January 11, 2013

False Pride or True Humility?

All deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea, while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore. ~Herman Melville

Building self-esteem takes introspection. But some of us get nervous when we start thinking about ourselves. Somehow it seems wrong to spend so much time digging around in the basements and attics of our personalities. We're afraid we're becoming self-centered, and we feel guilty about it. Haven't we always been taught to avoid selfishness?

But the search for self-esteem is more like a rescue mission than it is an ego trip. It isn't selfish to try to know and understand ourselves. And taking credit where credit is due shouldn't make us feel guilty any more than taking a paycheck at the end of a hard week. We deserve what we've earned. And all of us have earned more healthy self-regard than we've dared to claim.

We don't have to worry. Self-centeredness is no more like self-esteem than a flood is like a summer shower. One causes devastation and the other causes growth. If growth is our intention, examining our lives is not only allowable~it's an absolute necessity. And if introspection makes us uneasy, it's because we're not used to it, not because it's wrong.

Squeamishness about self-scrutiny may spring from my false pride instead of my true humility.

H/T: Believing In Myself

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