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gandolfication

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gandolfication last won the day on August 29

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About gandolfication

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  1. gandolfication

    Side Effects

    I wonder if anyone could speak to whether Cymbalta tends to make people drowsy early on, but then even out or help increase vitality over time? I just started 30 mg Cymbalta 4-5 days ago. Plan will be to go up to 60 mg in 2 weeks. I should add, last night I took 60 mg of Cymbalta (and the muscle relaxer) - as an attempt to reduce the sciatic nerve pain (below), since this has been an added factor waking me up and interfering with sleep. I know I tried Cymbalta once before probably 8-9 years ago....didn't seem to help or I'd have stayed on it; I've really never gotten any benefit from any antidepressants, having tried virtually all of them. I feel tired today more than usual. I've been reading a little on this thread that a lot of people talk about tiredness, fatigue, and interference with sleep, but then some other people say it has helped them feel less tired. I wonder if the increased vitality and energy people are fewer, and/or if it depends on what point in time during their trial they look at? I stopped taking Nortriptyline (tricyclic), but still take 100 mg Lamictal and 50 - 150 mg Trazodone (100 mg last night). Right now, I am also taking Ibuprofen and occasionally a muscle relaxer for some sciatic nerve pain, though I am not taking it presently. In fact one additional reason I opted to try Cymbalta again is that it has an off-label use to help neurological sciatic nerve pain. These medicines have also tended to worsen my acid reflux (so does coffee). I take tagamet daily though am about to switch to Nexium at dr's suggestion. Thanks to anyone who can assist!
  2. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    Last night, exhausted, I read back through the high-level steps I'd outlined on Self-Acceptance. It had been a week or so, and I was absolutely mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. It seemed a little hollow now, but probably just because I had to kind of gloss over it while tired, and its not new now. I realized the foundation is still strong, and that I was just wrung out.
  3. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    Now I read the poem. That's quite beautiful. As I read it I thought it almost seemed to modern and airbrushed to have been written by him when he lived....but he did. Really something. Thank you.
  4. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    @Nightingale77, Thank you! You have no idea how good it is and how much I needed to hear something encouraging today. I was feeling spared again yesterday (and like a preening, self absorbed fatally flawed mess... Like everything I do even attempt to be good is somehow self-serving and only that), and this is a shot in the arm. I remind myself this is why I need and can give self acceptance... It's the life but not only for myself but also to get the others. I am Russian about so I haven't read the link yet but I will and will respond. Thanks so much.
  5. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    Today, I read a couple more articles by the same author as the main one above (on self-acceptance). These are on the ways that self-absorption are responsible for so much behavioral dysfunction. Kind of the other side of the coin from self-acceptance and love (which I think also necessitate love of others). I thought they were again interesting, and seem to be helping me, so am posting them here as well. They do seem to go along with @Here2Help2's post above on selflessness (the opposite of self-absorption), and humility. I think humility has often felt like a loaded term to me...maybe something in my religious background about it having been used as a weapon of piety, I don't know. Maybe just more so because from time to time in my life, I have been accused of being arrogant, and it has bothered me lot. It would have bothered me less if someone said I was an insufferable jerk (because that part I know and in a strange way, had already accepted that I could be, and to Here2Help2's point, while still nonadaptive, it is heavily a reaction to a survival of the fittest world, and law school and practice only amplified this). I thought and felt like I was usually being humble, especially post-depression. At some point, I came to view it more as being humiliated, which I believe is a perverse opposite to humility, but I have always had some difficulty being able to recognize and state what the difference is. It seems a little of a word game when I hear this. Anyhow, I thought this set of articles was almost as good as the first ones on self-acceptance (most importantly, if someone is looking for help, they should read the self-acceptance ones first). Self-Absorption: The Root of All Psychological Evil? by Leon F. Seltzer - this guy's articles have been helping me learn a lot about myself quickly since I left that good program - about self-acceptance, and now, relatedly about what kinds of self-absorption, really are at the root behind so much of my secondary facets of depression and anxiety. I can't really think of many ways I could get further back and find more ancient antecedents than this. And of the things I like about what he writes, is that he seems to frequently write a first article describing the thing, like this one here, that is just beautiful, lucid prose to read; the clarity of communication leaps off the page: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201608/self-absorption-the-root-all-psychological-evil and then a second equally artful one on the same topic, but a practice guide, usually organized essentially as a list of well-researched things one can very practically do, such as part 2 here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201609/too-self-absorbed-these-tips-can-free-you-you
  6. gandolfication

    Another one for my angels...

