Thursday, October 8, 2009

Appreciating Yourself




Have you ever met—in real life or online—someone who has very similar interests to your own?

Thanks to blogging, I've met someone like that, and I'm sure we'd like each other. His name is Alden Smith. We're the same age. Like me, he loves sailing, kayaking, and bicycling. He's invested his career educating young children. And he's interested in philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. When I found Alden's blog it felt like I'd found someone who's living almost the same life as mine, just in a different part of the world. Alden lives in New Zealand; I live in California.

Perhaps some day, Alden and I will have the opportunity to meet in real life. It would be quite a thrill.

But here's an odd thing to contemplate: I don't particularly appreciate in me the very same qualities I would so readily and naturally appreciate when I find them in someone else.

Isn't that odd?

I think it's a good exercise in self-appreciation to realize that you would really like yourself if you had the chance to make your acquaintance as a friend.

Take a minute and imagine that you could meet someone so very much like you.

Wouldn't you like them a whole lot? Yes, you would. So, give that gift to yourself: like yourself for being you.

20 comments:

Sarah Lulu said...

What a clever idea ....hmmmmmm I'll have to try.

Delwyn said...

Hi Dan

now that's an interesting tangent...I wonder if I met her I would think she spends too much time blogging...

Happy days

jinksy said...

I might appreciate parts of my 'doppleganger', but oh, how I'd want to change other bits! Isn't this because we all know our bad habits as well as our good?! At least, change remains an option at all times, which is our saving grace! :)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Dan: Beautiful and much-needed post. So many think they have to be perfect to appreciate themselves. We don't have to be perfect to deserve love. Others, I have noticed, think it self-indulgent to appreciate oneself - when actually it borders on self-destructive not to.

I'm glad you found such a kindred spirit for yourself. It does feel good to 'resonate' with someone else.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Sarah Lulu, I am confident that you would like yourself a whole lot, especially the new and more adventurous and trusting person whom you've become.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Delwyn,

I would think you'd stand in awe of her blogging skills and the contribution she's making to the world through her online artistry. You'd wish you could match her online artistry! And she'd feel the same way about you, don't you think?

Dan

Dan Gurney said...

Jinksy, yes exactly. I think our tendency is to focus to narrowly on our imperfections and inadequacies while neglecting to appreciate all of our good qualities.

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, well said. I remind myself all the time, "I'm only one guy." I love myself in spite of (maybe even because of) my human imperfections. They're all a part of me.

It reminds me of what Shunryu Suzuki once said, "You're all perfect just as you are. And you could stand a little improvement."

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Dan! What I look for in another person is kindness. I keep thinking that if my karma is projectng kindness, it will surely come back.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Margaret--

Thank you. I've noticed, too, that we tend to get back energy similar to that which we put out. It's surely not a ironclad rule, but it's a tendency. Plus, it feels good to be kind without any expectation of reward.

Dan

Dayne Gingrich said...

Very good post. There definitely isn't enough of this.

Energy flows where attention goes!

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Dayne. I think each of us is more likable than we give ourselves credit for.

Jennifer said...

I LOVE THIS POST!! I read your comments on The Whole Blooming World and just had to come visit. Now, I know why!!! Thank you for this beautiful post. I will be back to read more and look forward to reading your next post as well.

steven said...

hello dan - if i'm puzzled and sometimes confused by who i see myself as i can still like who i see right? or does the puzzlement and confusion suggest a lack of self-appreciation?! the puzzlement and confusion has to do with where i have placed steven in this world. where i have left him. how i have compelled him to struggle - sometimes unnecessarily. hmmmm.have a peaceful day. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Steven. Who is it that is puzzled?

Would you not like a person who is puzzled and confused and struggling to understand himself? My guess is that you would!!

That puzzled person would share so much in common with you in your quest to look deeply into your (his) experience.

For me, this whole idea of meeting "myself" gets a bit fuzzy because as a Buddhist I have come to embody (I think "embody" is the right verb) the concept of non-self.

Dan Gurney said...

Jennifer, thanks for the kind words and for stopping by.

Being Me said...

This is really insightful, and quite true.
Thank you for the idea.
BM

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Being Me. You're welcome. I'm happy that you commented and that you found this post helpful, or, at least insightful.

Alden Smith said...

Dan as usual you write with wisdom and insight. Thankyou for the kind things you have about me in this post - it is an honour to be called a friend. :-)

Dan Gurney said...

Hey, Alden, thanks. I like your writing, too. You're my Southern Hemisphere twin in so many ways.