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Forums > Social Discussion > Learning not to love yourself?

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:reading the 'Learning to Love yourself' thread reminded me of a friend who is pretty much attempting the opposite.

a lot of people these days are pretty self-obsessed, and seem to think they are worthy of being treated like royalty, when really, they havent done anything to earn such treatment, and are potentially full of faults, in how they treat people, how they treat themselves and how they treat the environment etc etc.

I have a friend who is working towards 'complete destruction of ego' which I interpret to mean, complete removal of emotional attachment to the things that you love about yourself.

In the end, how can you improve yourself without first dismissing the idea that you are perfect just the way you are? I know I certainly have my faults, but does concentrating on my strengths mean I wont get round to doing anything about my faults - and so therefore I'll never get round to improving how I am?

Or, is it all steps on the same road - ie recognise that you have worth (Learn to love yourself), then recognise your faults (Learn to love some parts of your personality, and dislike others), remove your attachment to your personality, reshape in ways that you think you would like to be.

I believe there is an increasing level of courage between all these steps - ie it requires courage to believe you have worth, it requires more courage to realise you really arent perfect, more courage is required to let go of what you are attached to, and attempt to move toward what you would like to be?

does this make any sense? I'm not suggesting its right - just an alternate pov perhaps.

Josh


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I am perfect. What are you insinuating? wink

I think that as long as the goal is self-improvement without harming others, then the exact philosophy isn't as important as the result.

Of course *preens* this isn't of concern to me. ubbangel wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pogo69
SILVER Member since Apr 2006

Pogo69

there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo

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Posted:ditto, doc... especially this bit:

 Written by

Of course *preens* this isn't of concern to me



--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:steps on the same road pyrolific...

if I acknowledge my strengths and build on them, I also acknowledge my shadow and work with that as well

A balanced approach to ego works for me


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Pyro, you can be anything you want to be.

I think there is a difference between ego (little voice in your head) and arrogance (being self-obsessed).

Im not sure Id agree that 'complete destruction of ego' means complete removal of emotional attachment to the things that you love about yourself. I approach it through the process of mindfulness meditation. People slowly become aware of what we really are down below the ego image. Wake up to what life really is. That life is not just a parade of ups and downs, lollipops and smacks on the wrist. That is an illusion. Life has a much deeper texture than that if we bother to look, and if we look in the right way.

I think its more about steps on the same road. First comes self-awareness, then learning to love yourself and recognising your faults. I think its more about understanding how your personality was formed rather than disliking parts of your personality. Understanding will lead to reshaping who you are, with out destroying your personality.

I does take courage, and most people need training, to tackle the ego, but the reward is getting what you would want out of life.

cheers


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:Something I think might be relevant here is the difference between vanity and pride.

I like to go with Jane Austen's theory that vanity is how you think others perceive you, but pride is how you see yourself. I think that proud people are the ones with the ego, but the vain people are the ones others think have an ego.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted::nods:



mmm wise points all....cept Doc.



tongue



hug



Josh

EDITED_BY: Pyrolific (1207018477)


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Don't really know about learning *NOT* to love yourself...

"Love yourself as you love your next"... well this can also be scary.

I can't side the connotation "ego = bad ---> destruction of ego = bliss". To me, ego is a part that needs integration, not separation. Acceptance and integration (to me) is the quintessence of love. As long as one is trying to destroy an integral part of ones self it has nothing to do with 'loving ones self'...

Tackling, yes. Parenting, yes. Gentle discourse, yes.

If one treats ones ego like a little adolescent child, one will end up with far better results (IMO).


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by :Pyrolific



mmm wise points all....cept Doc.

tongue




Hey! I made a real point! frown wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:IMHO the aim of the game is to love EVERYONE including yourself.
So not seeing it as "I'm better and everyone is crap",
nor "everyone is amazing and I am crap"
nor "i'm crap and so is everyone else"
but, "I am great, and everyone else is great too!"