    Okay, so Misha is a reference to the angel Castiel in Supernatural show....I know of it...used to see the preview at the end of probably Gilmore Girls, which I watched all of with my wife (and kind of named my daughter after). She watched some Supernatural, but i haven't. So why, what do you like about the character? If you've written about it already, let me know where I can find. Thanks.
  7. gandolfication

    Another one for my angels...

    That's cool s***. Can you remind me what or who Misha is? I'm on my phone so if it's explained maybe I'm not seeing it.
  8. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    What you've written resonates with me, especially in reference to a couple things. All my early life, I grew up practicing a worldview premised exactly on those two things - selflessness and humility (it was at the core of our version of evangelical Christianity). And I tried very diligently to live it. I still hold these two as very high in my hierarchy of values (although I stopped being religious some years ago). The spiritualist's or mystic's answer--and the one I desperately wanted to be able to 'achieve'- or practice in living--as you're saying, to first be selfless and humble, regardless of consequence (or do I mischaracterize what you are saying?). And out of that miraculous math, get back as much and more than I gave. I know I lived that way. I know it worked. At some point, and definitely with depression and dysfunction, it also ceased working as it once did. Or in any case, I stopped functioning well enough to want to live. Yes, I did get burned plenty of times, but here's the weird thing. That isn't the reason I changed..however much I have. In fact, my pattern of dysfunction in society and the workplace has repeatedly been the opposite - bosses and colleagues (and family) telling me that my impulse to err on being empathetic has cost me dearly - I've been fired for it. For being unwilling to lie and deceive clients and candidates, for taking time to actually help them, when I should have been making the next rote cold call, capable of adding quantifiably to the bottom line, etc., etc. - Essentially, of no longer having (if I ever did) any kind of killer instinct in business. My view as always the golden rule - that the customer should be able get a fair deal, the business should be able to make a reasonable profit, and pay its employees a living wage, etc (Zig Ziglar put it, You can have everything in life you want if you'll just help enough other people get what they want - and I tried to live that way, along with flaws and mistakes to spare). I believe I did get away from living as selflessly and humble as I would really like because of fear. And anger. And disgust. And guilt and shame. Essentially a surplus of every negative emotion, and hating myself on top of it, for it. This is why I have tried to learn some way to give to myself the gift of acceptance and love. And, so the psychologist's answer of understanding oneself, why I've acted in the past the best way I could given the conditions, and first practicing an unconditional love with myself, does make more sense (I'm oversimplifying, but I believe there is a schism between the two views, at least as traditionally put forth). One cannot give of what they do not have. Also, I did lose faith in a very personal and painful way, so that is just a practical reality...I eventually had to stop believing a personal loving god existed and was there for me, just only on the other side of my perpetually fatally flawed actions, e.g, I couldn't do it right and make it work or see or experience God. I'm sure it isn't as complicated for many people; and I'd wager it didn't have to be quite so for me. I've been accused at times of being arrogant, or not listening, charges I take seriously, probably at least in part because they hit close to the truth. It's still painful to say that. I don't know if you are implying (or intuiting) that or not, but it is the case. In fact, in the middle of writing this, my wife came in to talk to me about our latest in a sea of financial crises - most directly, of my making - and told me I'm too complicated. That at key times, I haven't listened, and I think really means haven't been humble. And humility turned to humiliation. So, it may be a small step to acknowledge that I believe this is an area I would benefit a lot from growing in. It's weird, because it is not for lack of wanting and trying to be humble...or selfless. The first line, "try" it, may unintentionally have sounded to me like it was something I've never done. It really was, I believe the