September 16, 2013 at 12:09 am #42299
I don’t even know where to start with this. Ever since I can remember I’ve had low self-esteem, compared myself to others and would force myself to look lesser than in my mind, I have severe trust issues, chronic depression, jealousy issues, anxiety, yeah yeah yeah. Over the past year or so I’ve tried to make positive changes in my life. I read self-help articles and sites like tiny buddha nearly daily, sometimes I do get better, but I always revert back to my old self. I’ve recently gone into a low that caused strain on my relationship, and I hate that. I’m with a wonderful, understanding guy and I want to get better so we can grow. We both see I have potential, I just don’t know how to reach it. I’ve thought about going to a counselor and support groups..I dunno, I want to try and work on this on my own, because yeah, I’m stubborn..I mainly want help with my trust issues-I’ve been hurt in the past, and I’ve also hurt others in the past. As well as my jealousy/comparison issues. I hate looking at other people, comparing myself to them-personality and looks-and forcing myself to come out lesser than. I know comparing myself to others is pointless, I do, but yet I can’t let go of doing it. If anyone has tips I would really appreciate it.September 16, 2013 at 9:41 am #42310LaurenParticipant
I read this post and it was like reading something I wrote myself! I am working on the same issues. It is tough. Seeing a counselor helps, but I’m still battling with these issues. Having a consistently supportive partner is really helpful. I started a self esteem work book and it helps a bit, as I can step back and look at my thoughts and feelings in a more logical way. I however, haven’t been sticking to it! I need to get back on track.September 16, 2013 at 10:28 am #42315JohnParticipant
In addition to working on your self-esteem, try this as well:September 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm #42334AdeParticipant
Hello Melissa and others on this thread. This is quite scary for me because I have been reading snippets from Tiny Buddha from time to time looking for answers to a question/ situation I do not even know how to begin to describe and here there are two people who a) empathise with each other and b) describe my situation perfectly.
I am married to a wonderful human being these last 30 plus years who is trust, honesty, friend, and beauty personified, who is mother to two beautiful people we created and nurtured together and whom I know I love deeply yet for a long time I thought that what we had was not enough. She did not give me the essential needs my fragile persona needed. She never told me she loved me, she never seemed to enjoy the physical side of our relationship, she was not ambitious or driven in any way, shape or form just going along with what I wanted or the directions my career took us in etc, etc. Such absence of emotion reinforced all my self doubts and I looked around elsewhere constantly for approval. Mostly I didn’t get it from elsewhere either. A bit of approval perhaps through work successes, the occasional smile and friendly gesture from others. It was never enough. These seeds of dissatisfaction crystallised a whole structure of self loathing/ self pity/ justification for wrong thoughts and deeds and unhappiness around me. I started looking elsewhere and I finally ended up falling for someone else who entered into my life.
That took me to a whole new ball game when it came to despair, dissatisfaction and despondency because it was based on- well not very much really as I later discovered. I was being toyed around with. I knew that but it didn’t stop me being so desperate that I lost the will to live almost. I fell in to a well of depression as my soul withered and died. I lost interest in my work, my career, my friends, my hobbies and interests- everything was debased and meaningless. I did not recognise in myself the symptoms of depressions, nor the process of grieving I was going through. God knows, it was awful.
I started coming out of it a bit through a process of self analysis. I started to read around for advice as you have done; to meditate a bit; to count my blessings and in that process I found a few blessings, tucked away here and there I had forgotten about. That I guess is the only advice I can really offer- not being trained in this sort of thing. Just think about your blessings and try and be happy. I am trying and I have a few questions which I will post to ask for help but I wish you well. You sound like a wonderful human being despite your own doubtsSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:32 am #42349MJParticipant
I’ve read the topic and I was like, ” oh,just a timing on what I feels”..
so i decided to write my own miseries on this thread.
