mythification and low self esteem

Conformity is trying to be like anybody else. Being a grey member of society. Imposed by a system of religion or by nation state. You are indoctrinated by the system from birth, by your upbringing and education. It makes you a proud member of society.

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But it has many back sides.

Let’s have a closer look at the mechanism of mythification:

Extraordinary human beings must be put on a pedestal. They could never have achieved what they did by ordinary means. They were chosen by God or helped by aliens, or by demons, or were specially blessed at birth with magical powers or will power or love for the people, or they were the 100000th incarnation with a background of aeons of experience, not erased at birth, …. [you name it]. The entire biography is changed in favour of this person, as an extraordinary being from birth (or even before) till death (and often after).

This belief does deny the saint or hero her/his status as a personal achievement, a realization of her self.

But not only that, it makes it also impossible to achieve anything like that by the believer in the myth.

Many people remain stuck at the level of conformity, even if their religion or nation would promote otherwise. This can be due to authoritarian parents or schooling.

These people will if necessary create a myth themselves around anyone or anything that goes above their own self imposed system. Likewise, they will deny themselves to achieve anything out of the ordinary.

Is this just one mechanism behind low self esteem? Or is most (if not all) low self esteem a consequence of an authoritarian upbringing on any scale (family – tribe – nation – religion – … ) ?

[added later] This is one interesting link, but there are many more (a.o. in the comment section): http://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-secret-to-high-self-esteem/. In this article Susie talks about having your own values, leading to integrity, but in an authoritarian society, you’re not supposed to have them of your own …

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11 thoughts on “mythification and low self esteem

  1. It’s interesting that Louise Hay’s affirmation for depression is
    “I now go beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.” Reading this post just reminded me of that.

  2. Yes. Like putting a person (or saint, etc) on a pedestal can be seen as a “cop out”, so one can then say that they themself could never achieve as much, then don’t even try. Lack of self-esteem, and/or taking an easy way out?

  3. Fitting in and conformity– when one has a mental illness this is an impossibility– unless one puts on a show and that is exhausting. Healthy self-esteem seems a goal to work towards in one’s life if one does not have it. Some say one cannot love another unless one loves oneself.

    • .. I don’t think that a healthy self esteem ever comes by itself. If it comes from values that we appreciate, we first have to discover them. They will be somewhat different from society’s values, and the ones our parents gave us. Moreover, this is not a constant. Living your own values is a work of life. If you succeed in finding your values, and to live somehow by them, a health self esteem will slowly but steadily build up.
      I think that if you live by your own values, you will probably love yourself, but you can also love yourself if you don’t succeed in doing this. I think it is very true that if you love yourself, it is much easier to love someone else for who that person really is and not out of dependence, infatuation, admiration or even fear .. (which in all 4 mentioned cases isn’t love at all)

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