bedrock for just about everything I did. It may also have gone off track at some point. There's this phrase that I think the 12-step groups coined, that I've identified with for a very long time now, "an egomaniac with an inferiority complex." One of the inscrutable crises of living I've been trying to improve for what seems like forever, is to figure out why my relationship with my wife had become so badly strained and painful, and how it was that no amount of trying harder -- including trying to simply live more selflessly and humbly -- just. never. worked. Indeed my wife is na naturally selfless and humble person, and she comes from a poorer western European country that places primacy on people over things (which I think is much rarer in the US). So, I am not questioning this -I've seen it over and over again, even as cynical as my experience with su*cidal depression has usually made me. I certainly don't have the answers. But my belief is there is hope in the actions within the steps to self-acceptance. It simply makes sense as a truism, bourn out in daily living, to me that one gives out of what one has. If it is peace, well-being, and dare we say it? - happiness - then one naturally gives that to others as well, the a positive cycle initiated. Or the opposite. So, I guess all of this to say....I'm not wise enough to know at which point in that circle is the right place to start, or if there has to be one. I have learned, though, that I treat others worst, when and because I have already judged myself as fatally inadequate and unworthy of anything like love. Anyhow, I appreciate you stopping and adding this; and seeing if this makes sense or if I may have still missed some of the point. Thank you.
  9. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    I re-read these two articles above, putting them into my own outline (most of the steps correspond to the 12 Ways to Accept Yourself article); I've also mixed in a few things I learned and practiced in the recent recovery program I was in, which I thought was very high quality. The formatting did not work at all here; in case anyone would want to see and use and edit for themselves, I'm dragging the actual document here (until or unless I get in trouble for this): Self-Acceptance - How To Teach Yourself to Practice It.docx I mainly did this as a something I can use as a reminder, checksheet, etc. How Do You Teach Yourself to Practice Self-Acceptance? • Self-Acceptance: In psychology, self-acceptance is the acceptance of “all of my attributes, positive or negative.” It is the unconditional acceptance of all of me, without any exception or qualification. All attributes - body acceptance, self-protection from negative criticism, self-forgiveness (until it hopefully ceases to be necessary), and rationally and positively believing in myself and my capacities. • It is a strength, and not a weakness to let go of things we cannot control, including all of the past. This is the first step of re-focusing energy on what I can influence. It is a strength. Counterintuitively, it cultivates growth and strength, not complacency. It is the fuel that pulls through commitment after passing motivations have dissipated. Recognizing and extending compassion to our habitually-withheld kindness and goodwill toward ourselves, also will help us heal our pained relationships with others as well. o Inadequacy absent perfect behavior (performance), is learned in a socially Darwinist world based on survival, even from the best parents and peers. o We thus, at best, usually come to regard ourselves as conditionally acceptable, which most mental health professionals regard as a subtle form of emotional abuse. o We have unwittingly internalized a most painful form of self-rejection, which makes it impossible to be happy or have well-being. • First, set the intention to move from self-loathing to self-acceptance. From blame, doubt and shame, to allowance, affirmation, belief, and trust. o Be willing to actively explore what parts of myself I am not yet able to accept, in order to stop judging myself (so harshly). o Mantras to remember:  Self-loathing simply doesn’t lead to a satisfying life.  A life with self-acceptance is far better than a life of self-hatred.  Self-acceptance leads to peace, happiness, well-being, and real strength.  To become more self-accepting, we must start by telling ourselves (repeatedly and-- hopefully--with ever-increasing conviction) that given all of our negatively biased self-referencing beliefs, we've done the best we possibly could.  