Thursday, January 11, 2007

Make True Images

We have seen that loving ourselves is not an automatic free pass to indulgence and bacchanalia. Alcohol abuse can ruin the liver, wanton sex can kill, overeating can make us obese and diabetic, and so forth. Nor is self-love a door to solipsism; self-delusion is as dangerous as self-abuse.

Who is in the mirror? Is it an image of my father or mother? Is it a person older or younger, handsomer or uglier than the one in my dreams? Can I agree with myself which image is truly me?

Making true images of oneself is a task of a lifetime.

We can be proud only of the true selves we are, with commendable traits, as well as drawbacks. Not "proud to be [put nationality, local identity, race, sex here]," nor "embarrassed to [same categories]." Not what I was born but who I am.

Who am I? Am I a son, a father, a husband? Am I a professional, an employee, a business leader? Am I the guy sitting in the back of the bus reading a novel? Am I all of these? More?

Am I capable of revealing what I know about who I am without fear or concern for the opinion of others? To be who I am simply because that is who I am?

Have I come to believe the false images of myself that I have made to deceive others? If so, I am in trouble.
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