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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.} ========================================================== %SELF ESTEEM IMAGE DEPRESSION ELATION PERSON 961015 Self esteem within individuals and communities is reflexive; reflecting back upon self, others and communities. To the extend that our self esteem and ability to feel good about ourselves depends primarily upon our particular abilities, achievements, successes and avoidance of mistakes and failures---to that extent we will have great difficulty in: 1. Learning from our mistakes, failures and difficulties. 2. Avoiding dishonesty, collusions, addictions and codependence. 3. Dealing with the above. To be whole and healthy people and communities of integrity we need to have our self esteem and ability to feel good about ourselves---be grounded in being communally accepted, loved and nurtured by others without regards to our particular abilities, achievements, successes and avoidance of mistakes and failures. Any other basis for self esteem and feeling good about ourselves is likely to lead us into adopting disintegrative patterns of assumptions, approaches, attitudes, thinking, and behaviors. The more intelligent and logical we are, the more difficult it is to deal with any lack in being accepted, loved and nurtured by others without regard to our abilities, achievements, successes and avoidance of mistakes and failures. Self esteem is not understandable in terms of purely objective analysis---because objective analysis excludes reflexive considerations from analysis. Objective analysis is relevant to understanding self esteem; so also is analysis of reflexive considerations --- if the analysis is appropriate to reflexive considerations. An analysis is not appropriate to reflexive considerations if the analysis focuses only upon predictions, manipulations, measurements, computations, reproducib-ility and consensus. Self esteem is intimately related to self image--- which flows from interactions between self, others, and the community as a whole. Self esteem pertains to both individuals and to communities as wholes. Self esteem is not only a reality within individuals. Self esteem exists within communities as wholes. In both instances self esteem is intimately related to the self image of the individual and of the community as a whole. If there are incongruities between the self image of a person or a community on the one hand, and and the reality of the person or the community on the other hand --- there is cognitive dissonance within. If the image is one of having a high level of competency and self confidence and the reality entails the appearance of incompetency and timidity---there is cognitive dissonance within. There may be efforts to conceal both the lack of congruence and the cognitive dissonance. Such efforts expand the scope of the disintegration. Wise and prudent self-regulation within persons and communities depends critically upon reliable feed-back- loops which provide accurate data about what is happening relative to the self-image which may serve as an anchor and/or rudder. If dishonesty about self and other becomes a tool for dealing with incongruity and cognitive dissonance, it becomes impossible for self/community to be well informed in reliable ways-- -and disintegration expands. Healthy people and healthy communities live in terms of dynamic self images which promote dynamic: stability, adaptability, flexibility and self-correcting procedures which enable healthy people and communities to transcend the limitations of current paradigms. Instead of being brittle in standing against the winds of change in the environment---dynamic self images are robust in tough ways which bend even while standing firm. Being against all change in self and other is being brittle and prone to breakage. Self images of persons and communities entail boundaries between selves; as individuals and also between selves and communities as wholes. Healthy boundaries are not sharp, but fuzzy. Healthy self images of persons and communities entail dynamic respect for boundaries which help to make clear the limited ranges of each private domains which should not be invaded without invitation and welcome. Seeking to control what takes place within private boundaries generates disintegrative tendencies all around. People who seek to control what is within private boundaries thereby promote disintegrative patterns of attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, assumptions, thinking, feelings, and behaviors. Heightened levels of self righteousness on the part of individuals and communities do not help anybody to transcend such disintegrative patterns. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================