Re-examine residual feelings of guilt, self-criticisms and put-downs. Ask, what, specifically do I not accept about myself and, as an agent of our own healing, bring compassion and understanding to each aspect of self-rejection or -denial? Begin to dissolve exaggerated feelings of guilt and shame based on standards that simply didn't mirror what could realistically be expected at the time. • Second, list and remember your strengths, hardships overcome and goals accomplished: o I am kind. I am thoughtful. I am resilient. I am generous. I am empathetic. Capable. Curious. Articulate. o Add to daily as the negative scripts lose strength; and use Zig Ziglar's model of claiming even partial 'seeds' of strength as it is the sunlight by which they grow; and we hesitate to do this only because we know it obligates us to apply them. o I graduated college in business, summa *** laude, president of the business club, winning awards in public speaking, commitment to residential life, and winning my fiancé's hand in marriage. o I graduated law school, *** laude, wrote, edited and published on law review, competed on moot court and mock trial, winning awards for excellence in writing, dedication to the spirit of pro bono, president of Christian Legal Society. o I successfully won numerous jobs, and performed, closing sales, learning and growing. I practiced in complex commercial litigation and general practice. o I moved to DC, took risks, and learned to overcome hardships I wouldn't have imagined. o Why have I totally discounted all of these? And this is just the start. o I am in the process of teaching 3 amazing kids. They're beautiful, and worth living for. o Connections I have made; peoples' lives I've touched for the better. • Third (and Fourth), how do I make more friends and create a larger, stronger support system of like-minded people who share similar values where we can mutually strengthen each other? • Fifth, forgive myself, as much and as long as this is needed. I might eventually discovery it no longer is needed. o Better understanding why, in the past, I was compelled to act in a particular way, makes more likely I'll be able both to excuse myself for this, and avoid repeating it. • It wasn't our fault. o That which, finally, determines most problematic behavior is linked to common psychological defenses. And it almost borders on the cruel for us to blame ourselves--or hold ourselves in contempt--for acting in ways that at the time we thought we had to in order to protect ourselves from anxiety, shame, or emotional distress generally. o We were, in a sense, always innocent--doing the best we could, given (1) what was innate (or hard-wired) in us, (2) how compelling our needs (and feelings) were at the time, and (3) what, back then, we believed about ourselves. o Mantras to remember:  "To understand all, is to pardon all," from the French expression "Tout comprendre, c'est tout excuser," a dictum for myself and others.  I made the best decision with information I had at the time.  No one can change the past; I can accept, learn and grow.  At the time, it seemed like the best choice.  Given the force of environmental conditioning, and natural programming, the choice may have been compelled, barely a choice at all.  Thus, it is certainly not at all, all my fault.  Taking on blame has the same affect as taking on water – lighten the load, strengthen the voyage.  I am only human, I am doing the best that I can and that is all I can do.  Mistakes are the fingerprints of humanity, and are how we learn to act more wisely. o Sixth, either correct or detach from the inner critic. In either case, marginalize it  This is CBT, DBT, and ACT  **Review APH notes – they're much more streamlined and refined than anything else I have ever done re: recovery from depression/anxiety. Keep learning from the things I may have missed, resisted, or challenged. Trust it, try it.  Mantras • Owning and integrating our various facets is a transcendent experience. o Seventh, realize, acceptance is not resignation or settling.  Acceptance is letting go of things we cannot control, including all of the past. o Eighth, grieve and mourn unrealized dreams, then get back to being y our best self. o Ninth, perform acts of kindness and charity. o Tenth, speak to my highest self.  Imagine and intuit the best parts of myself, how they've helped others, and how they would help my suffering self, if I could detach from it. In this way, learn to be my own best parent, demonstrating empathy, compassion and love toward myself. Practice as a visualization or self-sooth/strengthening. o Eleventh, be kind to yourself. (Self-Compassion by another name)  “Coming to accept who you are involves loving yourself because of your flaws, not in spite of them."  