Saturday, July 12, 2008

Society & Acceptance

Like happiness, society has some rather bizarre notions about self acceptance. On the one hand we have psychologists telling us it's good to improve our self-esteem while at the same time, society says we shouldn't have too much acceptance and appreciation for ourselves. What a tight rope to walk.

We are encouraged to be humble and show humility. Do you know the definition of humility? WHY would anyone value humility? Why would it be good to degrade and humiliate ourselves as well as lack self-respect and feel no sense of satisfaction or responsibility for our achievements? How could this be beneficial for anyone? What is it about someone feeling "too good" about themselves that bothers us so? Yet our culture promotes humility as a desired virtue. It doesn't make sense.

Myths About Egocentricity

Unfortunately, self acceptance (self-love) has gotten a bad rap over the course of history. Our society has labeled people who openly admit they love themselves as egomaniacs, narcissists, selfish, self-centered, and vain. No wonder we fear the very thought of self-love much less an outward expression of it with such incriminations. But lets look at that label and see if it’s really accurate.

Do those we label as egomaniacs really love themselves? It’s been experienced that those that are loud, overbearing, and go out of their way to show how important they are, are actually covering up a great deal of self-doubt, self-loathing, and fear. The greater the lack of self-esteem, the greater the show has to be to convince others as well as themselves of their own value and significance.

We can also notice those who truly appreciate themselves feel no great need to make others know how significant they are. They’re neither self degrading or depreciating, nor self promoting or excessively communicating their inherent worth.

When we feel a sense of inner acceptance and appreciation, there is no need for approval from others. When the question, “Am I a worthy/valuable person?” has been answered by our own voice with a resounding “Yes”, one doesn’t continue to ask that question of others.

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