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How Not To Be Hard On Yourself

The Purist

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Here's some more . . .


1.  Hating yourself is usually hating your "brain" and your brain does not deserve this because it only weighs about 3 pounds and works 24/7 doing thousands of brave, wise and good things to keep you and the 30,000,000,000,000 or cells in your body alive and healthy PLUS whatever tasks you add to its work load in terms of dreams and expectations.


2.  Your brain is finite.  It is not an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful and all-perfect Being.  It makes mistakes, but it does not really get up in the morning and say to itself:  "Today I plan on making a HUGE mistake.


3.  Your brain is influenced by genetics, by environment, by past experiences, by strong emotions, by contrary wishes and being finite can often be deceived by appearances. 


4.  You might have been raised to scold, shame and beat-up your brain for its mistakes and you might not have been raised with the skills to be able to talk lovingly to your brain, to understand it, to feel genuine respect and compassion for it, to encourage it, forgive it for mistakes, and console it, but these can sometimes be learned.


5.  Hidden expectations can be terrible burdens on your brain, especially expectations that are unrealistic and related to perfection as when you expect your brain to be perfectly strong, perfectly brave,  perfectly sociable, perfectly successful, perfectly wise, perfectly good and perfectly moral. Or perfectly normal.   These unrealistic expectations, though, can sometimes be unlearned.


6.  Your brain may have been brought up in an environment where things were often seen as problems or big problems when they were not.  Your brain can slowly unlearn this and learn how to say:  "Why isn't this a problem?"  Or "why isn't this a big problem?"


7.  Your brain may have been brought up to deal with complexity by over-simplification, that is, simplifying something rich and complex to the point of untruth and unfairness:  "She is bad."  "He is a coward."  "She is weak."  "He is stupid."  "She is ugly."  "He is a failure."  "She is worthless."  "I am a loser and no good."  And so on.  A real person is too rich and complex a reality to be "summed up" like that in a single word or phrase.


8.  Your brain may have been taught that good and evil do not admit of degrees, whereas in reality they do.  Parking without putting money in the meter may not be good, but it is not as bad as what some individuals have done, such as causing the Holocaust and execution to 20,000,000 people.  Is something bad?  If so, how bad is it really?


9.   Your brain, because of many factors including illness may see "negatives" everywhere:  in self, others, the world.  It may "forget" positives or be "blind" to them.  ,But this can often be overcome.  Today a plane crashed [negative].  This is a fact, a negative fact to be sure.  But it is a fact that other facts exist.  For example, today as many as 40,000 planes transported hundreds of thousands of people to their destinations in safety.   Your brain may occasionally falter in terms of bravery or wisdom or goodness.  But truth to be told, your brain has done literally millions of brave, wise and good things in your lifetime.  Often people don't think these things count.  But often they don't count, because we don't count them. 


10.   It can be sometimes a rare event when a person acts with complete awareness and complete freedom of will in a choice.  Often a person is profoundly influenced by unconscious forces such as genetics, upbringing, education, culture, physical things in the environment such as lead in pipes or psychological things in the environment, strong emotions that are not asked for but are there, such as fear, fatigue, internal and external forms of coercion, being misled by appearances, contrary wishes and so on.  All these factors can prevent a person from acting "whole-heartedly" or "single-mindedly".  All of these factors can be impediments to full awareness and full freedom. 

Edited by Epictetus
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