To err is human, to self-forgive is to practice the divine.  Self-compassion: when we can better understand and pardon ourselves for things that earlier we assumed must be all our fault can we secure the relationship to self that till now has eluded us.  We all bear "conditional-love scars" from the past. o Twelfth, Trust It, Try It  This is what's usually called, "fake it 'till you make it," but like many people, I do not find this phrasing helpful. So I changed it above.  Some things you have to believe, try and do, long before you can know. o Thirteenth, Self-Acceptance is the strong, stand-alone basis for later Self-Improvement, not the other way around.  Self-acceptance has nothing to do with self-improvement. It really isn't about "fixing" anything in ourselves. With self-acceptance we're just--non-judgmentally--affirming who we are, with whatever strengths--and weaknesses--we possess in the moment.  Any focus on self-improvement—here, at this point--inevitably makes self-acceptance conditional. Self-regard cannot depend on constantly bettering ourselves.  Self-acceptance is here-and-now oriented--not future oriented, as in: "I'll be okay when . . ." or "As soon as I accomplish . . . I'll be okay." Self-acceptance is about already being okay, with no qualifications--period. It's not that we ignore or deny our faults or frailties, just that we view them as irrelevant to our basic acceptability.  Finally, it's we--and we alone--that set the standards for our self-acceptance. And once we decide to stop grading ourselves, or "keeping score with" ourselves, we can adopt an attitude of non-evaluative forgiveness. In fact, once we refrain from our lifelong habit of assessing, and reassessing, ourselves--striving rather to compassionately understand our past behaviors--we'll find that there's really nothing to forgive.  We can vow to do better in the future—also out of a desire to extend love and betterment to ourselves and others—but we can nonetheless accept ourselves precisely as we are today, regardless of our shortcomings.  It cannot be emphasized enough that we can (and should) accept and love ourselves and still be committed to a lifetime of personal growth. Accepting ourselves as we are today doesn't mean we'll be without the motivation to make changes or improvements that will make us more effective, or that will enrich our (and likely others') lives. It's simply that this self-acceptance is in no way tied to such alterations. We don't have to actually do anything to secure our self-acceptance: we have only to change the way we look at ourselves. So changing our behaviors becomes solely a matter of personal preference--not a prerequisite for greater self-regard.  To conclude, only when we're able to give ourselves unqualified approval--by developing greater self-compassion and focusing much more on our positives than negatives--can we at last forgive ourselves for our faults, as well as relinquish our need for others' approval. No doubt we've made mistakes. But then, so has everybody else.  Our identity is hardly equal to our mistakes (for such a linkage would represent a bad case of "mistaken identity"!)  There's no reason we can't decide right now to transform our fundamental sense of who we are. We might even want to take a certain pride in our imperfections. See, every Star Trek movie ever made, and Delight in Disorder by Robert Herrick. • Postscript: Why Self-Acceptance is a Worthwhile Pursuit, Pragmatically (Cost-Benefit) o Why would or should I want greater self-acceptance? Here, an evidentiary dissertation is far beyond the scope. I have long accepted the many reasons that self-acceptance not only benefits me, but that lacking in acceptance is either at or very close to the root of a legion of maladies, including greatly increased stress, anxiety, depression, pain and dysfunction. That is enough. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/greater-self-acceptance-improves-emotional-well-201605169546 According to Dr. Leon Seltzer, learning to accept oneself is "crucial to our happiness," peace and state of well-being." It also forms the basis from which self-esteem arises naturally.  If deep within us we're ever to experience, as our normal state of being, personal fulfillment and peace of mind, we must first rise to the challenge of complete, unqualified self-acceptance.  "Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In fact, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you'll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you're worthy of [emphasis added]."
