Is it an illusion to feel stuck?

 

In a society that is at a low emotional level, where most people rarely have the opportunity to experience what it is like to feel really good, it makes sense to be clear about self-esteem.

What I want to talk about is far more complex and larger than self-esteem, which is just defined as the way someone acts or how someone perceives themselves.

I want to talk about the feeling of deep inner fulfillment, the pure joy of being, an experience that is beyond love for yourself. I want to talk about the experience of being the source of love myself. At this point the phrase "love for yourself" becomes an unnecessary rationalization. Self-esteem may not adequately describe this inner state, but it can be used to describe the behavioral habits that result from that state.

Even when we talk about the behavior itself, our society is not familiar with self-esteem, and so it is interpreted in many different ways.

In ancient times, our ancestors were raised to obey rulers and priests. To achieve this it was necessary to force people to give up their natural desire for freedom and a better life, to make them think less about themselves, to suppress their innate, authentic feelings and aspirations. For many centuries people were raised in fear, guilt and shame not only for the smallest behavioral error, but simply for harboring "wrong" emotions (e.g. "anger is a mortal sin"). Feelings of self-love, to experience oneself as a valuable human being - would automatically mean disregarding and rejecting imposed fear and guilt, and was therefore not allowed.

In order for people to believe that their normal feelings were bad, they had to be convinced that they were inherently sinful and unworthy. Thus, when children grew up and had children of their own in such an environment, the natural immature behavior of their offspring triggered deep feelings of insecurity, guilt, and shame. Often it was It is easier for such parents to label the children as "bad" or "selfish" than to admit their own feelings of fear, guilt, and shame.that had been suppressed for decades. In this way, guilt and fear are often passed on to the next generations.

In this way a society of false politeness and dubious morals was created, a society in which "being good" meant neglecting oneself and one's needs, "being polite" meant not disagreeing or attracting attention, not even anything Saying good things about yourself and being "considerate of others" often meant harming yourself.

 

Suppressed emotions and toxic self-image

A basic law of physics says that energy cannot be destroyed; it is only possible to change its shape. A similar principle applies to emotions.

Suppressed emotions linger within us and strive to come to the surface and give us their messages. When we do not allow ourselves to face them in a constructive way, we unconsciously begin to seek relief in other - often destructive - ways. Gossip, hypocrisy, depression, envy and malice relieved pressure over many generations. Sooner or later, self-control is not enough to keep up the pressures of the accumulated emotions and we move to another extreme.

This is happening right now in our civilization. The accumulated destruction increases with myriad images of violence and immature behavior on television. Younger generations, raised on the one hand with tradition and on the other with such immature models that convey the message that destruction is okay, are turning to the other extreme - open selfishness, arrogance and aggression. Some people call this self-esteem, which is one of the reasons for the confusion about the term.

Many people have never experienced real self-esteem and only have a moody picture of how it is expressed. Then it's easy to get on false portraits of self-esteemin an often feigned, superficial sense of power that the destruction might give. Once you have your own inner experience of self-esteem, you no longer need external models for self-orientation.

If you've ever felt arrogance, contempt, or aggression - and it happens to everyone from time to time - you have probably noticed that this is not a really comfortable feeling. Instead of self-esteem, these attitudes are based on fear, defensiveness, and trying to avoid perceived dangers, including trying to suppress uncomfortable feelings. On the other hand, when we really value each other, we are spontaneously more willing and able to recognize the positive qualities of other people. Therefore, True self-acceptance is of course related to the acceptance of others.. At some level we are aware that the human being is the same for all of us, and whatever we find in ourselves, we spontaneously seek in others as well.

Behavior that appears to be confident but without consideration or respect for others is not self-respect but only hides an unconscious negative self-image. Chances are you've had the experience that you don't need to prove the qualities you know you possess or actively point out to others. The need to show yourself, to prove yourself, implies that you don't fully trust your qualities or who you are.

