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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %IMAGE ACCEPTANCE LOVE AFFIRMATION AFFECTION LACK 900803 In the absence of authentic experiences of real acceptance, love, affirmation and affection we try to envision what they would be like. Our visions contain images. We are led by our visions and by our images. They motivate us and lead us. How we behave depends greatly upon what images and visions we have of the nature of real acceptance, love, affirmation and affection. We may imagine in a vision that people would accept us, love us, affirm us and be affectionate towards us if only we . . . . . . owned something more, had achieved something more, lived somewhere else, worked somewhere else, dressed a different way, had on different make-up, had a different job behaved differently, thought differently, read different books, expressed ourselves differently, looked different due to cosmetic surgery, had traveled to different places, listened to different music, engaged in different leisure activities, etc. We are often driven, motivated and guided by the uninformed images of our visions. We conceive ourselves to need to be somehow different according to our images of how others might behave if only we . . . . . Our conceptions of ourselves are born of our visions and our images. Our conceptions are likely to be poorly informed if we live in a community where we cannot be secure in open and honest dialogue. We are then likely to be engaged in a poorly informed guessing game, with our lives at stake in the nature of the guesses which we make. All these considerations flow from our tendencies to believe that authentic love, acceptance and affection are conditional; dependent upon us behaving in acceptable ways. We can never know authentic love, acceptance and affection so long as we accept such beliefs and tendencies without question. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================