  10. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    I thought this was very good too. Maybe is it clearest, most thorough, and practical exclamation of how to go about donig self acceptance, that I have read. Unconditional Self-Acceptance How do you fully accept yourself when you don't know how? Posted Sep 10, 2008 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/200809/the-path-unconditional-self-acceptance
  11. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    I thought this was pretty good on this topic: From PsychCentral Therapists Spill: 12 Ways to Accept Yourself By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. ~ 4 min read For many people self-acceptance is hard to come by on a good day. It’s tenuous, a glass with tiny cracks, at best. On a bad day, when you’ve made a mistake or two, don’t like how you look or feel absolutely miserable, your self-acceptance is in shards. Fortunately, self-acceptance is something we can nurture. Look at it as a skill that you can practice versus an innate trait that you either have or don’t. Below, clinicians reveal 12 ways we can cultivate self-acceptance. 1. Set an intention. “Self-acceptance begins with intention,” according to psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber, MA. “It is vital that we set an intention for ourselves that we are willing to shift paradigms from a world of blame, doubt and shame to a world of allowance, tolerance, acceptance and trust,” he said. This intention acknowledges that self-loathing simply doesn’t lead to a satisfying life. “If I set my intention that a life with self-acceptance is far better than a life of self-hatred then I begin a chain reaction within my being geared to a life of peace,” Sumber said. 2. Celebrate your strengths. “We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths,” according to Ryan Howes, Ph.D, a psychologist in Pasadena, California. Psychologist John Duffy, PsyD, agrees. “[Many people] fail to see their strengths and cling to antique scripts they carry about their lack of worth,” he said. Duffy helps his clients hone in on their strengths and abilities by writing them down. If you’re having a tough time coming up with your list, name one strength each day, he said. Start with something basic like “I’m a kind person,” said Duffy, also author of The Available Parent. “Typically, lists evolve as the script loses its strength, and people recognize they are intelligent, and creative, and powerful, and articulate, and so on. Sometimes, we can’t see ourselves until we clear the weeds,” he said. Howes suggested making a similar list: “Make a list of all the hardships you’ve overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.” 3. Consider the people around you. What kinds of people do you surround yourself with? Sumber suggested asking yourself these questions about the people in your life: 4.Create a support system. Distance yourself from people who bring you down, said Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist and owner of Urban Balance, LLC. Instead, “Surround yourself with people who accept you and believe in you,” she said. 5. Forgive yourself. Past regrets can prevent us from practicing self-acceptance. Forgive yourself, and move on. “Whether it’s about something you’ve done or a personality quirk that resulted in a social faux pas, it’s important to learn from the mistake, make efforts to grow, and accept that you can’t change the past,” Howes said. When the tinges of remorse resurface, remember these words, he said: “I made the best decision with information I had at the time.” “The behavior or decision might not seem correct in hindsight, but at the time it seemed like the best choice,” Howes added. 6. Shush your inner critic. Many people equate their inner critic with a voice of reason. They think their inner critic is simply speaking the truth. But if you wouldn’t say it to a loved one, it’s not honesty or sincerity. It’s unwarranted — and harsh — judgment. To quiet your inner critic, Marter suggested choosing a realistic mantra. “I believe in the power of mantra and encourage clients to select a mantra that is normalizing, calming and encouraging during times when the inner critic rears its ugly head,” she said. For example, you could use: “I am only human, I am doing the best that I can and that is all I can do,” she said. As Marter said, “Our mistakes and our imperfections are not bad or wrong or failures–they are the fingerprints of humanity and opportunities for learning, healing and growth.” 7. Grieve the loss of unrealized dreams. “Many of our problems with self-acceptance come from our inability to reconcile who we are as compared with the idealized dreams of our youth,” Howes said. Maybe you dreamed about becoming an Olympic athlete or a multi-millionaire or staying married forever or having a big family, he said. Whatever your dreams or goals, mourn that they didn’t come to pass, he said. Then “get back to being the best you possible.” 