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What Have You Done Today That Makes You Feel Proud?

Hey there Guys,

Today I was alerted to a video titled “Are you Gay and Ugly?”  on a friends facebook wall.  Quite a confronting video, after all ugly can mean so many things. Gay and unattractive? Gay and mean spirited? Gay and homophobic?. Thankfully the video is not nearly as confronting as the title with video blogger Sam Luigi talking about the perceptions and sometimes truth of how gay life can be superficial and nasty. Sam offers a passionate plea to gay men that is beyond the superficial edge.

In response I have created a video response to share my thoughts on why this may be the case and ways that we as a gay community can heal. Caring for each other and most importantly, ourselves.

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As I mention in my video we need to start to look at ways we can increase and value our feelings of self worth. Self worth from the inside out, moving away from the external focus of the past drilled in by homophobia and hatred.

In his post “Self Esteem or Other Esteem?“, Mel Schwartz has some very good points worth noting:

I have come to believe that the term self-esteem appears to be a misnomer. The first half of the expression, “self” would seem to imply that the esteem is derived from one’s self. Yet, if we look closer we may find that very often that self-esteem is actually attained from outside of one’s self. For a student it might come from good grades, for a business person or employee, a promotion or a raise. For most individuals, praise or acknowledgement provide an increase in esteem.

Although all of the above are understandably positive, it is essential to note that they depend upon things external to one’s self. Since the esteem is externally derived from the outside, we can see how we might be inclined to alter our personality and behavior to achieve more of this reward. Admittedly being approved of or valued by others is a natural desire, but we must be cautious not to betray ourselves in order to achieve these results. If we don’t receive the desired outcome, or if it is suddenly removed, how do we then feel about ourselves?

As long as we are looking to others for validation we can never be happy. Mel goes on to say:

Esteem most be generated from within and can then radiate outward. When we focus outwardly for approval, we are seeking it in the wrong place. And in so doing, we subordinate our authentic being in a vain attempt at happiness. Such fulfillment must be dependent and superficial and undermines our personal evolution. This process of external gratification is other-esteem. Self-esteem is not contingent upon others.

As we grow and learn to appreciate ourselves exactly as we are, amazing things happen. Suddenly “things” we used to worry about become meaningless, “dramas” that made us angry start to dissolve. We no longer need to cling to artificial supports we used to think we needed.

So where do we start? Well, let me ask the question again…

“What have you done today to make you feel proud?” If your not sure, take some time out and think, “if I did do something today that made me feel proud, what might it be?”

You might just surprise yourself.

Yours is good health.

Dr George

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