As long as we realise we are no better or no worse than anyone else, then I think we'll be ok smile


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Posted: Written by :jo_rhymes


IMHO the aim of the game is to love EVERYONE including yourself.
So not seeing it as "I'm better and everyone is crap",
nor "everyone is amazing and I am crap"
nor "i'm crap and so is everyone else"
but, "I am great, and everyone else is great too!"


As long as we realise we are no better or no worse than anyone else, then I think we'll be ok smile



The problem is, there are lots of people out there who definitely aren't great. Nazis, rapists, child abusers, sociopaths to name a few. I would definitely like to think of myself as better than these people. I would have thought a more realistic statement, instead of saying that everyone is great, would be something like this: "I, like everyone else, have strengths and weaknesses. Accepting weaknesses in other people is important, as important as accepting weakness in myself, however if someone has weaknesses that make them dangerous, best to at least acknowledge that there's a problem."


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:Psyrush, certainly these people have made poor choices in life. This doesn't make them necessarily BAD people. Hitler was a veggie and liked dogs for example!
You're right, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, but when we then compare ourselves to others, that's when problems arise.


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Posted:The fact that you might be able to find characteristics in everyone that you can relate to (eg. Hitler was a vegan and dog lover) doesn't automatically make everyone a great person.

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings

Total posts: 1182
Posted:why does being a dog lover make you a good person?

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:eek spank no no no no no! ubblol

What is a good person? What is a bad person? I think we all have good points and bad points.

Psyrush, I'm not saying everyone is great, but in relation to this thread, i think it is healthier to love yourself as long as you appreciate and love others too, instead of being a self-obsessed egotistical plonker, for example!


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:However, if I truly love myself as is being extolled, it means essentially there is no need to improve myself. This, I have a problem with, because in my opinion the world needs me to improve myself (as it does almost everyone).

Apply the same thinking to a profession, and the logic is exposed.

eg - youre a mechanic. Your not a very good one, but you have learned to live with your weaknesses and love all parts of what makes you the mechanic you are. When you make a mistake (as you often do, because you dont study anymore) you jsut tell the customer, hey - I'm only human, I have my weaknesses and they are part of me just like my strengths.

I think Id rather go to a Mechanic that is contantly striving to be a better mechanic, than one that has accepted that they are all that they can be and is completely comfortable with themselves.

If I (Josh) support the above argument, it means I cant rest on my laurels and just wait for personal improvement to come - I have to seek it out and try and do it! smile



How happy would you be, if your mechanic was like this?


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Dragon_Drafin


member


Total posts: 51
Posted:How is(are) your friend(s) "destroying" their ego(s)? It is one thing to be selfless, it is another thing to be self destructive.

I applaud selflessnes, if more people in the world had a servents heart then the world would be a much better place.

The problem with the do unto others "golden rule" is that in this day in age people actually expect others to try to take advantage of them. So why is it wrong to take advantage of others?

There is no place in the world that shows someones true colors like the financial institutions. People at least here in the US freak out of things that nobody really has control over. One of our poor tellers today had a lady screaming at her because her Social Security check hadn't come in and it was apperantly the CU's fault. Unfortuantly SS Checks come in either the 1st or the 3rd and if it is the 2nd and the check hasn't come in then it will be here on the 3rd. She refused to believe the Teller, the Teller manager or myself. Sad indeed.


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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 3044
Posted:I do understand the need to dissociate from ones ego - For me its been a fine balance between:

- being confident, loving yourself, and generally having a great life

and

- letting your ego get out of control, believing more people should follow the path and have the experiences that you have had.

I found myself drifting towards the latter at one point in the not to distant past - however had a few journeys that made me realise that indeed theres more than one path to enlightenment and too much ego can be destructive meditate

But complete destruction of ego as opposed to balance? thats a path i wont be taking.

peace out hug


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted: Written by Pyro

However, if I truly love myself as is being extolled, it means essentially there is no need to improve myself. This, I have a problem with, because in my opinion the world needs me to improve myself (as it does almost everyone).



