Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Think about the last time you suffered a slight to your self-esteem either from an external or internal source. What actions did you take to feel better about yourself? Did these actions work?"

To be honest, I have trouble identifying or remembering 'slights to my self-esteem'. Which isn't bravado, my natural inclination is to think of the last time I felt bad, or felt self-doubt. Do these cut it? Or are we talking about damage to the ego? Most memorable is the anxiety attack I had that set off this most recent bout of self-reflection and prompted me to read the book that these questions are drawn from ('The White Knight Syndrome') but that's an anxiety attack. A symptom of low self esteem, not a slight to it.

I can remember the last time somebody attempted to insult me, but I understood that situation, and if anything it built my self-esteem because I won a power exchange. I solicit feedback from people which isn't always pleasant to hear but is ultimately, a gift.

So fuck it, I'll just pick something. It's almost constant but triggers me reliably, to dwell on it. I got this failed friendship, that despite my efforts to accept that failure and move on, and all my conscious efforts to restructure my life to cut my losses. I am bothered by the fact that the failure cost me so much and my friend little-to-nothing-at-all. The very fact that I bear all the downside is a slight to my esteem.

Also how long it took me to notice the assymetry and that this was the natural result of my hubris.

As for the actions I take. I guess expressing anger is one thing I do. And also trying to 'solve' the problem for myself. Those actions don't work.

To feel better about myself generally involves conscious acknowledgement - that I've been triggered, that I'm here in the moment and the hurt is in the past. Then I seek out nurturing company, if I can obtain it it works, and not in a fleeting way. It lasts me a while.

It's a risk though, other people's dysfunction can be a trigger for me as well. That dysfunction is inescapable and I have my own, that despite bringing it into my consciousness, remains a powerful force for me.

Doing exercises like this, and speaking to the right friends helps me regain my center. When I focus on my own agency, I am fine. Fine and dandy. When I get to work and get things done that I want done, I feel better about myself.

I guess in any given moment I have the choice between creating something beautiful, or doing something else. When I choose the former, no matter the application, it works.

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