"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Consequences of Not Loving the Self

** Note: this is a brief excerpt from Chapter 6 of my book “The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self”

It's a general rule that no one becomes aware of the consequences of not loving the self until he is well down the road of not doing so. When realization dawns, or in a session with a therapist, it becomes obvious that poor self-image, lack of good care for the self, and spending most of one's waking moments in a fog of blindness, or lack of awareness, form part of it. Further, having unhealthy needs that substitute so much, yet that another individual, more psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually fit, would have long begun fulfilling for him or herself, as opposed to succumbing to substances, gambling and so much else, also form part of those consequences of not loving the self. Finally, serving a master called you should are all merely indications of the heavy price that is paid for not loving the self. It can always be undone, but as with most habits and ways of living one's life, the more deeply ingrained these habits and beliefs are, the more diligently one has to work in order to eliminate them.

Poor Self-Image

We don't love the self because we have a poor self-image, but conversely, we have a poor self-image because we don't love the self. Where does the poor self-image come from, bearing in mind that most of those who suffer from it, acquired this self-image that leaves so very much to be desired, long before they may have ever heard of the concept of loving the self?

One obvious place to start is by recognizing that we compare ourselves to others. When we're in the sandbox we notice that Johnny has a bigger bulldozer. Later, we notice that Mike learned how to spell very quickly and that Jennifer always seems to know the answers to the questions the teacher asks. The fact that I can draw animals to perfection seems to pale in the light of all these other amazing, coveted, and admired intellectual achievements of my fellow first and second-graders. As we fast forward to another point in the development of our growing poor self-image, we find that Rachel's parents have a maid and spend their winter vacation in the Bahamas, while in our family we take a sled out to the hills surrounding town and consider ourselves fortunate to be able to slide down in that brilliant and packed snow. We don't pay so much attention to the fact (or perhaps we're less aware of it) that Rachel's mother drinks too much, but by now our poor self-image extends outwards to our parents, who in some fashion don't seem to measure up. Lest you accuse me of making everyone a snob or an aspiring snob, let me remind you that these are the continual messages we receive via mass media, social media, billboards, television shows, and just about everywhere you turn. We receive them when we're toddlers and we start watching cartoons on TV, and we continue to receive them as we sit in an old people's home in a wheelchair. Our society has made the message ubiquitous and until someone (you and I) sits up and takes notice and does something to change it (global, monumental and all-encompassing, or small and grass-roots: any kind of change will do, as long as it grows), nothing will change: nothing at all. So the insidiousness of this message of comparison - where I generally come out losing, because I'll always be comparing what I am or what I have, to what I don't yet have or have not yet achieved, or perhaps will never have and will never achieve, because now it is too late - the insidiousness of this message leads to many negative outcomes, only one of which is poor self-image.

And just to reiterate: a poor self-image has such fertile soil upon which it is able to flourish because as long as we are led to believe - and continue to believe - that what gives us high self esteem must come from the outside, from external sources, we will never understand the colossal rift between such a belief and the fact that true self esteem must be born, in fact, from the inside. It must come from the individual who gestates it within, and cannot be gained - can never be gained in any real and lasting way - from outside sources, because self-esteem gained in that fashion will never be true and will never have the ability to reliably endure.

Poor Care

Think about how you treat some of your possessions. How about that Jaguar in your garage? How are you treating it? Oh, you don't have one? Well then, how about your Rolex? I bet you take good care of that. Don't have that either? The Armani suit? The Gucci bag? The Ferragamo gown? The Vuitton briefcase?

Whether you own any of these items or not, I imagine that if you did, you would take very good care of them - treat them well, in other words. So if you take such good care of your special possessions, why don't you take the same kind of good care of yourself? 

We place great value on some of the objects that populate our lives, even if they are not as costly as the ones indicated. Perhaps you are a book lover, and cherish each of those volumes in your library. Perhaps you play the piano and the one standing in your living room is lovingly tuned on a regular basis. Perhaps you play golf and you clean and polish those irons each time you play 18 holes. You get my point. What is it about us that we do not tend to cherish ourselves?