I dont think that loving yourself necessarily negates self-improvement. I think lazy, unawared people would be more likely to rest on their laurels. People who understand them selves, respect themselves and understand their weaknesses are more like to undertake self development.

 Written by Pyro

If I (Josh) support the above argument, it means I cant rest on my laurels and just wait for personal improvement to come - I have to seek it out and try and do it!



Thats about it.


Dentrassi, I think it depends on how we define ego, and what we understand our ego to be when we undertake self-development.


This is where I'm coming from, re Ego

Object relations theory has become the dominant psychoanalytic theory of ego development. Its main insight is that the ego develops, primarily through the integration of early experiences, into organized mental structures. These mental structures, termed ego structures, are systems of memories that have become organized through the processes of assimilation or introjection, identification, integration, synthesis, and so on, into an overall schema patterning the self


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted: Written by :Pyrolific


However, if I truly love myself as is being extolled, it means essentially there is no need to improve myself. This, I have a problem with, because in my opinion the world needs me to improve myself (as it does almost everyone).




no Josh - it doesn't mean that, it means I can love myself as an imperfect human being, but make steps to improve those aspects of myself that I acknowledge are part of me.

I choose to accept the whole of my being, good and bad, and still work to improve it...


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:Is learning to accept yourself the same as learning to love yourself - I dont think so.

Perhaps steps on teh same path - but not the same thing?

Josh


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted: Written by Pyro

Is learning to accept yourself the same as learning to love yourself - I dont think so.



I think so, because I dont think you are talking about narcissism. There is a difference between egotism (thinking the world revolves around oneself, and believing one to be more important than what is actually the case) and egoism (motivated by self interest or self concern, selfishness).


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder

Total posts: 926
Posted:acceptance and love are two different things.. love is a stronger word. but the similarities are still there, i think being able to accept and love yourself despite mistakes, acknowledge they are there and not stress yourself too much on the negative side, even just acknowledging them is a step to solving the problem you find in yourself, and the less problem you have with yourself, or problems youve had, accepted and changed for better, the more able you are to love yourself.

however you can love yourself for all your faults smile peace


on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

Owned by Brenn smile

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:I'm with Stone on this one. If you love yourself then you're going to want to see yourself do well and doing the best you can.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Some people find that love facilitates growth.



I certainly have never found it to inhibit personal development.



Some people find an environment of love, whether personal or from others, is necessary to feel safe enough to even be able to honestly look closely at their behaviours, and admit or acknowledge that they are not parts of ourselves we admire.Love seems to create as sense of security, and when we feel secure we are sometimes more willing to engage in the process of growth/change.



But I agree, there is something that sounds contradictory about accepting yourself as you are- and loving oneself too- and still being willing and able to consider and implement change.



Considering it, I think the contradictory aspect is actually illusion.



If you accept yourself as a being that is inherently

growing and changing, then there is no conflict or contradiction with that acceptance. You can continue your development with love.



Instead of judging behaviours and character traits within ourselves as good or bad, we can simply apply awareness,look closely and consider if they currently serve our needs and help develop our vision of who we are and want to be. It is a process of keeping what works, discarding what does not, and for me it seems easier if done without heavily laden judgements.



But I think you might also bring our awareness to the fact that unfortunately, sometimes, we are lazy slackers, and accept behaviors in ourselves and in others, that do not ruly serve our personal needs or the greater good. It certainly is more of a challenge to show love in a situation where you are also calling awareness to something that needs change. It takes alot of internal strentgh to hold true to your clear vision in that case!



smiles, and thanks for the thoughts generated!

a


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Another thought leapt in.

Something someone drew my attention to ages ago- that there is a distinction between who we are, and how we act. That we can love and accept who a person is, but still ask that they behave in a different fashion.

