Zen and the Arrogance of Self Loathing

6 thoughts on “Zen and the Arrogance of Self Loathing”

  1. This is my big problem with martyrdom. Martyrs are often in fact more selfish than the Average Joe or Jane because everything they do is really about their own salvation. Which isn’t to say that good people are automatically unselfish. Good people don’t worry about being selfless enough. It’s simply something you do or don’t do. Facebook and other forms of mass social media have only encouraged pity, self-loathing, and victim mentality – helping breed people who only ever think of themselves, even telling themselves otherwise.

    Great post :D

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    1. Thank you and I agree with your comment 100%! Thats why even on social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr I look for and follow people who are positive and who truly want to make the world a better place. On Facebook I’m obligated to be friends with family members and co-workers who only ever talk about themselves and how the world treats them so poorly and they are so good to everyone. I don’t go on Facebook a lot.

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  2. i am 54 yo, going through a rough as hell patch and dealing with many of the issues you, at much younger age, go you, have identified, isolated and to whatever extent these things can be resolved, resolved. What spoke most to me about your blog was the concept that self-loathers tend to feel like they are “special” in their unworthiness. In other words, “I am so uniquely inept that you could never understand how uniquely inept, I am.” There is great power in this construct and it spoke to me in a very meaningful way. It seems like a much healthier approach is to accept that our problems, unique as they are to us, as not terribly unique in general terms. Or as Shakespeare suggests, “All the world’s a stage,” hence, our problems are no much different than those of people who have come before us or will live long after we do and the only thing that truly changes, as in the bill of a play, are the names of the players. There’s great fear, however, in embracing this equality to all others because we lose our uniqueness, self defeating and painful as this uniqueness maybe. So, kudos to you and thank you for sharing. I am grateful you didn’t think your insights were pedestrian and unworthy of sharing because they truly enlightened me.

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    1. I am so happy that what has worked for me has resonated with someone else. Not that it works all the time, but there are other things to try when it doesn’t. I used to worry about losing my uniqueness just as you described but I have found that even when I normalize my own behavior, my mind still finds a way to put me at the center of the universe. It’s human nature to always see ourselves as the hero of the story because ours is the only perspective we ever see. I’m just trying to give my brain a chance to find another way to be bigger, brighter, and better than others. But like I said, it doesn’t always work. Some days I am still the worst person in the world, but I can at least find some sick comfort in knowing I’m not alone in my self-loathing. Thank you for reading.

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  3. Being self-loathing doesn’t automatically mean you are arrogant. If someone is struggling with something low-self esteem or depression, it’s extremely unsupportive to assume they’re just self-centred and don’t contribute to the people in their lives. It’s very possible to be a loving, supporting person who also has low self-esteem, and it’s unfair to assume the opposite about someone because of something they often can’t control. Perhaps that was your behaviour when you were in that state, but projecting it onto others doesn’t make it fact.

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    1. Oh no, I think you miss understand what I am trying to say here. I don’t mean that they have behaved in a mean or self-centered way. I only mean to counter some of the harsh self-talk by reminding those, like myself, who are suffering from low self-esteem that even in our suffering we place ourselves apart and below others which cannot possibly be true. It’s natural for all humans to think this way but it helps to be aware of it. I’m only suggesting a new way of viewing low self-esteem that may help people gain a new perspective. Of course they most certainly have big hearts, and certainly contribute greatly to the lives of others in profound and positive ways. And they should focus on that and not on how they are MORE awful than anyone else, which is a negative form of arrogance and self-centered thinking. Hope this clarifies and thank you for the feedback!

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