A lot of people struggle with the challenge of trying not only to feel good about themselves but, more urgently, trying to avoid feeling bad or really bad about themselves.
When individuals understand the primary psychological dynamics that produce self-doubt, self-criticism, self-rejection, and even self-hatred, they can escape from these negative feelings and begin to appreciate themselves in an accepting and loving way.
Being a loving person is our birthright. This ability comes naturally when we clean house, meaning when we identify and resolve the inner conflicts that produce negative emotions.
You can get to love by looking at the inner dynamics that cause you to dislike yourself. Feeling bad about oneself usually arises from an inner conflict involving feelings of being unworthy, unimportant, and deserving of disrespect. What exactly is the conflict? Consciously, we want to feel good about ourselves but many of us still resonate emotionally with (or identify with) the feeling that being disrespected and unworthy is somehow true to the essence of who we are.
Why is this? When we’re feeling bad about ourselves on a daily basis, the most likely culprit producing these bad feelings is self-aggression. This self-aggression is a byproduct of the natural biologically endowed aggression that human beings have required in order to survive. Our ancient ancestors were very aggressive as hunters and defenders of their territory. This aggression has been modified and tempered by civilization. Religious principles have at times helped to contain this aggression, as have legal systems, educational achievement, social and cultural norms, and the threat of punishment and imprisonment. Yet our innate aggression still exists as part of our biology, and we can obviously see evidence for it in the extent of domestic and international dissension and strife. [Read more…]