Came out in an arguement, like for example, instead of calling someone a jerk, one can say they are *behaving* like a jerk.

It is supposed to be empowering, because people feel able to change behaviours, and can often see how to do that. But to change ones Self is such a big overwhelming idea people get freaked out considering it and dont know how to even begin.

I hope that has some relevance to the discussion. I am not sure, but it came to mind all the same!


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:How can we ever *really* love someone else (unconditional), if we never learn to love ourselves (unconditionally)?

Unconditional love (if it exists at all) is not depending on returns, as true generosity seeks no reward.

I found that the world really is in no need of anything and that ambition for improvement sometimes is the root of all evil. How many violent and destructive deeds have been committed in best faith and how many of those people we regard as being "good humans" do not share the same view on themselves? This is when we call them 'humble' and 'modest'.

I side Andrea when she says that

 Written by : BansheeCat

"Some people find that love facilitates growth."



This is what I find love to be: a facilitator of growth.

You can choose (not) to love your self - it doesn't make much of a difference to me as long as you keep me out of your misery-race... In return I try the best I can, *not* to drag you into *my* drama and to give you all the freedom you desire. (note: 'desire' not 'deserve' - a great difference)

Apropos, 'difference': there is a huge deal of it, when looking at "self discipline" and "to be gentle to yourself". You can flagellate your self as long as you wish - it might make you 'stronger' (but not necessarily 'better' in respect of 'self respect')... just don't expect everybody else to do the same. We had this before, Stone and I accept other approaches. Yet only because 'everybody does it' (i.e. support the "psychoanalytic theory of ego development" and by that turn it to be the (presently) dominant one) doesn't mean that I have to follow it. Certainly some ppl got ego-issues and need to tackle them, no question. Certainly I need to...

Again I totally side Andrea, when she says:

 Written by : BanseeCat

Some people find an environment of love, whether personal or from others, is necessary to feel safe enough to even be able to honestly look closely at their behaviours, and admit or acknowledge that they are not parts of ourselves we admire. Love seems to create as sense of security, and when we feel secure we are sometimes more willing to engage in the process of growth/change.



It's a common psychological and evolutionary phenomenon that we look for balance. Meaning that often people who had not much of a family look for such an environment and vice versa. There are myriad shades of yellow and everyone longs for that what makes her/him feel whole again.

And for the third time I enjoy siding Andrea that "to change ones Self is such a big overwhelming idea people get freaked out considering it and don't know how to even begin."

One needs a slap, an other needs a stroke. If we cannot *see * (or feel) the rough, we'll never be able to cut a solitary diamond. At the same time we might have to dispose the idea that every one needs to be "Top Wesselton Grade". Thus said: only in recent years it became knowledge that brown, pink and red diamonds (who earlier got treated as flawed and therefore 'decay') are the rarest on the planet, thus now they are presently amongst the most valuable ones....

Just my 2ct


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Dragon_Drafin


member


Total posts: 51
Posted: Written by :FireTom


It's a common psychological and evolutionary phenomenon that we look for balance. Meaning that often people who had not much of a family look for such an environment and vice versa. There are myriad shades of yellow and everyone longs for that what makes her/him feel whole again.

And for the third time I enjoy siding Andrea that "to change ones Self is such a big overwhelming idea people get freaked out considering it and don't know how to even begin."

One needs a slap, an other needs a stroke. If we cannot *see * (or feel) the rough, we'll never be able to cut a solitary diamond. At the same time we might have to dispose the idea that every one needs to be "Top Wesselton Grade". Thus said: only in recent years it became knowledge that brown, pink and red diamonds (who earlier got treated as flawed and therefore 'decay') are the rarest on the planet, thus now they are presently amongst the most valuable ones....




I have no clue what the heck you just said man.

