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Interesting read on self esteem
At times it seems that we are masters of creating misery. When we aren't worrying about whether or not something awful is going to happen to us, we remember all the hurts, mistakes, and failures in our past. In other words, when we aren't preoccupied with someone or something attacking us, we turn around and attack ourselves. We seldom live up to expectations, we are never quite good enough no matter how good we get, and we keep making the same old mistakes.

We suffer from guilt, continually find fault with ourselves, condemn ourselves for not living up to our own or someone else's expectations. These are all part of the dragon of self-hatred. After so many failures, mistakes, and broken dreams we begin to give up on ourselves and on life. Some of us become depressed, withdrawn, and passive, accepting whatever life gives as a cruel joke that we must endure. Others, angry with themselves, become angry at the world. They become cranky and hostile, taking out their own misery on others.

Like fear, self-hatred is a habit of the mind, an arbitrary way of looking at life and at oneself that leads only to further mistakes, poor performance, and unhappiness. When someone else attacks you, at least you have the opportunity to conquer your adversary by mobilizing the body's defenses. But when you attack yourself, there is no outcome but defeat. You cannot win in a battle against yourself; you only create conflict and suffering. Instead of mobilizing your body's systems to defend yourself, you become depressed, passive and withdrawn.

Attacking ourselves is only a habit of the mind, a consequence of the way we learned to see ourselves as we grew up. We can always find many reasons to punish ourselves for the mistakes we make and the expectations we fail to realize. Like fear, the dragon of self-hatred feeds on our lack of self-awareness and skill. We strengthen the dragon by constantly reminding ourselves of our weaknesses and mistakes.

But as long as we continue to feed this dragon of self-hatred by paying attention to it, it continues to breathe fire and create misery for us. The secret is to stop feeding the dragon by experiencing your own inner strength and beauty. You can't create self-esteem by constantly telling yourself that you are a wonderful person.

Self-esteem and self-respect grow out of the experience of committed effort. Whether or not you succeed is not as important to your self-respect as when you know that you tried your best. And if you continue to make the effort, if you continue to work with your resources, you will eventually succeed. Self-mastery arises out of effort, the underpinning of success.

The tantrics have long known that depression and apathy damage the immune system and lead to serious disease. They also know that when you give up on yourself and become a victim, you deny yourself the power to grow and change. You stay stuck in your own ignorance. That's why the tantrics believe that the only true sin is sloth, the unwillingness to make an effort. Mistakes are seen as a necessary part of learning, not reasons for punishment. But without effort, personal power remains undeveloped and unused, and the outcome is self-hatred.
I find that very empowering Smile Is it your idea?
Nope, but it did make me think.
deffinatly an eye opener if you read it with any intent. the past couple weeks I have had one of my worst cases in along time, moping around in self pity and just feeling like a pile of doody Club . I havent been out of the house except to to go to work (which to me is like a 2nd home cause ive been there for several years). Ive lost some weight because I havent been eating hardly anything because I havent had any appetite. theres hundreds of things I could do to occupy myself but mostly I find myself wondering back and forth through my house like a zombie, setting on the couch staring at the wall or the tv or playing xbox till I get bored then I get on the computer till I get bored and its just been back an forth like that. And the funny part is, there is NOTHING physically keeping me in the house and not going out anywheres except MYSELF because Ive made myself feel so down an out over what is really nothing (long story with a girl)
Feed the dragon, namely, me.
"The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity...a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe."

John Walter Wayland

“When you can't cheat the game, you'd best find a means to cheat the players.”

Scott Lynch, Red Seas Under Red Skies

It's a reaffirmation of the source of most of our problems on this forum, there's no denying it. It almost makes me angry b/c I myself , like most of us here will go right back to feeding the dragon in short order. We feel like we've invested SO much of our time feeding the beast, there's no sense in starving it. We fear change, even if it is for the betterment of our lives. I liken our loneliness, depression, withdraw and anxiety to captives affected by the Stockholm syndrome... ''sure master of pain, may I help you your majesty?''

Really though, this is a keeper of a writ and I'm going to post a copy of it on my refridge for those times when my thinking is on a reasonable keel, for then I can make good use of it's message.
These are the kinds of articles we should read over and over so that the positive message is instilled into our brain. It's the antioxidant for the free radical.

Thanks for sharing, I'm much less ignorant about good mood/ reasonable life outlook strategies.
Personal power is something I wish I'd see more in-depth material on. I think it's poorly understood, and the lack of it makes people vulnerable not only to beating themselves up but to people who are toxic and controlling. Someone without personal power is much less able to resist coercion or manipulation. I underestimated personal protection until I noticed that my emotional and mental health skyrocketed as soon as I began standing up to people who took advantage of my former nature: self-loathing, yielding, sensitive, and suggestible.
This is definitely an eye opener. I know what it is like to feel sorry for myself for an extended period time, it isn't nice and it doesn't help anyone. I need to focus more on the future than what has happened in the past because I can change anything that I've done, however I can attempt to learn from my mistakes. I'll bear it all in mind.

I am currently trying to better myself both physically and mentally by losing weight. I believe that I can do it this time even though it's still early days. I'm on my 3rd week.
There is wisdom in the OP, but something should be added here:
  • How about specifics? Recognizing one's "inner beauty" sounds nice but it's vague.
  • Not dwelling on past mistakes & focusing on the future, becomes more difficult with age. The older you get, the more mistakes you make & the less future you have. I'm learning that the hard way.
illegitimus non carborundum

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