Psychedelics, if used responsibly and respectfully, can be a powerful tool for personal development. Psychedelics can give or show you something valuable and unique that you would not otherwise be able to get.
Of course this doesn’t happen every time you trip, and there’s never really any guarantee that it will. If you go into a trip expecting to get a specific “answer” from it, you may end up disappointed. Then again, you may not.
So while I did write about the value of psychedelic experience, I didn’t provide any examples.
Today I’m going to tell you about my first mushroom trip, and how taking mushrooms led me to actually start liking myself.
After all, the whole reason you start out on journey of self improvement is because you’re not happy with where you are. I was pretty negative for a lot of my early teens, and I didn’t like the person I was all that much.
You are told that you “should” like yourself
It wasn’t that I didn’t understand that you should like yourself, either.
I had read plenty of self-help and personal development books that emphasized the importance of “liking yourself”. You should like yourself because life is better for people who like themselves. People who like themselves are more confident and they achieve more. They have more successful careers and better social lives. If you like yourself, we are told, more girls will like you. Basically every aspect of your life will be better. That’s the message of mainstream self-improvement – in short: you should like yourself for what it will get you.
I don’t disagree with this—in fact most of it is true. The problem is that understanding intellectually that you should like yourself is not enough to make you actually start liking yourself. At least it wasn’t for me.
Of course I wanted more confidence, to get better social skills and more girls. But the intellectual understanding alone wasn’t enough. As with many things, it was easy to understand this rationally and still not act on it or internalize it.
My first mushroom trip
I took mushrooms in twelfth grade with three of my best friends from high school. Our city is at the base of mountains covered in pine forest. So we met in the morning, ate the mushrooms with granola bars by our old school, and then walked up to the forest.
There was no one else around that day and we walked freely along the trails. Nature is the best place to take mushrooms. The group kept separating in different ways and then coming back together, so I spent time with each of my friends individually and also spent time alone. It was incredible.
A lot of a first mushroom trip (and first trip on most things) just consists of being amazed and fascinated with the differences in sensory perception. “Normal” reality is experienced in a new way for the first time ever, and it’s hard to get beyond this to something deeper. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though… at all.
Colours start exploding with vibrance and visuals get wavy. Solid objects seem like they are alive and moving. All of your thought patterns get warped and muddled, but somehow in a good way. Unable to describe it in words, you just keep thinking “This is so amazing”.
I remember looking at an ordinary tree and for the first time seeing its remarkable nature. I stared in wonder for several minutes at the bark and the moss and the ants crawling around and then I saw the whole Universe staring back at me.
This was the first time I really appreciated nature. The forest was an adventure.
But the most lasting part of the trip didn’t come until towards the end. We were by the edge of the forest and I was looking into the river thinking about something – I don’t remember what. Then out of nowhere I suddenly saw the idea of “liking myself” from whole new perspective.
The mushrooms helped me come up with a line of reasoning that felt so right I had to internalize it. Rather than “you should like yourself because it will bring you success”, I suddenly saw it as “you might as well like yourself”.
You “might as well” like yourself because after all, you only have one you. You are the only person “you” are ever going to have to either like or dislike.
Whether or not this seems profound to you, it certainly was to me. Since you don’t have anyone else (and never will), you might as well like yourself. This suddenly became abundantly clear and not only did I understand it intellectually but it was internalized instantly.
This wasn’t a huge personality shift. I didn’t wake up the next morning completely transformed and exploding with confidence or something like that. That’s not really how things work.
It was just a subtle change in perspective. Something deep and small had changed and now.. I had no problem being me. On some level, no matter how bad things got, no matter how badly I fucked up, I would always be OK with being me. Because after all… who else could I be?
Read next: 1P-LSD: My Experience – Trip Report (50ug)
What do you think? Have you ever had an experience with psychedelics that changed your perspective on something important? Do you agree or disagree that these substances offer you something that you can’t get anywhere else? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.