Be Cool & Don’t Be An Assh*le.

Via Chris Grosso
on Mar 19, 2013
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The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”~ C.G. Jung

Be Cool and Don’t Be an Asshole may be the greatest spiritual teaching I’ve ever heard.

We’re all assholes sometimes—myself very much included. I’m not proud of it, but if I’m truly dedicated to becoming a better person and cultivating greater compassion for myself and others, I need to be honest about this.

The thing is, though, is that I—along with many others I know—we’re typically the biggest assholes towards ourselves.

For example, I’ve been a particularly big asshole to myself over the past few months as I’ve been finishing up the rough draft of a manuscript for my editor. Thoughts like, “You’re a terrible writer” “You don’t have anything of worth to say” and “You’re setting yourself up for embarrassment and failure” have made temporary residence in my mind, and for one reason or another, I’ve allowed them to stay… but why?

I mean, if I overheard someone saying any of that stuff  to someone else, whether it was a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger, I know I would have stepped in on their behalf, and I’m guessing that most likely you would have too. Yet, when it comes to the self-inflicted asshole syndrome, we usually just let it ride.

So why is it that so many of us feel unworthy of the very same love we so freely share with other people? And why is it easier to show compassion to a complete stranger, than it is to the person looking back at us in the mirror?

My honest and simple answer is, I don’t know. I mean sure, I could offer you a handful of spiritual and psychological theories, things I’ve personally learned and implemented throughout my life, many of which have helped, but the fact remains, the self-negating thoughts still arise.

I used to try to play spiritual superhero by suppressing these thoughts, or, when it was too difficult to suppress them, I’d lie to myself and pretend like they didn’t bother me (which was obviously a complete crock of shit.) But it’s through facing these thoughts and acknowledging the mental and emotional impact they have on us however, rather than pretending like they don’t exist and that everything is love and light, that they begin to happen less frequently and with less force behind them.

So I guess the one completely cliché spiritual thing I’ll leave you with, which I find works significantly well in guiding the mind away from asshole territory is to remind ourselves that underneath our material forms, we really are all One.

And remember, when Ram Dass said, “Treat everyone you meet like God in drag,” he didn’t mean everyone except yourself, because you, you’re just God in drag too silly. So stop being an asshole towards God, okay.

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta


About Chris Grosso

Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict and spiritual director. He has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, and more. Chris created the popular hub for all things alternative, independent, and spiritual with and continues the exploration with his books Everything Mind (Sounds True Publishing) and Indie Spiritualist (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster). Follow Chris on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


22 Responses to “Be Cool & Don’t Be An Assh*le.”

  1. Sajida Sivapriya says:

    Thank you so much for the reminder Chris.. and thanks for not being an assh*le about it. 😉

  2. You're most welcome Sajida… and very well played

  3. Dj Lakshmi says:

    राम truth राम

  4. Edith says:

    I love God in drag!

  5. You and me both Edith.

  6. eleanor says:

    Another brilliant post at a much needed time to read it. Keep it up man!!

  7. Thank you Eleanor. I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

  8. Christine says:

    Great reminder. Thanks for sharing your own *ssh*le voices, too…. I think I've heard them, too!

  9. Haha, thank you Christine!! 🙂

  10. Dusty Ranft says:

    I can definitely relate to the lack of true understanding as to why we don't love ourselves like we do our family or best friend. Why must we self sabotage? Why do we self talk our way into utter despair and confusion while at the same time leading others to love and appreciate every little detail about themselves; even the shitty stuff?
    I recently read, Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield and he really nails this whole idea for me. It's Resistance (with a capitol R for a reason) and Fear (ditto).
    We all have it. We will battle it forever. We can learn to shut it down.
    Every time we write (our chatter tells us we aren't writers): we slap Resistance in the face. Every time we do that thing that fear and self loathing says we aren't good enough to accomplish: we beat Resistance down a little more.
    It is an epic battle and we must be ready to stand toe to toe.
    Resistance is a diabolical predator! Self awareness and compassion become our weaponry.
    Here's to the practice; the triumphs; the knock-downs and get-back-ups; and finally: "Stop being an As*hole!"

  11. Wow Dusty! Wonderfully said. Thank you for the poignant comment.

  12. orb-weaver says:

    Fantastic! I forgot about that quote. Read it long ago, and now that I am well versed in the world of drag, it all comes full circle. Cheers!

  13. Boo says:

    Thank you – I really needed this "in check balancing" went for a big interview (first one in 12 years) last Friday and it went really well – was very proud of the barriers [longer story] I pushed through and although I went for the experience – I found the unkind and a..'hole comments creeping in! So huge… HUGE ta.. for your blog [and honesty]
    Be assured that, you have lifted and raised a kind smile to someone in th world who's fragile..self esteem needed a little reassurance and love boost.. too. B X

  14. Haha, very nice! So glad this found its way to you!

  15. Thanks so much for your comment. It truly touched my heart. And thanks for sharing your own experience.

    With love.

  16. Holly says:

    Awesome read. Thank you.

  17. katybrandes says:

    Huh … "self-inflicted asshole syndrome" … if only there was a non-addictive pill for that.

  18. Thanks for taking the time to read it Holly.

  19. Non-addictive… haha 😉 well played!

  20. danielschar says:

    great article. so much of Buddhist practice can be summed up with the simple line "Don't be an asshole."

  21. Nick says:

    Thanks Chris, I think we're on to something here. More real!!!