We all have some negative beliefs about ourselvesand consequently we feel the need to prove the opposite for ourselves and for others. This can be a very strong, obsessive-compulsive need that is difficult to moderate, or sometimes even consciously, to have. Much of what we do or what we crave is motivated by this need. What would it be like if instead of having to prove ourselves, we felt really good about ourselves? How much energy and time in all areas of our lives would be available for much more useful purposes?

 

True self-esteem and respect for others

In external behavior, self-respect is expressed as Respect for our feelings, our needs and demands as well as respect for other peopleThis means, among other things, seeing others as powerful and able to do the same. There is no fear of judgment (which is actually fear of self-criticism!). The need to neglect ourselves to take care of others disappears because we know that they can take care of themselves and, no less importantly, that it is their right in order to do this.

The anger and resistance we might feel in situations when others try to express their discomfort about our behavioror when they warn us that we have violated their personal boundaries, is a defense mechanism that hides deep unconscious beliefs that we don't deserve to stand up for ourselves. These beliefs are usually created at a very young age. Still, in some ways, a child will feel that such a belief is unnatural and will resist it. However, at a young age they do not know how to deal with such internal conflict and confusion. Hence, a feeling of inadequacy is often combined with an obsessive one Need to defend our self-image by underestimating or even humiliating other people and their feelings and needs.

This need not to feel inadequate is in part nourished by a biological drive for power and competition. The evolution that has shaped our genes involves a conflict between cooperation and empathy on the one hand and domination and power on the other. Still, I find that Family education shapes our biological heritagenot the other way around. Children who are taught self-esteem and healthy boundaries can find constructive ways to distinguish themselves and express their power and skills.

 

Needs, desires and limits

Healthy and happy children who have not yet learned to be ashamed of themselves will spontaneously express their desires and feelings without even thinking about hiding them - at least until they are taught otherwise. Healthy children first and foremost Focus on yourselfand of course, if not consciously and rationally, expect others to do the same. When parents neglect themselves to please their children, it is just as confusing and harmful as when they neglect children to please themselves.

Focusing on yourself - doesn't that sound selfish? By default, it's called selfishness. It is often easier to mention this egoism in others than to take care of yourself, confront someone, say "no" or stand up for yourself. Respect for other people is an essential part of real self-esteem. We respect the personal boundaries of other people when we avoid deliberately violating them or endangering their freedom - but also by being aware of their power and responsibility to stand up for themselves and to protect their limits. In other words, to warn us if we inadvertently do something that makes them uncomfortable.

When I talk about focusing on yourself, I mean Only you can know what you want and need.. We cannot expect anyone else to accurately predict our wants and needs. Neither can we know what other people want or feel. Since each of us has a different personality and story, we will often be wrong even if we are convinced that we know what another person is feeling or thinking.

I do NOT advise ignoring others and avoiding doing something nice for them, as some black and white-eyed people might say. It's nice to help people around us feel better! Sometimes we may want to give up something we don't care about or do something that makes the other feel good, even if it takes an effort. It all comes down to it Balance sheet. It is imperative that be aware of your important values ​​and needs while showing consideration for others. Everything else can negotiated and a healthy person will not expect to do what they want.

 

Healthy negotiations vs. manipulation

You won't see healthy and happy children feeling good about themselves and anxiously trying to predict and guess what people are thinking or wanting ("Did I say the wrong thing?", "Did I do something wrong?", "Could they." People think I'm selfish? "), But you will meet many unhappy, fearful people (and children) who do just that. It is normal for a healthy child to say "no" when they do not want something, that other people also say "no" and set their limits - and then negotiate.

Nevertheless, very often there are people who are close to a child unable to set limits or express yourself sincerely, so either blame or manipulate other. This is how children learn to feel guilty when they are spontaneous and sincere; and they also learn to blame and manipulate others. People who believe that if they are righteous or ask for what they want they will be punished expect others to "read their minds" and predict their needs, which is a terrible burden and cause for all Disputes in our society is.

It involves focusing on yourself full responsibility for yourself and to acknowledge the responsibility of others to do the same. If everyone were free to express what they feel and want, that would free us from immense guilt and endless, often unspoken expectations.