Maybe I needed to read back farther, but FireTom.... yeah I'm just going to stop there. You totally lost me brother bear. ubbloco


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:err Tom - call it what you like but what I'm reading from your post is something along the lines of "I can be happy by creating a mindset in which I have to change nothing about myself or my interactions". I can see how this is possible. I see this all the time. I prefer "I can be happy if I can see my interactions, and make positive steps towards improving them" (my personal approach, not the ego destruction stuff my friend is doing). I see the first approach as happiness through wilful ignorance, and the second as happiness through contribution. I think huge amounts of evidence support arguments for the need for change of consciousness on a personal level, and on a global level.

(I'm not meaning to be depressing here - I just think that ignorance of our impact has got us into this sticky situation, loving those aspects of ourselves certainly wont get us out).


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Dragon, please excuse me crypticism wink

-> we were born perfect
--> we needed help to survive and depend on each other for reproduction
---> this dependence is corruptive
----> we enter the stage of schizophrenia
---> we look for ways out of this
--> everyone needs a different remedy
->

Yes, Josh: I know that one can be living a happy and content life without changing anything about ones self and ones surrounding =/= ignorance... you're talking about "improvement" - I'm talking about "re-discovery". It's (not) the same thing at all.

I meet ppl of many different walks - every day. They are all different, and yet the same. How can this be? How can we all be the same as (to name two conditioned opposing ends)
- Hitler
- Ghandi

IMO it's about 'choice'.

Josh, you're saying that: "huge amounts of evidence support arguments for the need for change of consciousness on a personal level, and on a global level."

I say: this thought is what got us here in the first place.

To close the loop: If one loves himself and notes that it's for all the 'wrong' reasons, he will try to got out of it. If one violently dislikes himself and discovers that it's for all the same reasons, he will automatically enter this state of mind. So IMO whether you learn to love yourself or NOT to love yourself is all part of the same process.

Ultimately you're rendering what (self) 'love' really is (to you).

Do I make (more) sense?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Josh, I agree that there is a need for a change of consciousness on a personal level before we get change on a global level.

I understand the approach of I can be happy if I can see my interactions, and make positive steps towards improving them. But, I think it will take more than ..happiness through contribution to achieve change. Contribution is fine, but without understanding (self-awareness) its only part of the picture. So, Im with your friend.

Global change is only possible through ego destruction. Though, I would not use the term ego destruction. Ego destruction implies that we loose our personality when in fact we discover the true-self. To put it another way, Id say ego destruction is more about getting rid of the unwanted baggage that loosing our personality.

Of course this also depends on how people define ego. Im assuming when your friend is talking about ego destruction it has something to do with survival mechanisms, automatic reoccurring behaviours, conditional co production or the truth of dependent origination (Pratitya-samutpada). So, by ego destruction Im really talking about the ego of the I, I, I; me, me, me; mine, mine, mine. The part of our brain that drives greed, envy, pride, jealousy, hatred.

 Written by Pyro

In the end, how can you improve yourself without first dismissing the idea that you are perfect just the way you are?



You are right, you cant. First you have to accept that you are not perfect, special or different to any other person.

 Written by Pyro

I believe there is an increasing level of courage between all these steps - ie it requires courage to believe you have worth, it requires more courage to realise you really arent perfect, more courage is required to let go of what you are attached to, and attempt to move toward what you would like to be?



Yes, that makes a lot of sense. These steps are marked out in many traditional and new age philosophies.

 Written by Pyro

However, if I truly love myself as is being extolled, it means essentially there is no need to improve myself. This, I have a problem with, because in my opinion the world needs me to improve myself (as it does almost everyone).



I still dont think that loving yourself necessarily negates self-improvement. Because what you/we are loving is your/our ego, which is not our true-self? The true-self being that which lies under the ego (survival/conditioning) programming.

And if none of that makes any sense, then try the following piece by Albert Einstein on the depth of thinking required for humanity to survive:

 Written by

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)


ed. I put in the bold. The self being ego.

Cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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