One thing is how we do or do not love ourselves, but quite another thing is how we treat ourselves. This involves the care we give our bodies (quality of food, air, exercise, relaxation, and rest, quality of the company we keep, and what we feed ourselves with our eyes, our brain; i.e., what do we watch, what do we read, what sort of conversations do we have), as well as the care we take in speaking to ourselves. Call this 'how we nurture' ourselves.

Imagine you are out on the golf course and came in way over par. What words do you sling into yourself, as you berate yourself for the idiot you were for not being able to play better? Would you speak like that to your young son or daughter whom you are teaching how to play? Would you not - instead - encourage him or her to try again, saying that next time they have a good chance of doing it a whole lot better? Would you not speak words of positive and proactive support, in order to ensure that they would indeed try those shots again on the most constructive and helpful note possible?

Imagine you have just tried a new recipe and somehow it did not result in quite the mouth-watering gourmet dish you expected. Are you angry at your lack of culinary expertise? Do you insult yourself for being less than perfect? Or do you have an internal conversation that encourages you to try it in another way, or to consult with someone who has greater knowledge than you about the subject, recognizing that this is the way one learns, by trial and error and by asking questions of the experts.
What are your mistakes and failures, but attempts at doing something that has not yet quite become a successful part of your repertoire?  How did you learn how to drive? Were you perfect from the start? 

How, for that matter, did you learn how to walk? I love using this example with my clients. We've all learned how to walk, even though we may not remember it, and many of us either have children that we have observed learning how to walk, or we know children of other people that we have observed in that same process. What happens? Doesn't the burgeoning walker get up from a crawling position by holding on to furniture or the legs, skirt, or trousers of a conveniently placed adult and take a few steps? Doesn't that child then totter forwards, with a big grin on its face in view of this new world he is discovering? And doesn't he then almost always fall? What happens then? Does he make faces at himself, and shake his fist, and shout (assuming he was not hurt in the fall)? No. The child simply lifts himself up again, and tries again, supremely convinced that this time it will work. And if it still does not, the scene is repeated. And repeated and repeated again. Not once does the child think I'm so bad at this, I guess I had just better leave it, because I will never succeed. I am such a failure. And what does the adult that is observing the child do? The moment the child falls, he shouts at him, telling him how stupid he is for not knowing how to walk yet. How on earth could he not have done it perfectly the first time? Don't you see what an idiot you are, he continues to berate the child? Of course not. The loving or caring adult opens his arms to the child, encouraging him to get back up on his feet, claps, even if he fell, simply for having tried, and encourages him to try it again, showing him how much he, the adult, believes in the capacity of the child to master this process, and how much he loves the child.

This is love. This is constructive encouragement. This is bringing out the best in another. And this is how we must treat and care for our most valuable asset - ourselves. Caring for the self in loving ways is simply a corollary of loving the self. Encouraging the self, believing in the self, approving of the self - even in cases of numerous bungled attempts - and also admiring the self for all of these attempts, all forms part and parcel of loving the self.

Being Lost in the Fog of Blindness

Being blind has much to do with not living on a conscious and aware level. Achieving a state of such awareness has very little to do with intelligence and demographics, and much more to do with having had the good fortune to either hear someone speak about the importance of self-reflection and awareness, or to read about it, and then to internalize the concepts, and to then practice over and over again, until awareness becomes automatic and second nature, so that not being aware is noticed immediately simply because it tends to rob one of much of your inner well-being. In many instances individuals come to such a state of awareness after much pain and distress in their lives, after having hit, so to speak, rock bottom in some way, whether through abuse, loss, illness, abandonment, grief, depression, and a myriad number of other ills to which we - the human race - are susceptible. In those instances, such people pull themselves out of the quagmire, and one of the results is often a high degree of awareness about themselves and the human condition.

To continue reading this chapter, please refer to my book The Power of the Heart: Loving the Self, available in print or Kindle format on global Amazon sites, as well with as other reputable online booksellers




See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:

Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE


See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:

Now Available

"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE


See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  



Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida

En YouTube aquí



Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions

Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle

Note: Also see my other other blog The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

No comments:

Post a Comment