November 20, 2009

"The Pursuit of Happiness Becomes True Happiness"

I Love this.

agree with much of it

by Norm Ephraim, Ed.D.

"Let’s face it. We all want to be happy. The pursuit of happiness is a common pursuit. We all realize, sooner or later, that outer success does not produce lasting happiness.

So what does? Loving ourselves and loving others. In fact, we can only love others authentically when we love ourselves.

So why is it that some people seem to feel self love easily, while others spend their lives searching in relationships or career accomplishments to find it? While it may seem cliche, the answer does seem to point to experiences in childhood.

What we know as self esteem begins, originally, in the esteem parents have for their children. Through the simplest acts of touch, attention to feelings, and guidance toward accomplishment, a child comes to see their own worth reflected in their parents’ eyes. They see themselves as love-able i.e. worthy and able to be loved.

These feelings are so powerful that they have been found to influence longevity. When through various forms of abuse and neglect a child fails to get this mirror of love, two things happen. First the child begins to take in the feeling of defectiveness or un-loveability. Since, to a child, a parent is God, parental abuse and neglect (including insensitivity to feelings) is experienced as justified. "If mommy or daddy treats me this way, it must be my fault."

A second thing also happens. Children are masters at devising strategies to get love or prevent abandonment. A common "protective strategy" is perfectionism. "If I'm perfect, then mommy or daddy will love me."

The search for perfection can become a lifetime one, whether it be for the perfect partner, the perfect accomplishment, or the perfect amusement or "high." But the result will always be disappointing. Nothing can replace self love.

Is there hope for those who didn't get enough love in childhood? The answer is a resounding yes!!..."

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