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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Self-esteem

Morality is defined by our intentions, our words, and our actions/deeds. The law punishes bad deeds as there were bad consequences. Without consequences, bad words may easily avoid punishment. Bad intentions are difficult to prove in court. Sometimes, people experience “moral luck” when bad deeds fail to cause bad consequences.

Taking accountability and/or responsibility - for our intentions, words, and/or deeds - invokes 4 different basic attitudes: (1) Denial and blaming others, (2) blaming yourself for making errors or mistakes, (3) invoking Destiny or Fate, and redirecting accountability and responsibility to a Supreme Being (eg, inshallah), and (4) Acceptance, the least favourite of all.

For several months, Acceptance has become a new label in my list of topics. Remarkably, Blame was never a label within my blog topics - until today. Nevertheless, the issue of Blame (to others or self) has often been mentioned in my blogs but without adequate context.

A 2015 Psychology Today article, 5 Reasons We Play the Blame game, was helpful in finding this context. This article mentions the attitudes belonging to sub 1-3 above. It took me a while to realise that sub 1-3 are our attitudes in certain situations. These situations deal with not taking accountability and responsibility (for our intentions, words and/or deeds).

Taking accountability and/or responsibility for our intentions, words and/or deeds is often difficult. Also see my 2016 blog: Your own worst enemy. For many people, shifting blame is a preferred choice: to others, yourself, or even Allah-God-Yahweh. It should be stressed that acceptance and blaming yourself is not the same. The difference lies in (high versus low) self-esteem.

Making errors is human. However, making errors also affects the way we think about ourselves (ie, self-esteem). Making “many” and/or “stupid” mistakes is likely to affect our self-esteem in a negative way. Parenting, the way we raise our children and how we were raised as children ourselves, defines the (i) default self-esteem, and the (ii) default attitude when making mistakes.

In 2017, I wrote a blog on self-forgiveness and one on self-acceptance. Forgiving yourself for your (unintentional) mistakes is required for moving on to self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is required for moving on to self-love, which might be the final stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs-Wants-Beliefs. Also see my 2017 blog: Feel the need in me.

Excerpt of my 31 August 2017 blog: "Acceptance, including self-acceptance, may be the "last resort" that we try in our lives, when all other options have failed. I think, feel and believe that this last resort relates to the last A in the DABDA model by Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross: Denial (my blog), Anger (my blog), Bargaining (my blogs), Depression (my blog) and - finally - Acceptance (my blog)." This may explain the current burnout and depression epidemic (eg, BBC, HuffPost, SA).

“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.” A quote by August Wilson (1945-2005), American playwright.

Self Esteem (1994) by The Offspring - artists, lyricsvideo, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise