To give the context: 

I went to the Kanye West concert in Tampa with my fiance.

Those sorts of events stress me out, and I don’t like Kanye West. I ended up with a headache, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

I came down with the flu the day we returned from the concert. I should’ve realized I had something wrong because the day we left for the concert, I lay in bed completely clothed and with the heater on in the room and still couldn’t get warm enough. When my body temperature deregulates like that, it’s a sure sign that I’m sick. Fever and chills are the major indicators for me.

So, for about a week, I suffered the major symptoms of the flu- think Monday through Friday. 

Saturday, the strength was returning my body. I was up and at-’em and even went to an event.

Now, I went through this whole week in question without any kind of sexual release, so all my sexual energy/fluid was inside of me. At the event, other people were socializing, but my fiance had brought a book. I preferred to read the book instead of attempting to socialize as I have social anxiety, and much of the time, I have no idea what to say to someone.

The book was fascinating, and in reading it, I realized how much I enjoyed reading. And I also came to the conclusion- *I* was having a good time, I wasn’t bothering anybody by reading, so what the hell did it matter? Why should I feel burdened to interact with other people? 

Later, I looked up information online after someone posted something about anxiety. Even though I went to therapy for a while, I can’t say I made much progress with the social anxiety. I’ve long suspected that there is yet another underlying condition from which it stems, and then I FOUND IT.

I came to the Wikipedia article on “neurosis” and read through the various summaries of theories. I was shocked to see how Horney’s theory applied directly to me. You can look it up for yourself. Generally, all the theories I saw seemed to be pretty spot-on.

The gist, of course, of Horney’s theory is that certain traits such as compliance of the person become projected by that individual to be idealized traits- compliance, for instance, is then seen as “goodness, “saintliness,” and so on. This happens because the person doesn’t receive enough love in childhood or acceptance for who they are.

Look, I’m a gay guy living in the South who displayed feminine traits from an early part of life- I guarantee you that VERY few people have ever accepted me for the person I am.

Anyway, I didn’t deny the nature of Horney’s theory- the process described was accurate about me. It was akin to encountering the Shadow and just being able to say, “Oh, yes. I do this. This applies to me.”

So, all that combined that launched me into a state of extreme self-liking. My third chakra definitely opened up, and until about Friday of the next week, I had an intense sense of 

  • liking myself
  • being able to ward off negative thoughts 
  • being able to ward off negative feelings
  • enjoying life
  • feeling more confident in myself
  • having a sense that things were generally okay and would always be generally okay

Really, the experience showed me, point-blank, that if you can’t enjoy just yourself in life, doing whatever it is you do, there isn’t much point to it.

After some sexual release, I ultimately lost the experience. Correlation is not causation, but I do wonder what the connection could be, if there’s indeed a connection.

But in my life, that experience of self-liking has been the most important spiritual experience (from a practical standpoint) that I’ve had. Some might not even term it “spiritual,” and that’s fine, too.

So much of my life has been spent trying to create an ideal self-image, a self-image or personality or identity that I felt truly expressed me and was well-liked by both myself and others. 

So often we hear the ridiculously trite statement, “You should love yourself for who you are” alongside “You should just be yourself.”

Well, I think these are phrases that have suffered the same problem so many trite phrases have- they’re on to something on one level but fail to actually express what the underlying thought is.

My take on the matter is that people are actually trying to say the following:

“You should be able to like and enjoy yourself as-you-are without attempting to change yourself to fit some unattainable social persona.”

Liking yourself and loving yourself are also very different things. To love one’s self could include basic compassion- in other words, you may dislike yourself or even hate your personality and so on, but you still feed yourself, you still clean yourself, and so on. That’s loving yourself. 

Liking yourself goes beyond basic care- it has to do with thoroughly enjoying the fact that you exist, that you are, and who and what you are. 

Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that people are given license to hurt others if they enjoy doing that. But I’m willing to bet that 90% of the world’s problems actually derive from people who don’t genuinely like themselves. 

If you don’t like yourself, there’s a kind of unconscious/subconscious to forget about that reality. 

On the other hand, at age 18, I began trying to change who I was and how I had presented myself to the world. Maybe that game started for me too late, but again, neurotic here. 

I failed. True, I had moments of success, individuals nights and situations where I did things that challenged the self-image and low self-esteem I had developed.

But winning the battle doesn’t mean winning the war; a general sense of well-being and self-like that exists in all circumstances with all people is what makes sense and the real goal. 

If our sense of self ultimately is sought in the approval and affirmation of OTHER PEOPLE, we will continuously fail because even if some people approve of us, others will dislike us for reasons that MAY OR MAY NOT have ANYTHING to do with who we are or our presentation of ourselves.

Truthfully, there are people I know that I dislike. The people in question always seem self-righteous, preachy, pretentious, argumentative, and generally annoying, but because they haven’t done anything to me personally, well, I can’t actually retaliate on them.

This is enough for this entry. Merry Christmas if I don’t post on the Nativity itself.

Stevo

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