Thread: Sam.
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Unread 04-25-2016, 02:29 PM   #86
Senior Member
Posts: 2,442

I realize I often respond with posts about myself -- it's not that I'm narcissistic (I don't think), I just can't tell you what to do, and can really only share my own experience in the hope that if there are no nuggets of inspiration there, at least you know you're not alone.

Now that that disclaimer is done: boy do I understand that. I have gone through so many extended periods of not liking myself. What I've found is that I have needed to differentiate between what is changeable and what is not. Seems like there should be some kind of prayer about that...

The things that are changeable ("crappy... dishonest"), well, those can be dealt with. For me, those things are generally actions or behaviors that make me feel like a hypocrite. So when I get down, I try to figure out ways to modify those behaviors.

The things that aren't changeable ("failed"), well, you were correct to put that in the past tense. That's my word too, and I have spent extensive mental and emotional resources trying to place them in that Bygones section where they belong. I failed to get into three different grad schools, and it pressed my Failure button for an inordinately long time. Didn't help that my best friend was having greater and greater successes the more I failed. BUT. Now, a year and a half later, I realize how stupid it would have been if I'd succeeded. Failure is always relative. And we tend to focus on so many of the wrong things. I'm seeing this now.

We do ALL need to accept ourselves. But do we need to accept ourselves as-is? Not always, in my book. If we're moving forward, making changes that will make us more tolerable to ourselves, it gets easier. If you don't accept yourself, make yourself acceptable. And from my experience, when people don't like me, I think it's because they haven't bothered to get to know me. I know people tend to think that age means we know ourselves, but I might suggest that maybe you just haven't gotten to know Sam well enough?

I think you have a kindness in your heart that a lot of people lack, and that a lot of men won't admit to. I actually like you a lot, as a person, from what I've seen here. And I know we may tend to put a sheen on ourselves when we write, but I think we see glimpses of each other.
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