LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES
Our doubt concerning our self-worth is main obstacle to our emotional and inter-relational harmony. This doubt is cause of our greatest fears such as being rejected, laughed at, ignored, unloved, and most of all, of being alone.
Loneliness and Doubt
Loneliness is disease of our age, and its cause is self-doubt. Fear of being alone is perhaps our most ancient one. It comes from fact that in past, he who was not accepted was ostracized from group. In those days, that did not mean simply feeling lonely, but also being unable to survive.
Another factor that makes us fear rejection or not being accepted by others is fear of being punished by them or by God. We have been brought up to believe in a God, whose love is conditional, depending upon whether we are perfect in His/Her/Its eyes or not.
We receive messages from our parents and other important persons throughout our childhood years concerning whether and under what conditions we are good or worthy.
As children, we learn from adults that we must measure our self-worth by: 1. What others think of us. 2. The results of our efforts in school, our profession and life. 3. Our appearance 4. How we compare to others. 5. How much we know. 6. How much money we have. 7. And various other conditions
Our doubt of our self-worth then becomes our greatest obstacle to inner peace, harmonious communication and loving relationships. These doubts are foundation of most of our negative emotions and relationship conflicts.
*** If we had more self-acceptance, we would have less need to prove ourselves to others. ***
Then we would not feel offended so frequently and we could overlook others? negativity and be at peace with them regardless of their behavior.
Let us now look at how we can increase and stabilize our self-acceptance.
The first step is to discover situations in which we lose our sense of self-worth or self-acceptance.
The reasons we most often loose our feelings of self-worth are examined in following questionnaire. ________________________________________
OBSTACLES TO LOVING OURSELVES
In which situations do you lose your sense of self-love, self-worth, self- esteem or self-acceptance?
1. When others ask for your help and you * do not say "yes" *, or do not respond.
2. When you have * made a mistake * or have * failed * at some effort.
3. When * others are more capable * than you are at certain tasks or concerning certain qualities (i.e. intelligence, artistic ability, speech, sports, cooking, professional success, their children?s success, economically, making friends, employing disciplines).
4. When * others attract more attention, * esteem and respect in a group situation.
5. When others * have offered more to you * than you have offered them.
6. When you are * not perfect *.
7. When * others criticize, are angry at or reject you *.
8. When * others do not agree with you or believe that you are wrong *.
9. When others * are able to manipulate you *. ------- 10. When * you have "created" pain * for others.
11. When you are * not in harmony with your conscience *. ________________________________________
The accompanying more detailed questionnaire will help us determine more clearly when we lose our feelings of self-worth. We suggest that as you read through it, you mark those items that might relate to you.
I Tend to Lose My Feelings of Self-Worth: (Worth what; love, happiness, health, success, satisfaction?)
1. When others criticize me, blame me, or do not approve of me. 2. When others are angry with me. 3. When my children, spouse or parents are not happy, healthy, successful, or satisfied. 4. When I do not know as much as others around me. 5. When I do not have an intimate relationship partner. 6. When my house is not clean and in order. 7. When my partner shows interest in others. 8. If I am not successful professionally. 9. If I do not have enough money. 10. If I am not attractive to opposite sex. 11. If I do not make an impression on others. 12. If I do not have many sexual successes. 13. If others do not respect me. 14. If my child is ill. 15. If I do not have what others have. 16. If I am not perfect. 17. If I do not achieve many things. 18. If others are able to cheat or mislead me. 19. If I do not have ___________________________ 20. If I do not do______________________________ 21. Other reasons ___________________________ _____________________________________________