All my life I preferred to be alone because I want to be alone but as the saying goes no man is an island, I have to deal with people around me.So I tried to change myself as I’m growing old and now that I’d grown older, I realize that I don’t like what I’m doing, because no matter how I reach out on people, I still feel alone…I feel so alone its killing me. plus they only added burdens to my life. yeah, I’m dealing with so many negative thoughts and emotions. I don’t know where to start or how to start to make myself better, I’m tired of trying and fighting for what I wanted to be, and still I’m here, i feel I’m a nobody. Many times I’d asked myself whats the use of living if I can’t live the way I want? The truth is I’m weak, vulnerable. I just want someone to listen and understand. Someone to believe in me.. I tried my best to reach out on other, that’s why I got married at a young age, thinking that someone , at last, will be there for me. but as the time goes by, I realized I shoudn’t have tried to change myself, maybe I’m living a much better life now… realized that, nobody will really can understand you but you and yourself only.. I also have a low self-esteem that’s why I tend to lean on other’s support. what will happen if that someone you thought that can help you, can’t? Many times i feel so emotionally drained, I’m always struggling to reach my dream, i want a self-improvement but every time I fight its like I’m fighting alone and really hard.. I am so complicated, I want to be alone but the truth is I need someone to be there for me. Did anyone knows this feeling too?September 17, 2013 at 10:41 am #42357MattParticipant
I’m so sorry for the self criticism you’re experiencing as you go through various comparisons… either between yourself and others, between who you are now and who you were then, or between what you’ve done and what you wished you did. Don’t despair, there is always a path to joy, and I wish for a moment you could see what I see. You remind me of my wife in some ways.
She is astoundingly beautiful. As a girl, she grew up in a corrosive environment, with parents that pushed and pulled her in lots of icky ways. Her mom made her drop out of school to pay for their bills, would take her paycheck, then kick her out of the house. Her mom also would come to her work and make a scene to try to get her fired. Her dad was a religious zealot, and forced her to see herself as sinful and unworthy of love. This is only the tip, but what she went through was intense and closed down her heart’s connection to the world. This sweet innocent child had her joyful spirit covered with layers of muck until she was disoriented and disbelieving that she would ever find peace, ever find love. She had a couple abusive relationships before we stumbled into each other, and had sworn off romance.
When she looked in the mirror, she would see something much different than what I saw. She would focus on every wrinkle and roll, every mistake she made, and her self esteem eroded quickly. Then, even though I sat in appreciation of the beauty she is, she wouldn’t find the same self beauty. When I see her, I do see those things that she sees, they just mean different things to me. I see the wrinkles, but those are just time’s way of saying hello. I see the pudgy spots, but those are just the leftover baggage from her looking for peace and joy in various foods. I see the mistakes, but every being on earth is perfectly imperfect, trying to find balance and joy… sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding.
So, without those impediments to my vision of her, I see the sweet, tender, intelligent, caring, dorky, beauty that she really is. That she has burden is OK, its unavoidable for all of us. As we’ve grown closer through the years, she has naturally stopped comparing herself to who she was or how she acted before, and steps courageously forward. The weight melts off. The minor deceptions and hiding ceased. The self criticism eroded. There’s just no need for it anymore.
We all carry around a part of ourselves we don’t like, or ignore, and it really is ok. Its natural… its a leftover from the imperfect teachings we have either from our parents teaching us their way of being (for good or ill) and teachers and their teachers and parents. Its ok to fail, and the criticism that comes along beside the failure only obscures the truth. The affair, for instance, was trying to find a balance, fulfill a need that is unmet. Sure, it was unskillful and left a sour taste, and that’s good, because it motivates toward a healthy alternative.
The comparisons settle as we come to understand our unique beauty. This isn’t just a platitude or hoping, it forms from a radical self realization. The path we’re on holds with it the keys to our joy. We knit together with a specific and well planned balance of needs, abilities and desires. Those have been shaped and molded through the experiences we’ve had, and every bit of it matters. Every bit of fat, every spinning mental cycle, every nook and crumb is part of the energy that moves us onward and upward, spiraling toward our path of joy. Our mistakes are painful and push us to learn. Our needs call to us, demanding fulfillment. Our heart yearns and stretches as we try to find joy and balance. Its ok, dear friends, we’re strong enough and wise enough to eat the meal in front of us. If something doesn’t taste right, throw it out, sure, and look to see why it was in the meal in the first place. Its in there for a reason, and as we learn more about who we are, and how to love ourselves and others, our experiences become more and more nourishing and vibrant.
This is both our destiny and birthright, and yet because the unique place in space and time that we represent is unknown, growing, of course we will slip a bazillion times along the way. But we get up, brush off, and keep walking. We’re learning. Namaste.
MattSeptember 20, 2013 at 11:26 pm #42547
I did that exact thing. haha. I started a daily entry journal of one thing I like about myself, and one thing I’m grateful for. I too lost track though…what were you doing for your work book exactly, if I may ask?September 20, 2013 at 11:32 pm #42548
So beautifully written, and a few points you made hit home as well. I really appreciate your reply!September 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm #42549
Thank you for your response! I’ve been trying positive changes and counting my blessings. I know I have a lot to be grateful for and at times I see it, it’s just hard when in my negative moods my vision is clouded.