Have you ever thought about what it must be like to have hallucinations and know that you’re having them? (Or maybe you’ve actually had them yourself?) What must it be like to see something, and know that it isn’t real, even though you can totally see it?

There’s a reason I bring this up.

Lots of folks have asked about my apparent contradictions. I see myself as a spark of the divine fire, as completely good enough, exactly as I am. I invite others to live in that vision with me. I’m a spark of the divine fire, as are you. Sometimes I think that tends to be obvious to folks. That’s the me that wears “shameless” on my arm.

And then I also say that I have a deep self-loathing, right at my core. And I do. It hurts. I spent many years trying not to think about it. Pushing it away, covering it with addictions. I tried not to feel it. (Why so transparent? Because I think somebody else out there might have a similar pain. It might help someone to know they’re not alone.)

Folks get confused, sometimes, by the apparent contradiction. But I just got an idea about how to explain. 🙂

Two realities at once

Folks who’ve had hallucinations talk about experiencing the real stuff and the imaginary stuff at the same time. The same writer I linked to above says clearly that when she’s having an auditory hallucination, she hears both what’s really happening, and something else entirely.

This is exactly what it’s like. Exactly how it feels to have both self-loathing and self-love. It’s like I can see both layers.

These days, I rarely lose sight of the vision of me as good enough, as beautiful, as a spark of the divine fire. (Though I’m considering a real tattoo to help me remember.) I see that there’s room for me here on this earth, that I contribute, that it’s more than ok for me to exist.

The other vision, the one I won’t name, exists in juxtaposition. It fades, sometimes, till I can barely see it. Once in a while, though, I have to work pretty hard to remember which vision is the one I choose to see as real. I have to look past the hallucination.

Sometimes I see the dark vision clearly. But now, after years of work, I remember, even when I’m scared, that there’s an alternative. I see both at once.


I mentioned that I say all this because I figure there are other folks who share my habit — seeing themselves as “not-ok”. I want so much to help those folks join me in the alternative. Wonder if there’s a way? Wonder if this will help?

4 Comments on “shameless”

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  1. GeePawHill says:

    <3 <3 <3 Beautiful. — Mike

  2. Max says:

    Modern neuroscience has come out pretty strongly against the concept of a unified self (split brain patients, are the best example). The ability to simultaneously believe and not believe something on different layers fits very well with that. Just thought I’d share. 🙂

  3. Joe Fiorini says:

    Thanks for sharing Angela. If it helps I only see your goodness, not the rest.

  4. Angela says:

    I love you guys 🙂

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