That doesn't mean that others are less important to us. People who feel really good do not have the need or desire to hurt or underestimate someone. In fact, the opposite is the case: the more we understand and appreciate ourselves, the easier it is for us to understand others. It is normal to have a general, healthy idea of ​​what it means to intentionally violate other people's freedom and personal space and to avoid doing so because we know what it feels like. In an ideal situation, everyone expresses their desires, feelings, or disapproval without assigning blame, fear, or guilt. That way it would be a lot easier listen to and appreciate other people's points of view.

Such ideal situations are of course rare, so we have to Take into account other people's personal history, behavior, fears, guilt, and repressed emotions - just like our own. We will often find ourselves in situations where other people cannot take our feelings and limitations into account. This makes working on self-esteem, as well as life itself, diverse, interesting and full of opportunities to learn and question ourselves from different perspectives and under all possible circumstances.

 

The need for love

The need to feel loved and valued is one of the most powerful drivers of human behavior. The longing for approval lies at the core of almost everything we communicate or avoid communicating, in most of the things we try to achieve and manifest; she is the key to most of our emotional responsesespecially the unpleasant ones.

Do you feel anger or sadness when there is something you want from others but somehow not get it? Other people's attention is very important to us, from "What will the neighbors say?" to extreme exhibitionism. Many people submit to it all their lives: from people who are never able to express their true desires for fear of rejection, to those who spend their entire lives chasing after money to buy status symbols , in the hope that others would admire them.

When we are children, our families are the only source from which we can evaluate our behavior and ourselves. They are inexperienced in the world they are born into, Children see their reflections in other people's reactions. As young children, we could not have known that other people were reacting not only to us but also to many other things that were going on in their minds (including their subconscious).

We reach out Makes when we unconsciously feel that whatever we do, we are still not receiving love. This is a painful and terrifying conclusion that is reached at a very young age. Later she turns into a Need for control our environment. Another reason to focus on power is the compensation mechanism: if I don't get what I really want - to feel worthy through the experience of love - I will reach for something that is less worthy but nonetheless rewarding, That feels like recognition. That is why we begin to strive for dominance.

A. The search for love outside can never replace loving ourselves from within. If we succeed in the outer world, deep down we may feel that it has no real worth. We may feel that people's consent is based on an illusion rather than perceiving who we really are. However, if we've never learned what it feels like to be loved and valued, we don't know any better and stubbornly follow the old path - the path that so many people spend their entire lives repeating strategies that don't work. Even if they have outward success, they will soon forget about it and compulsively strive for more - for more fame, more power, more money - they do no external success experience ever reaches theirs inner child so that they can feel that it is finally enough.

As adults, we may be at least partially aware of what is going on, but old beliefs from childhood are still deeply repressed and will shape our consciousness and our lives.That can be changed, but not overnight. For many people, the experience of feeling unloved regardless of who they were became one Foundation on which they built their personalityand it takes time and continuous effort to change them.

True love for ourselves will fill us in a way that no external love could ever do. Even if people love us but we lack love for ourselves, we will never be able to fully accept, appreciate, and feel that their love is justified.

You may not realize how much better it would feel to love yourself. Imagining such a feeling versus real experience is like imagining travel versus actual travel.

Feeling loved inside can heal many small and even major hurts and resentments. You no longer need any recognition or confirmation of your worth from outside, so that you feel a lot more freedom to be yourself. You will empathize with others and realize their pain better, while still seeing them as strong adults. On the other hand, if someone hurts you directly or tries to bring you down, you will be better able to stand up for yourself or turn away and leave.

You will be more willing to make changes and take risks that are too scary for many people. Out of this sane state of mind You can no longer just put up with bad conditions: poor working conditions, harassment at work, dull, hopeless relationships. Without too many words and theories, you know that something better is possible. Spontaneously you move towards your goals and it just gets easier as you are open to learning your lessons - and loving yourself is one of the most important lessons in life.

 

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