Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is still standing. Unknown
Self-esteem is our reputation with our self. According to a book I bought yesterday Never Get Angry Again by David J. Lieberman, PH.D. We make all of our decisions in life by choosing what feels good, choosing what makes us look good, or choosing what is good or right.
When we choose what feels comfortable or enjoyable this is our body driving this choice. If we choose excess in this area it can lead to overeating, oversleeping, and other excesses. There is nothing wrong with choosing things because they make us feel good unless we choose them to excess and then they start to make us feel bad.
When we choose things that make us look good, we may tell jokes at someone else’s expense to heighten our own self-worth. We may make purchases we can’t afford to give the illusion of being more successful than we are.
We gain self-esteem when we make choices that are good and right. Self-esteem and self-control are intertwined. Each time we sacrifice what is responsible because we can’t rise above the whim of an impulse, or sell ourselves out to win the praise or approval of others, we lose self-respect. If we continually succumb to immediate gratification or live to protect or project an image, we become angry with ourselves and ultimately feel empty inside.
We long to love ourselves, but instead, we lose ourselves. When we can’t invest in our own wellbeing, we spiral down to the hollow self-destructive refuge of activities that take us away from the pain.
Studies show that our tendency to avoid the pain inherent in taking responsibility for our lives is at the core of anger, and is central to nearly every emotional ailment, including anxiety, depression, and addiction.
To love yourself is to understand you don’t need to be perfect to be good. Unknown
We need to feel the pain of whatever we are going through. I remember watching a TV show, every time there was something to deal with the mother and her daughter got out a tub of ice cream and two spoons. If it was particularly difficult they each had their own tub. It worked for the show, but it doesn’t work so well in real life. After the ice cream is finished we still have the problem to deal with. Not dealing with problems is never the answer. Problems not dealt with do not get smaller, they grow, morph and take over our lives in ways we can’t imagine.
To the degree that we refuse to accept the truth about ourselves and our lives – and overcome our laziness and fear of pain – the “ego” engages to “protect” us, and it shifts the blame elsewhere. We start fault finding outside our self, because if there is nothing wrong with me “our ego says,” then there must be something wrong with you, or the world is unfair, or people are out to get me. Seedlings of paranoia and neuroses take root. For us to remain unblemished in our own minds, we are forced to distort the world around us, and our grasp on reality is flawed, then our adjustment to life will suffer.
Responsible (soul-oriented) choice leads to self-esteem increasing, which leads to ego shrinking, which leads to perspective widening, which leads to undistorted reality, which leads to seeing and accepting the truth (even when it is painful) = positive emotional health leads to acting responsibly. David J. Lieberman, PH.D.
Irresponsible (ego-oriented/overindulgent body) choice leads to self-esteem decreasing, which leads to ego expanding, which leads to perspective narrowing, which leads to distorted reality, which leads to being unable/unwilling to see and accept truth (when difficult or painful) = negative mental health leads to acting irresponsibly. David J. Lieberman, PH.D.
When we become angry at ourselves, we become angry at the world. Who wants to admit we are selfish, lazy, flawed, or a failure. We are what we are and we need to accept ourselves warts and all. When we accept ourselves how we are we can do better. It is when we don’t accept ourselves that we don’t do better; we make everything someone else’s fault. We make ourselves powerless in our own lives when we won’t take responsibility for everything in our lives. Even if it isn’t actually our fault because the world is unfair, waiting for someone else to fix our lives will never work. Any change that needs to be made will have to be made by us, or it won’t be made at all. One small change upon another small change will build the life we want, or at least make the one we have better.
We can add to, or take away from our self esteem with the choices we make daily. We may think we need big achievements to improve our self esteem, I doubt this is true. Many small things add up to big things.
We can improve our self and our corner of the world. Start small. This morning as I walked Lulu (my dog) I picked up a few pieces of trash in an otherwise pristine park. It wasn’t much, but it was something. Often we can do something to make our relationships better, or worse. We can do things we know they hate, or we can do something to make them smile. It’s our choice. Over days, weeks, months these little gestures add up to negative or positive deposits into our partners love tanks. An encouraging word, smile, hug, act of service, a small gift, or spending time together is all deposits. Angry words, disapproving looks, withdrawal from any form of contact, making time only for others, doing things we know they hate, and disapprove of, are all withdrawals from our partners love tanks.
It’s our choice but let’s not pretend we aren’t doing what we are doing, negatively, or positively. That someone may not receive our gesture in the spirit it is offered is not our problem. Maybe we need to feel empathy for what is going on in their life. They may have a hard time accepting or giving love. They may have stuff they need to deal with. We have to deal with ours. They need to deal with theirs. We can’t fix someone else, but if we can deal with life how it truly is and be proactive in our own lives then we are building our own self-esteem.
Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself. Unknown
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. Lao Tzu
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, self-esteem, and love.
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