How Do You Find Self-Worth When You Don’t Like Yourself?

Michael Rohrer writes:

Being desired is such a basic craving. We all want to be desired: by our family, by our friends, by a lover, by our coworkers. What happens when we don’t desire ourselves?

I’m beginning to realize that I don’t like myself very much. All these years of feeling like I couldn’t raise the eyebrow or pique the interest of an attractive man might actually stem from the fact that I’m exuding the pheromones of one who feels unworthy of being loved and therefore thinks he’s undesirable to all. Could it be that simple? I’m sure I’m not the only gay man — or person — who feels or has felt this way. Do you have to love yourself before you can love someone else or be loved by someone else? Is that a myth?

I keep wondering if I’ll ever love myself enough to be loved by another person. I hate being vulnerable, but vulnerability is key to opening one’s heart to another person. For years I’ve told myself, “When the right person shows up, I’ll know, and my heart will automatically open.” Is that utter bullshit?

Continue reading: How Do You Find Self-Worth When You Don’t Like Yourself? | Michael Rohrer.

A few years ago, I would not have touched the HuffingtonPost with a 10 foot mouse [now I have 100 fans there!] and I certainly would not have curated an article by a gay man. In the time between, however, many thinks [intentional] have changed. “We all want to be desired: by our family, by our friends, by a lover, by our coworkers.” This desire makes us all human and should unite, rather than divide…

Over 10 years ago, The Telegraph reported:

Whether you hail from Surbiton, Ulan Bator or Nairobi, your genetic make-up is strikingly similar to that of every other person on Earth, an analysis concludes today.

Although scientists have long recognised that, despite physical differences, all human populations are genetically similar, the new work concludes that populations from different parts of the world share even more genetic similarities than previously assumed.

All humans are 99.9 per cent identical and, of that tiny 0.1 per cent difference, 94 per cent of the variation is among individuals from the same populations and only six per cent between individuals from different populations.

Nonetheless, the team found that tiny differences in DNA can provide enough information to identify the geographic ancestry of individual men and women.

The results of the study, published today in the journal Science, have implications for understanding ancient human migrations and for resolving an ongoing debate about the use of family histories in medical research, said Prof Marcus Feldman of Stanford University who led the team.

via DNA survey finds all humans are 99.9pc the same – Telegraph.

Are we not, then, all interconnected persons? All sparks of the divine? All stardust?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9D05ej8u-gU

Tara Brach writes:

Because so many of us grew up without a cohesive and nourishing sense of family, neighborhood, community or “tribe,” it is not surprising that we feel like outsiders, on our own and disconnected. We learn early in life that any affiliation—with family and friends, at school or in the workplace—requires proving that we are worthy. We are under pressure to compete with each other, to get ahead, to stand out as intelligent, attractive, capable, powerful, wealthy. Someone is always keeping score.

After a lifetime of working with the poor and the sick, Mother Teresa’s surprising insight was: “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of not belonging.” In our own society, this disease has reached epidemic proportions. We long to belong and feel as if we don’t deserve to.

D.H. Lawrence described our Western culture as being like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. “We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs,” he wrote, “we are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal.”

via Tara Brach: Everybody Has Buddha Nature.

Lo, these many years I turned to ‘tribes’ — Christian Fundamentalists, The Republican Party, The Green Bay Packers — to make me feel right inside when in truth everything inside me was screaming at me from the mirror that everything inside me was wrong, and to compensate for the lack of a cohesive, nourishing sense of belonging. By learning about and practicing self-compassion, however, I am making progress in making peace with myself, my past, my present and my future…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4&feature=player_detailpage

Thank you for your post, Michael, and for giving me pause to think about this topic. I agree that thinking our hearts will ‘automatically open’ is utter bullshit but, that if we practice self-compassion our hearts may slowly and gently open to the possibility of healthy interdependence and my hope is that when we are able to give ourselves at least the same amount of love, compassion and acceptance we seek from others, the craving to be desired may pass away. Namasté!

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Life as we find it…

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...