8. Perform charitable acts. “When you sacrificially give to others, you see how your deeds are a positive influence on other lives. It becomes more and more difficult to maintain the idea that you are no good when you see how your deeds help other people,” Howes said. 9. Realize that acceptance is not resignation. Marter described acceptance as letting go of the past and the things we cannot control. This way, “you can focus your energy on that which you can [control], which is empowering,” she said. In fact, for some people accepting that they have a problem is the first step to making positive changes, she said. 10. Speak to your highest self. Marter suggested readers try the following activity that includes imagining and interacting with your highest or best self. 11. Be kind to yourself. Many people are hesitant to show even a shred of self-kindness because they see it as selfish or undeserved. But the key to self-compassion is “to understand that weakness and frailty are part of the human experience,” according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, a psychologist and author of Living with Depression. “Coming to accept who you are involves loving yourself because of your flaws, not in spite of them,” she said. You’ll find more on practicing self-compassion here and here. 12. Fake it ‘til you make it. If you’re unconvinced that you’re a worthy person, keep the faith and keep at it. Keep practicing self-compassion along with the other suggestions. “Most of us do not have direct communication from our deity of choice, yet we take the leap and trust that our God is true and real. The same goes for our self-acceptance. I first must think and do before I know,” Sumber said.
  12. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    Yes, the comparison is a . Comparison--and even more--"competition" is for me, the Achilles's heal (well one among many). The only way I got to the point of even seriously pushing myself to try to finally figure this out, or in any case do it more (practice self-love/a acceptance), was that in the middle of the recovery program u just graduated from, I asked the therapist (who I thought was exceptional), how the **** one is supposed to stop "shoulding" on themself all the time in a truly socially Darwinistic world. And she stopped and told me that a long time ago she's simply made a promise to herself to love herself and accept herself no matter what. I still don't really understand this very much beyond the abstract in the sense that yes I can see and understand how other people could wood and shouldn't do this. but I thought I was making progress on it true you understanding, trying to practice it, and even on our project so I completed while there. I didn't expect it to be a straight line, but I guess I did hope there was something like a breakthrough possible. I guess I still feel like the horrendous volume and nature of my own sins make it far beyond my reach for me. And in any case, although I have actually been trying to do it, just a week removed from what really was a tremendous program for me, I am as close whatever I was deliberately whining to end my life. For always the same reasons. Desperation. Hopelessness. Seeming inability to improve. Pain. Guilt and shame. And self loathing. If the state-of-the-art 8-week program I just completed wow pushing myself really hard to work at it diligently, hasn't been enough of a catalyst, what ever could? (I knew I was going to miss it when it was over. There were a few really good people in there. And they were the only friends that had quite a few years who I can really talk be myself around. And it was just...so strangely...enjoyable, this ill-named "adult partial hospitalization" program). I watched my 3 kids all weekend while my wife studied for her class. I occasionally have this awful temptation come to the fore, to want to ask my oldest if she really wouldn't mind so much, or even feel better, if I wasn't around. I hope I'd never actually ask, but the impulse...the intense desire to have some permission or reprieve....when it seems (however inaccurately), that they're all I've lived for, these 10 years. It continues to wear me down, and there really isn't.much going for me.
  13. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    That's fantastic. The metaphor, the attitude, the definging of metaphor, etc.... FUNctional.
  14. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    Epic, Good to cross paths with you again, as always. This is a big reason why I have the goal of eventually getting a pet for my kids, and for me.
  15. gandolfication

    How Do You Learn to Love & Accept Yourself?

    That's haunting. I have always tended to recoil from metaphors that struck my ear as, "turning away from" or shrinking from the darkness. I know that may not be fair. I always liked the picture of conquering it so much more, perhaps from my upbringing that I've come to summarize as American Christian Triumphalism, which I think will make sense to most. But your image here does make sense.
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