Self Appreciation

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”    August Wilson

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”    Harvey Fierstein

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”    Michael J. Fox

There is so much talk, about allowing other people to define  who we are. I wondered why we never observe the good qualities within us. It is time to admire, and appreciate ourselves. The greatest road to anxiety, and depression, is to believe you are not worthy, can’t accomplish things and are a useless person.

This belief in your low opinion of self, is based on the estimations of others.It begins as a thought, and within a short time, travels throughout your brain. It finishes by convincing you, that you are behind in life, and likely will never catch up. I suppose it isn’t so much the sentiments others express to us, that makes us feel this way, as much as it is our negative perceptions about ourselves. The  more we hear only the negative estimations, the greater the chance of us feeling defeated.Do we ever ask ourselves what we are really looking for in life? I would surmise that most of us including myself, are not ever sure about the choices that we have. It seems easier to just let things happen to us, rather than work on making something happen. By floating along without a care, we live and survive in a dream-like state of mind. Others form our attitudes, and give us agendas and goals to meet.

I think it works for most of us for awhile, until we begin to wade through problems and issues. Then we begin to question our outlook on life in general. Where have we been, what have we accomplished, and perhaps our most profound reflection is where have we made a difference. That is probably the arrival time for doubt in ourselves, and discouragement for what we are currently doing. We want to accomplish something. It feels good to speak of attainments of public stature, wealth, fame or job status.

The majority of people simply are not famous, involved in politics, wealthy, or at the top of their field. I would likely say one to five percent of the population are likely to   reach those  goals. The rest of us are in the ninety-five to ninety-nine percent, who struggle most of our lives. Knowing that fact will not automatically bring cheer to someone, questioning the importance of life, and their life in particular.

As soon as we review these subjects, the confidence and security dwindles, and the doubt and fear rises. We begin our life track with inflated egos, and huge goals. We finish even before we are actually done, with crushed  egos, and no goals. How did we get to this point, is the challenging question, we don’t understand. Finding the bottom line to this dilemma is a beginning.

Our wife or husband is not a super-model, perhaps doesn’t always do their share of the tasks around the house, and at times gets angry for no apparent reason. It is possible, that both husband and wife feel the same way about each other. Both parties at times, overlook doing their share. On the positive side, the spouses sat by the hospital bed, encouraging the other to feel better. They  helped out, without being asked, when a spouse lost a parent. They spent numerous hours talking things over, when there was a job loss. They compromised about a vacation or other recreational activity. They gave love when the other was without any hope, or love left.

Maybe we hide these sad moments in the back of our minds, so we don’t think about them. We can recall the negative reactions from our spouse,  but the positive remains unobserved. This area needs a lot of attention,  which most of us don’t give, or have the time to give. The love is solid, true and deep, just ignored. Perhaps by  bringing it out into the open, we can resolve some issues.

Our kids appear to be the worst behaved at a function. We are so embarrassed and angry at them for their misbehavior. We  lash out at them in front of others, and later feel ashamed of ourselves. The kids are upset with us, and not quite sure what they did wrong. Our spouse is mad that we didn’t just overlook the problem in the first place. Now we want to go home, escape, and not set eyes on our spouse, or kids, until the next day at least.

Children can surprise us with the good deeds, we never saw coming, as well as the bad conduct, we didn’t prepare for. Kids don’t think about who is present or watching. They are spontaneous and impulsive. They were not considering how mom or dad or anyone else was going to feel about their performance. That’s what makes them innocent and children.

If we reflect on how much attention we gave to the negative acts and the smaller amount of attention given to the positive, perhaps we might see a pattern. Most of us do pay notice of poor behavior. Complimenting good behavior is also a worthwhile thing to do. Kids never mean to necessarily hurt parents by their exploits. If they want something, the younger the child, the more impulsive they will be to get it in any way they can.

In this whole learning process of raising kids, has it ever occurred to us to pat ourselves on the back?  The fine qualities we observe in our children, are the result of our own hard work. We are their first teachers. We set the rules and boundaries. What a magnitude of a job we have taken on. Every positive gesture we see in our kids is a reflection of our teaching. The kids still have free will, as do all of us. They can choose the wrong thing at times, regardless of our instruction. It appears that parents are still  there to catch their kids, and help them out. How do we not see how selfless and worthy we really are. Some of us have more challenging kids, and a more difficult time in managing them. We give our life to them, and that is such a virtuous and moral accomplishment.

By now we should be building up our confidence. Neighbors who need us for one thing or another, can count on us. The friends of our kids can depend on a welcome smile, and support when required. We uplift our kids for as long as is necessary, and gradually pull away when it becomes unnecessary. The difficulty in letting go is so painful, yet we do this painful action, to help our kids be strong and independent individuals. As much as we want to keep them contained, what we want more is for  them to have their own life. How selfless is that kind of a person, especially when it is done with no strings attached.

The workplace can be a scarey and trying place. If we have made it easier for even one individual,  we have accomplished goals that nobody else was in the position to accomplish. We work hard at even a meaningless job for the sake of our families. How dignified that really is. We miss so much of our own movie about us, that it is no  wonder we don’t have more confidence.

Failure is a part of everyone’s life. If we learn from the mistakes, then it wasn’t in vain. Our inner beauty is thriving and strong, because we either accomplish something the first time, or we learn, and attempt  it again. Who is to say when we are judged by God, what he will measure or assess us with. Perhaps it will be our generous smile, and quick but kindly few words of a greeting, or comfort to others. How far reaching our smile and words may have traveled. Perhaps  we’ll be judged by the times we got out of bed and off to work when we were so tired. What was our reason for getting up. Our family depended on us and we were there.

I could go on and on with praiseworthy empathy that is seen every day.  Someone lost their wallet. Another person found it, and mailed it without sending their name. All the money and cards were still in the wallet. The person had no debt to repay, except to pay it forward one day. Goodness like that just can’t be discussed enough. Perhaps the person who did such a kind deed, never thought about any meaning to there  life.

We all  have such profound meaning, and such an intense influence on each other. Just review one day in your life, and recall all of the people you helped, or encouraged with advice, or any other form of support. You can’t buy that. Some things may appear to be so simple, yet when a person is at the end of their rope, you were the one who made a difference in getting them through. As we search for meaning in our lives, remember to recall your awesome and supportive words and actions for everyone you met. I remember being exhausted yet I had to pick up a food item that I just couldn’t find. I finally asked for help, and instead of telling me where to find it, the clerk offered to walk me to the aisle. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me, because I was feeling overwhelmed and ready to  give up on the Holiday. This person brought it back to me, that it wasn’t the gimmicks and Holiday, that made things special, but the people themselves. You are priceless. Your value is immeasurable, and the love you have to give to others, cannot be duplicated in any way. There would be so much less love in the world without your presence.

“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.”    Jodi Picoult

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”    Gautama Buddha

“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others”    Steve Maraboli

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Edward Everett Hale

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ”    M. Scott Peck

2 thoughts on “Self Appreciation

  1. b iovaine

    Pam you write so well. This message was timely. So often i forget how actons and words matter even if the speaker does not. Kepp up the good work b

    Reply

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