Our minds are amazing things. They allow us to perceive the world around us, and to make our own judgments on what we hear, see and touch. We then apply the sum of our experiences to make decisions, which in turn gives us more experience for future decision points.
However, we cannot forget emotional bias. While logically we see things as they appear, we sometimes make irrational decisions or judgments that have no basis in logic. And one of the worst targets for our irrational fears is about ourselves.
We are usually our own worst critic. We compare ourselves to others and often highlight what we consider as assets in others while at the same time magnify the things we identify as flaws in ourselves.
This leads to a very skewed worldview, even when others point out the differential to us. While we wish to believe, we often take compliments from friends as mere kindness, and secretly dismiss them.
The essence of Buddhist psychology is to see things as they truly are. To acknowledge our fears, and say to them “thank you for your opinion”, then to look past them to what remains. Clearly, this is easier said than done, but like all things, practice makes perfect. Every day we need to look within and recognize those little voices that belittle us, acknowledge them and let them go.
And if we practice being gentle with ourselves, it becomes habit. And that habit is the first step toward learning to love ourselves. “You, as much as everyone else in the universe, deserves your love and compassion.” – The Buddha.
Life is for living.