Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finding Self Worth

I joined Facebook a couple of days ago. As many of my readers know, I have lost a great many friends over the years, and haven't replaced them. So I'm thinking this is a great way to connect with old friends and acquaintances that I've been out of touch with for ages. It paid off. Most everyone that I was looking for I found. Most have made me their friend. The others I haven't heard from, well, who knows, maybe that don't check it that often. I also found it curious that some of those old feeling creep in. You know the ones. The feeling of not being good enough, smart enough, tall enough, popular enough, ad infinitum. I was a bit surprised by this. Self- worth is defined as:

"the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect."

Of course, I didn't expect everyone to line up to be my friend on Facebook, or in life, in general. I also realize I appreciate instant gratification way too much. So why did this feeling of suddenly being inadequate after 26 years of relativity health self-worth come from? While I can only guess, I tender they may be spot on. I think it is because as a gay person growing up, around age 5, you are suddenly aware that you are different, even if you can't name the difference or understand it fully. So you go through life with this filter on everything you see, hear and do. Always cautious, self doubting whether you fit in, are people really your friend, are others talking behind your back, it has a corrosive effect on your self esteem. Some gay people get over it or work through it. Others don't hence many self destructive behaviors and suicides.

I reflect back over the years and see how for I've come through my circumstances. I learned to measure my worth as an individual based on my goals and ideals, not someone else. While they are many commonalities we humans all share, there is much uniqueness as well. A person must define their success or failures in their own terms. Not everyone wants a big house, or fancy sports car. The Dali Lama once said, " Judge your success on what you had to give up in order to get it." It's a perfect, simple truth. Needless to say, I squelched those negative thoughts that were disturbing my bliss and accept who I am and where I am in my life and damn proud of it too.


A Lewis said...

One joins, one stops. I don't think I've been on Facebook since I confirmed you as a friend. I was getting worn out by its intricacies and annoyances. I'll be back, though. Someday.

CJ said...

Good post Dave. I always said my brothers got all the self esteem. I got sarcasm and cynicism. I walk into a theatre and people are laughing I think they are laughing at me. I think that's an old joke of some kind.
As far as Facebook I think I went there and opened an account but I never went back. What does that say about me? I know people have ask me if I had an account. Are there enough hours in the day for more internet activities?

Ur-spo said...

Judge your success on what you had to give up in order to get it."

I like this quote very much - it resonates with the Prostitute Complex viz. how much are you willing to sell your Self to get things in life.

Bob said...

Love that quote Dave.
I, too, have a facebook account that i opened, used for about a day, and then found a blog, which i like better.
I think we all have self-doubts, so we can all learn acceptance of ourselves first, before we can accept anyone else.

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