Johnny Dangerous wrote:
I keep repeating the same negative patterns over and over again, I try to chip away at it, but I feel like i've stood still after years of trying. The same neuroses I had when I was 10, I still have them. They trap me in my head and prevent me from being beneficial to others.
What do you do about feeling this way..outside of the usual intellectual answers? I'm wondering, how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?
If you really are
a shitty person, then there should be no conflict arising in your mind, and you should be rejoicing at the fact that you have attained awareness of your true nature.
If you are in fact not
a shitty person, then you should rejoice in this, and regard such negative emotions merely as passing storms, and that the conflict arising in the mind is evidence that there is perhaps nothing about you that you should regret.
It is helpful to ask, for whom you are have been practicing Dharma for so long.
If it is for yourself, then this is like a cat chasing its own tail. You can never catch up to your neuroses because the practice manifests as an aspect of that neurosis. If you practice dharma for the benefit of others, you stop clinging to the neurotic sensation of a wallowing 'me' . When there is no 'me', who is there to wallow? Dharma teachings are not just hypothetical possibilities. As Shantideva wrote, All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness.
All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others.
If you regard this as merely an intellectual approach, and you have only applied this theoretically,
then try it again for real and see what happens.
If you are afraid of what might happen, then look at the nature of that fear.
It is helpful to look at all that you have going for you, all that you can do. You can read, you are healthy, you have a computer, you can help people. When you consider this as an enormous wealth, and how much you could actually help those who are much worse off than you are, what do you have to feel sorry about?
Since you asked in a dharma forum, this is somewhat of a dharma approach.
If this is clinical depression, there is treatment for that.
I am sorry to say that I cannot claim to share your experience. So, my advice may be worthless.
Every day that I wake up, I am happy.