October 15     

Today's quotation:

Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem.  If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.

Fritz Perls

Today's Meditation:

Who's my judge?  Who are my judges?  Do I even need a judge or two or twenty in my life?  I don't believe so.  Once I start depending on other people judging me for my own self-esteem to be healthy, then I put my happiness and my contentment in the hands of other people, and I'm not doing myself any good at all if I depend on someone else's approval for me to feel good about myself.

I used to be greatly concerned about what other people thought and felt about me.  As a Child of an Alcoholic, this was one of the traits that I developed very early on.  It took me a while to realize that I craved the approval of others almost as much as an alcoholic craves alcohol, and in order to gain that approval I would do things and say things that weren't at all authentic, that weren't at all me.  I was virtually an emotional slave to what other people thought, and it wasn't at all a good way or place to be.

Are you dependent upon the approval of others?  If so, what kind of power are you giving them over you?  How do you make yourself feel if you don't receive that approval?  And remember, no one else is making you feel any way at all-- you choose how you feel by choosing how to react to things that happen in your life.

I don't want to be a slave.  And I certainly do not want to lose my freedom through my own choice, through the development of an unhealthy dependency.  I like myself, and I don't want to hurt myself, so it's important that I make sure that I'm not dependent upon the approval of others for my own sense of self-worth.

Questions to consider:

Are you dependent at all upon the judgment of others?

What kinds of things lead us to developing dependencies?

Are dependencies valued in our culture, or are they not valued?

For further thought:

There is no dependence that can be sure but a dependence upon one's self.

John Gay

more thoughts and ideas on self-respect



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