the self esteem/ego thing
I have new staff people, it brings out new parts of your personality. My new assistant says she wants to write a book about me, like when I make comments about my life in conversation.
I have a way of being childlike in some ways, not the cranky crying type of child but fun, open to new things, a little blunt honest at times. Part of this means that I can have conversations where I admit I have done something wrong or that I could have done something better, and also say I did something great or good or average. I also can charm people into playing games, it is a professional hazard in my line of work. So I have possibly thrown a small rubber chicken at people in games and made my staff play 'how to stay in ratio' games in training.
So today I said something like "oh I did this thing and we got a compliment for our program" and her response was that I didn't have any problems with self-esteem. Yeah right I don't. I answered something like I could get a problem with self esteem and then I could go to therapy and get better and then be back where I am, or I could skip the entire process. Actually I did a lot of that, but I don't need to hang onto that. When I do something and get a compliment I just take it, when I make a mistake I apologize. At least that is when I feel my best, most grounded and balanced. I am not always there but more and more often.
We talk in our buddhist group about how attachment to ego can be feeling good about ourselves, or bad about ourselves. There is a lot of ego in being screwed up sometimes, it is still all about ourselves. It is hard to catch onto the impermanence of something that seems so solid like our selves. We change clothes all the time, jobs, relationships, but we take ourselves as a fact.
Yeah, the whole self esteem thing could be seen as rather illusory. I like what you say about the impermanence of the self, although I do think that we are encoded in our DNA and our souls to be a certain person--no getting around our essential "us" ness.
This is all true, though not so much in our DNA as in our programming from early childhood, before the frontal cortex starts forming around age 2. Family patterns also can be learned and perpetuated subconsciously from later childhood. Either way, we can and do become "addicted" to who we are -- or who we think we are. Discomfort becomes comfortable because it's all we knew in the beginning. Etc. Lots of books on this topic. Here's an interesting one I just read:
I remember when Starting Over was on (old reality tv show), they talked about the pull of the familiar. We often repeat patterns (sometimes in a slightly different way) from our upbringing.
Originally Posted by Oddball