the unconditional love, joy, wisdom, self-compassion, creativity, meaning, and purpose that true self restores to their lives.

Martia has been on the leading edge of developing and teaching techniques for opening to true self for 25 years. She has a gift for showing people how to stop rejecting themselves by cradling their ego in the unlimitedly loving arms of true self (spirit).

Get your free chapter of "Coming Home" and free mp3 download at MartiaNelson.com.