 

“Life as we find it, is too hard for us it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it, we cannot dispense with palliative measures. There are three such measures; powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery, substitute satisfactions, which diminish it and intoxicating substances which make us insensitive to it.” Sigmund Freud

Go to the source of this quote: Sigmund Freud Quotes | Famous Sigmund Freud Quotations – Page 3

 

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Wise investigation

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Click to see more…

Tara Brach may be glad to know that I have ‘discovered’ her work [I find the 'discovery' process, how things come to us and the language around it amusing at times]. In any case, thanks to Kristin Barton Cuthriell I became aware of the term ‘radical acceptance‘ a few week ago and devoured Tara Brach’s book by the same name shortly thereafter. I look forward to reading her book True Refuge when I can get a copy but until then I have been listening to her teaching via her podcast. Today on her blog, I found this video recording of one of these podcast meditations that I want to share with you here…

btw, Kristin — I’m very jealous you get to attend one of these meditations soon… :-D

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Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life?

I frequently curate ‘pattern interrupts’ like the one above from Karen Salmansohn at notsalmon.com and I love her mind and her images. Did you know she is also a beautiful thinker? Here’s proof…

You can get there by making small changes daily. After all, it’s easier to be a saint for 15 minutes, than to be a saint for 2 hours. Right? Of course!  I’m personally a big fan of small daily changes – which means I’m a big fan of “Kaizen” – which is a Japanese word which pithily summed up means: “doing small changes over time which create huge life changes.”

With all this in mind, I want you to do a Kaizen Experiment. For the next month commit to devoting a tiny 15 minutes a day to a new improved habit- and tweak your way to a happier life. The good news: You can always find an extra 15 minutes in your day!

More good news: Brain researchers Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang believe if you can train yourself to stay disciplined for a mere 15 minutes a day doing a specific task – eventually – over time – you will become a more disciplined person in general – and be able to do a habit for far longer than 15 minutes!

The Brain Research Cliff Notes: Aamodt and Wang have discovered that a human brain‘s overall willpower capacity increases like a muscle every time a human practices even a little bit of willpower — for even 15 minutes — because the human is literally strengthening their brain‘s neural pathways.

Meaning? If you want a toosh of steel, exercise your toosh muscles a little daily! If you want a discipline of steel, exercise your discipline muscles a little daily.  On an amusing note: Aamodt and Wang mention in their report how increasing “a human’s overall willpower muscle” can begin with something as simple as disciplining yourself to brush your teeth for two weeks with your non-dominant hand.

Well, instead of having you brush your teeth differently, I want you to brush up on doing “that thing” you know you need to brush up on! For example: Yoga stretches. Jumping rope. Organizing closets. Meditating. Gratitude journaling. Staying in closer loving touch with friends/family. Reading that NYTimes Best Selling book. Reading that cute picture book to your child at bedtime. Writing that book you want to write. Writing that business plan. Looking into a family vacation. Creating a vision board (then happily staring at your vision board) etc…
Basically, sometimes the idea of doing something new to change your life can feel so overwhelming – that you wind up choosing not to do anything at all. However, if you commit to doing a tiny 15 minute habit a day – moving one tiny 15 minute step forward a day – you will happily discover changing your life is not as overwhelming as you‘d thought.

Start today. Right now. Start to do “that thing” you know you gotta do – for just a mere 15 minutes of doing. No excuses. You can find 15 minutes. I promise you that if you can do this 15 minute habit tweak daily for the month, over time you’ll want to do this habit more and more – and over time you’ll find yourself smiling more and more – because both your discipline and your happiness will increase substantially.

By the way, I believe thereʼs a secondary reason why discipline for changing your life increases when doing small 15 minute habit changes over time. Youʼre creating what I call “identity shifting.” Basically, when you start doing a new disciplined live-improving 15 minute action, your identity begins to shift to see yourself as a disciplined life-improving person.

Your subconscious starts to say: “The old me did not used to have discipline. But lo and behold, now this new me does! I be da boss of my cerebrum, baby!” Thereʼs even a famed psychological theory called “Cognitive Dissonance” which explains this identity shift. The Cliff Notes On “Cognitive Dissonance”: We humans donʼt like to have a disparity between our thoughts and our actions — so when we change our actions, we change our thoughts to match them.

