17.1.12

Doctor, Heal Thyself


Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.

Carl Jung

We gain more self-respect when we challenge what we thought we were capable of.  I say, do not let any potential remain unfulfilled.  If you're fortunate enough to find material comfort as well as peace and acceptance within yourself, use it as a foundation and a safe haven of strength that you can draw from to work towards making differences in other people's lives.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is no need to fear failing, the problem is truly more that we fear admitting to those failings and the shame aspect of what that admission of guilt or failure will imply or convey about who we are.  If no one ever knew we didn't make it the first time, if no one ever saw us stumble or weep, wouldn't we appear to be quite an unusual prodigy?  Yet we still hold ourselves to these standards, we still believe we must be infallible, purely successful, people.  As Dr. Brown explained, it is the anticipated shame that arises from a public (or intimate) error or rejection that holds us prisoner and that can keep us from taking new risks, or make us agonize over the choices we have already made.


Admitting failure, and exercising necessary humility leaves us quite vulnerable. Therefore, rather than succumbing to real or anticipated shame when we may come up short, let that be bypassed into a constructive connection with those in our lives who are willing and actually eager to step up with encouragement, buoying our confidence and in turn sharing their strengths to balance our shortcomings.  By skipping shame almost entirely, it can be replaced with an opportunity for all parties to feed their self worth through learning, resolution and acceptance.  As the doctor said, it takes great courage, and I would add, careful consideration of the true meaning of some of these concepts, but there isn't a lot to lose by applying them to our own lives and observing the results.

claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.

Mohandas Gandhi

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