Tag Archives: ego

The Self-Esteem/Self-Confidence Paradox

paradox1“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”  -Carl Jung

There are no lies more damaging than the ones we tell ourselves. Living in a city of surface judgments and split-second perceptions, I have felt the weight of my cloak getting increasingly burdensome. The assertiveness of my projections is being tested against the veracity of my core, and that dizzying dance is beginning to take its toll.

Honoring the guts of the gadget is loving the machine. We’re not only luster and smiles, but rusted gears and loosened bolts. Parading ourselves as showroom-ready when we’re barely rental-lot level overtaxes the battery and burns out the engine.

This fight is a daily push-and-pull of expectations and introspective criticism, while strapping on specific masks most suitable for the occasion. I’m a born pugilist, but I’ve taken some critical blows. The dormant ego has long been jockeying for position and there’s significant stress on the dam. Cracks are inevitable.

Stockpiling worry and wonder has done some irreparable physical damage, and my neck, shoulders, and spine are paying the price for a lifetime of carrying baggage beyond my frame’s tolerance. But I will continue to drag those stones up the mountain because my brain has prescribed the pain, and this parading false exterior dutifully follows doctor’s orders.

My hope for all of us is that the road begins to level and the load learns to lighten. Some of that is circumstantial, but the bulk of the work hinges on our willingness to solve a puzzle by compartmentalizing the good and the grime.

The value we place on our stressors is imaginary and fleeting, but the trick is explaining that concept to biological circuitry specifically programmed to tie knots in the rope.

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Men Who Hurt the World

men4aI should begin by disclosing that I am a feminist. However, I am by no means someone who denigrates either sex. To be a modern feminist is to see a patriarchal world as a giant even playing field for any gender. But, it is behind this blurred lens of equality that I routinely witness some terrifying trends of global behavior.

History has rewarded men with inflated egos, wolfish greed, insatiable sex drives, abusive proclivities, and domineering DNA. Tyrants and despots set on slaughtering the less formidable to conquer and subjugate natives in the name of imperialism were hailed as victors and kings.

Compensating for a lack of personal prowess by unabashedly executing or manipulating those who were too weak or ill-equipped to defend themselves was practically a right of passage for autocrats like Mao Zedong.

We live in a world of war and perpetual power upheavals. The notion of simply living in harmony is so far removed from the collective consciousness that it feels like fiction. But, what is the catalyst at the core of the chaos?

Simple. Masculine. Ego.

Perhaps being raised by a single mother has strapped blinders to the sides of my sideburns, but I just don’t get it. Are sex and violence and domination and control such attractive entities that it’s comfortable walking through bloodshed with your ostentatious head held high? Is the suffering of innocent people in the name of greed and avarice so lucrative that it’s worth lacerating the fabric of your own culture?

If the answer is yes, the argument is sewn. There is no extinguishing the fire-eyed focus of a madman. Our only options are to sit quietly on the chessboard, played as pawns for some oppressor’s amusement. Or, we stand up to these crotch-grabbing, gun-toting, yacht-collecting psychopaths and take the power back.

Checkmate.