For example: If Human A starts to do a loving action for Human B — through Cognitive Dissonance — Human Aʼs brain will start to tell them “Geez, I must surely like Human B if Iʼm now doing a loving action for them!” As a result, according to studies on cognitive dissonance, Human A will wind up liking Human B a wee bit more.

Likewise: If you force yourself to do positive, disciplined actions, then your brain — via the perks of Cognitive Dissonance — will start to tell you, “Geez, I must be a positive, disciplined person if I am doing positive, disciplined actions.” Eventually you will wind up being a wee bit more positive and disciplined!

Source: Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life? – Karen Salmansohn

I hope Karen doesn’t mind that I shared her post in its entirety on my blog. You can find her site by following the link and she has books full of pattern interrupts and other great thinking available on Amazon.com:

Click to buy…

If you like By the way,  for those of you keeping score at home this is post number 5,000 on this blog…

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Sixteen Strategies for Combating Rumination

Did you know that goats and cows and other animals that chew their cud are called ‘ruminants’? You learn all kinds of thinks living on a farm! Think about that image as you ruminate about rumination!

Conquering ruminative tendencies can make a big difference in your wellbeing.

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.”  Many great thinkers and philosophers have articulated, in one form or another that altering your thoughts is the key to wellbeing.  Mind Shift, a technique in The Creativity Cure involves transforming self-defeating thoughts into life affirming ones.  It is possible.

When something terrible has happened it is tempting to ruminate. Over-thinking is a way of trying to attain a sense of mastery or a feeling of control when you feel trammeled, helpless or victimized.  There is a tiny hope that you can get somewhere if you just get to the bottom of it.  Accept that trying to understand what happened is often not a good investment of your time. Some people’s actions will never make sense so you will not uncover a satisfying answer. Pondering other subjects rather than ruminating allows your mood can change. Your creative thoughts can emerge.” Get more here: Sixteen Strategies for Combating Rumination | Psychology Today.

Don’t chew the cud of your past! Stop ruminating and move on…

Is He Worth It? Six Questions to Ask When Sacrificing in Relationships

What about ‘is she worth it?’ Despite the slant, I think this is worth a read if you’re asking yourself this question:

We must all face situations in our close relationships that require us to make a sacrifice. Perhaps, your spouse receives a big promotion, and it requires that you quit your job and move across the country. Or your boyfriend wants you to miss an important work event to attend his family reunion. Maybe you and your wife get jobs in different cities and must decide who has to make the long commute. For me, it was deciding whether to apply to graduate programs in areas that weren’t near where my husband (then boyfriend) was working. When faced with these situations, what information do we use to decide whether or not to make the sacrifice? In addition to consulting the pros and cons list, there are also important questions we should be asking ourselves. Below, I suggest six questions that might help when deciding whether or not making a sacrifice is right for you.” Get the answer here: Is He Worth It? Six Questions to Ask When Sacrificing in Relationships | Psychology Today.

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See Your Imperfect Self As Precious

Leslie Becker-PhelpsLeslie Becker-Phelps writes:

As a therapist, I am often faced with people who struggle with feeling essentially flawed in some way. They are quick to take responsibility for their errors or to blame themselves for problems with friends. And, they experience their struggles, mistakes, and imperfections as proof that they are lesser as a person.

As I listen to them, I know that when they look in the mirror, they do not see the value in them that I see. It is this negative self-perception that is the real source of their torture, not the daily issues that loom so large for them. Being overweight, shy, depressed, or socially awkward may cause them great pain; but I see this pain as a distress that requires caring – not condemnation. Making mistakes at work or becoming upset with your children is just part of life. After all, there’s a reason that “It’s only human” has come to be an expression. No one – and I mean no one – handles everything well all the time. And everyone – and, again, I mean everyone – has things they really struggle with.” Get more here: See Your Imperfect Self As Precious | Psychology Today.