The lack of self respect as an affliction

Kerome

Kerome

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Another item from the Venerable Thubten Chodron’s lectures on the minor afflictions, the one I was reading this morning was about the lack of self-respect. It too made a lot of sense to me, as something that I have noticed becoming an issue lately.

The reason why lack of self respect is an affliction has to do with keeping ones internal promises, resolve, capability to be upright and so on. If you decide I’m going to eat vegetarian, and a friend has already ordered a large meat feast pizza for the evening meal, then to just go along with it and eat a few slices is going against your internal resolve, your principles, your self-respect.

A lack of self respect makes you weak with regards to keeping your norms and values, it makes it easy to change your mind about things that you used to hold as important.

Now what I found is that the pattern of self respect comes from parental love, it comes from being successful in life, it comes from a vibrant spiritual life. It is a good habit to have and to view as being important. And it is degraded by a lot of the things that come with a mental health condition... not being wholly in control of your mind or life, not having a job, not having good family relations all contribute to a lack of self respect.

Usually it only takes being successful in one thing to provide a real boost to ones self esteem. Losing weight, a new partner, a promotion.
 
Y939

Y939

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I read an article a couple of days ago about how many mental health disorders have their roots in low self-esteem and self-respect. I do believe that a lack of self-love, self-compassion, and self-respect has a huge impact on our beliefs, thoughts, fears, and behaviours. I think if I loved myself and held a positive, compassionate opinion of myself, I would perhaps suffer less from social anxiety, agoraphobia, depression. But it is complicated in that self-esteem is easily tipped by mistakes and tough circumstances. I think one important step to maintaining self-respect is forgiveness. Everybody makes mistakes, gets things wrong, bad things happen to smart people. Forgiveness, and actively applying this wisdom that everybody gets things wrong from time to time, to yourself and your situation.
 
Seachad

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(Snippage)

The reason why lack of self respect is an affliction has to do with keeping ones internal promises, resolve, capability to be upright and so on. If you decide I’m going to eat vegetarian, and a friend has already ordered a large meat feast pizza for the evening meal, then to just go along with it and eat a few slices is going against your internal resolve, your principles, your self-respect.

A lack of self respect makes you weak with regards to keeping your norms and values, it makes it easy to change your mind about things that you used to hold as important.

Now what I found is that the pattern of self respect comes from parental love, it comes from being successful in life, it comes from a vibrant spiritual life. It is a good habit to have and to view as being important. And it is degraded by a lot of the things that come with a mental health condition... not being wholly in control of your mind or life, not having a job, not having good family relations all contribute to a lack of self respect.

Usually it only takes being successful in one thing to provide a real boost to ones self esteem. Losing weight, a new partner, a promotion.
Interesting. The assertion is that lack of self respect / self esteem being viewed as an affliction has to do with keeping internal promises, &c. Basically, that the thrust of this is internal. But nearly all of the examples cited, regarding sources of self-esteem, are derived from external origins. From losing weight (presumably the positive feedback our culture gives to weight loss,) a promotion, a new partner, parental love, success in life, &c. As opposed to internal sources -- personal actions such as doing the right thing under difficult circumstances, striving to be a decent, compassionate person -- it would seem to contrast with the sort of 'Right thought / Right speech / Right action' approach that Buddhism and other spiritualities tend to focus upon.

This may suggest a great deal about the degree to which we allow others to define our reality and self-image for us, in our culture. I'm still mulling it over.
 
Kerome

Kerome

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The examples were only my response to the teachings Seachad, it’s not totally Buddhist because I haven’t immersed myself in it to that extent. But they were what I’ve observed from my life, so perhaps somewhat useful.
 
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