Day 62 - Praise and Humiliation

This is a continuation from yesterday. I just took an extended moment to think about how I've dealt with praise throughout my life. Sometimes it sinks right in, other times, not so much. To me it makes sense that praise is the polar opposite of humility. My ego likes likes praise and dislikes humiliation. But there is something more going on here. I dodge and deny praise. Here, a few points come up:

  1. The thought of others praising me in the future. It's motivating. Also, when I reflect back on praise, it is quite comfortable, satisfying. It's a reassurance of self-worth, where the building blocks are other people...it's pretty messed up. So, my point here is that praise from others in my own mind in a past or future context, is what feels good.
  2. Maybe this praise rejection is an attempt to balance out my ego relative to those around me. My ego wants to be the biggest in the room, but overkill isn't the goal either. So, when praise is sought and rewarded, it sinks into ego. When praise creates a large power imbalance, it's uncomfortable and awkward, probably because I still want to have friends/allies.
  3. When thinking about my childhood, and growing up next to my younger brother, I realize that my ego was at war with his. He started getting praise, I started getting jealous. My ego could not handle being 2nd best, so I took preemptive countermeasures to put him down and be superior in front of the audience in my head. Ego is strange.
To speak more on humiliation: It's an awkward feeling that arises when I realize I'm wrong. It's also when others tell me that I am not on top...this is f r i g h t e n i n g. A few more points are coming up that speak to this:
  1. The thought of being humiliated by others in the past has shaped sizable fears that pushed my personality toward the opposite. It charges my mind to think of how to avoid future humiliation. So, again, it is in the domain of my mind (future and past) when the praise-humiliation polarity has it's power over me. 
  2. In the moment of self-realized humility, it is actually a positive feeling of growth. So my ego likes when it is able to turn itself down, but when others do it...Being humiliated by others is a terrible feeling of nonacceptance. What's interesting here, is that awkward feeling of others praising me, is equal to the awkwardness of others humiliating me...and for the same reason: I want friends around me to be validated by.
  3. Humiliating others, to bring myself up is so dumb. Why did I do that so extensively? Ego wants to win. Perceiving the world through the ego, as most of us do, requires comparison, and a personal investment in one's self image in front of the audience in my head.
My ego needs to be close to other egos to survive. I can only create an image of myself in relation to others. To tirelessly pursue a higher and higher ego status in my own self-judgement...it's much more clear now that this is not what I want to be doing. The only reason I did it to begin with is FEAR. I worked myself up to believe that I'm inFEARior to others and so am less powerful, and so less free. Wow, there's a lot going on there.

Before I get heavily into my ego, I will continue tomorrow with Self-forgiveness and corrective action statements related to praise and humiliation.

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