“Self-esteem is the greatest sickness known to man or woman because it’s conditional.” ~ Albert Ellis
It’s conditional because it is based on an opinion rather than fact, held up and maintained by the constant comparison of others. Conversely, by focusing on self-acceptance, I no longer need to be ‘known’ or recognized, and, as a result, my emotional health dramatically improves.
“Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.” ~ Anais Nin
“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” ~ Einstein
Someone this morning at breakfast drew the following card (paraphrased): You have taught what you are but you have not let who you are teach you. I must be willing to relinquish my self-made identity, my character, my personality, in order to clear space for Who I Am.
“A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them--they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.”
Rilke offers entry point into compassionately working with conflict where the desire to be right takes precedence over diplomacy. Hearing the line: “Are you willing to let that [the grievance] go?” can sound undesirable, as it challenges my entrenched position regarding a certain view towards a particular situation. But by enlarging the frame of reference to the entire history together, and the meaning and growth derived as a result, the question gets shifted from the event to the relationship: “Am I willing to let all that go because of this?”...well, you might say, "You have a point."
"We are all afraid that one day we shall pass away into nonexistence. But if the truth be known, nonexistence is trembling in fear that it might be given human shape." ~ Jamal Rahman
The idea of ‘nonexistence’ has always been immensely appealing to me and, yet, I know that for many it is a thought of sheer dread. What does it really mean? To me it would mean that all I thought I was, was not; that all I thought I needed to be or do, needed not to be or be done. It means that in the nonexistence is All contained and in that All I can have fun and pretend I am human.
“All of us are much more human than otherwise.” ~ Harry Stack Sullivan
To me, this is a great reminder to hold on to the desire to see the interrelatedness, or common connection, between all peoples during interactions, as opposed to singling out all that annoys and conflicts with my personal definition of ‘normal’. I refrain from using the word different, because it is the recognition and appreciation of our peculiar differences that make us uniquely human. Differences, therefore, are not obstacles, but rather our connecting bridges to peace.
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” ~ Alan Watts
Trust my self to the water? Trust God? Trust Love? Trust that when I relinquish my hard fought and brilliantly defended identity I will not only be safe but Loved? May be these questions can be reversed? Maybe the real question is whether I trust that the Love I seek is actually in me? Do I trust that? And if I do not, no amount of ‘outside’ trusting will ever be truly, deeply reliable. As I gradually grow to Love the Self, trusting others becomes inevitable, perhaps even irrelevant?
“Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others.” David R. Hawkins
Hawkins makes a valuable distinction between Love and feelings. Feelings are chosen by the 's' self, Love is the state I experience when I am in communion with the 'S' Self. I may 'feel love' when someone keeps a promise or behaves in a way my ego approves of; I may 'feel love' when someone agrees with me or supports my point of view. That is what so often passes for love: a bargain kept. True Love has no idea about the other, it Knows the other as the Self.
“The emotional findings, then, suggest that to gain the most benefit from writing about life’s traumas, acknowledge the negative but celebrate the positive.”
I am finding expressive writing to be so helpful in dealing with processing stored emotions, as it allows one to dive into unresolved memories and feelings and let it all hang out there, on the lines, right in front of you. In essence, I become the witness to myself. What better way to uncover the stories I created than with pen and paper?
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl.
Viktor Frankl lived through the horrors of Auschwitz and demonstrated this teaching brilliantly. To most, however, the idea that they have a choice is an alien concept. And, in all honesty, we do not have the choice to change our attitude like we change our shirt. The attitude is chosen by core beliefs and without transforming these you can choose all you want, ultimately nothing will change. Frankl, clearly, had truly sparkling core beliefs!
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again