Monday, April 11, 2011


DISCLAIMER: This one contains more about ME and about MY SELF-ESTEEM, or lack thereof. Me, me, ME!! Gross. Anyway if you're not in a mood to read about my navel gazing, please move on to the next blog, yes? Oh my, yes. END DISCLAIMER

You would not believe how many people have told me they KNOW how to fix the U.S. budget. Some of them even say it would be simple. "Just do this ..." Or "Just do that ..." I love some of the solutions I've heard - other ideas simply startle me. A few scare the bejesus outta me. Whew! But ... it's not the content of these simple solutions that strikes me; rather it's the conviction of the people who think they really know how to fix everything. Wow.

The brilliant Barry of Astrobarry: Astrology for People Who Think contends that self-doubt is just emotional exhaustion, or so he says in his horoscope forecasts this week. After enduring the toxic energy of the final days of last week, during which the deal was struck, at the last minute, that derailed a government shut-down, I, for one, am not only emotionally exhausted but physically and spiritually exhausted as well. I'm toast! Whoa, you would not believe what Capitol Hill felt like by Friday. I'm kind of amazed that anyone has the juice to feel outraged about it all, or convinced that they know the "right" answer, but indeed there are plenty of folks out there full of conviction, outrage, and answers.


Recent thoughts about my lack of self-esteem revolve around the idea that I don't have deep reserves of natal energy (according to the Sufi acupuncturist) so maybe my emotional reserves run dry more easily than others, therefore I can not muster the conviction that other, sturdier folks have in spades. I'm wondering about this.

Another thing that's absolutely true is that I have purposely cultivated self-doubt about my perceptions because ... I talk to dead people. I'm not the first, nor the last human on earth to talk to ghosts, to relate to Brother Wind as a being, work with spirit guides and animal guides, to dance shamanically with energies that no regular person is aware of and such, but it's not acceptable in my society here in the 21st century to believe and behave as I do. In order to stay balanced and keep my good humor, I must constantly remind myself that I might be making it all up. Hence, I create self-doubt, which inevitably picks apart self-esteem, yes?

What is real, anyway? I just read a review of Oliver Sacks' new book about the plasticity of perception. Did you know there is no such thing as color? Our brains invent color in order to help organize the information that enters the brain through our eyes.

After reading that review, I wondered how it is that we came to believe there is one objective reality, how in the world we function as if we're all on the same page. How can anyone be convinced that they know the answer to anything?

Just thinking about all this is overwhelming ... time to jump in the shower, put all my concerns on the back burner, and get ready for work this afternoon. I have three clients in serious need of my utmost attention today. Onwards & upwards!


Meri said...

I am sitting with the idea that if you have self-doubt, it equates to self-esteem issues. I'm thinking self-doubt has more to do with testing reality and intellectual curiosity than it does with a deficit in valuing and accepting self.

The Bug said...

You know, I live with one of the most arrogant people around (he would certainly say that about himself) & yet he is often filled with self doubt. The emotional exhaustion rings true for me about him - but also what Meri said about testing reality. He hardly EVER believes anything concretely - all is subject to change & something more true might be just around the corner.

I, on the other hand, don't go looking for trouble. I believe it until someone convinces me otherwise. Of course, I still have some self-doubt, but I rarely think much about it unless it's a really big deal. Like having surgery - I'll be second-guessing all decisions about that from now until kingdom come.

Reya Mellicker said...

Interesting thoughts, you two. Thanks!

Arrogance is the flip side of low self-esteem, according to my cosmology anyway. It's the same thing.

When I say I have great self-esteem professionally, what that means is that when I'm in the treatment room I am relaxed, focused and at ease. I am fully convinced that I have a gift, even though of course I have my off days, sometimes I don't click with a client at all. I don't get all worked up when I'm not at my best. Seems tidal to me.

But elsewhere in my life I'm unsure about almost everything. The fact that I appear to be self-confident to so many is a sign that I am arrogant sometimes as a defense against my own inner truth.

Like Janis says, I am a work in progress. A piece of work into perpetuity, apparently!!

ellen abbott said...

'reality' looks and feels and acts as it does because all the players on this stage agree at some fundamental level that this is the way it is. we hold reality together. that said, I often think we all, each of us, exist in our own little reality inside the big one. thus you have two people with opposite ideas of how to fix things and both totally convinced of their truth. how anything gets done is beyond me. personally, I don't listen to politicians anymore. it only pisses me off. so much arrogance out there.

Nancy said...

I remember in my college Perception class learning that we don't really see with our eyes. It is a projection on the back of our skull. The brain is an amazing computer. The heart, on the other hand, is what we grow out of - not a brain. The first images you see of new life is a flickering heart. You live from the heart in a world (DC) that lives through the brain. it is bound to cause some friction. But what you learn, and the empathy you feel, is incredible. You teach us to be understanding of those that are trying to do what they believe is the right thing to do - no matter how much we may disagree.

I think what you are feeling is the sense that you may be alone in your beliefs - at least right where you live at the moment. I feel that way often, and during those times I have self-doubt and lowered self-esteem. We need others of like mind to boost our sense of self sometimes. Thank goodness for the blog world, right?

janis said...

Although Im sorry your self esteem is in doubt, I completely get it and as you already know, I can relate. My wonderful Therapist, put things together for me well, and though I didnt grasp it all on Thursday's session, over the weekend it sank in. With all the trauma going on in our country as well as world, on top of my own little corner, it's a sense of doubt & depression grasping EVERYONE.
I cant even begin to imagine, how this week has been in your "neck of the woods".
Hubby was so disappointing after several weeks of preparing and assisting in getting ready the plant he oversees as a International UAW Rep, here in Indy, he was so disappointed in Pres Obama's postpone of meeting Friday. Completely understandable, but even this big strong man was truly giddy about getting to meet & shake hands with our great President (that's right, Im a Obama Lover).
I have to have faith. Faith that we will recover. Faith that things will get better. I have two adult children that I want to see be able to succeed higher than we did.
Love to you my Dear Reya~ and yes..we works in progress must breathe...

Whitney Lee said...

I'm now feeling much better about my own self least i'm in good company.

Reya Mellicker said...

THanks Whitney, and Janis? I too am an Obama lover, oh yeah.

You live from the heart in a world (DC) that lives through the brain. it is bound to cause some friction. Holy cow, Nancy, that is SO true. I'm not alone, definitely not alone, but the current of energy runs in the opposite direction. Those of us who swim upstream (Renee I'm talkin' 'bout YOU) do so together, shoulder to shoulder (or ... fin to fin? If we're swimming I mean).

Ellen I believe in multiple realities. I am truly unclear that there is one objective reality outside of the multiple realities.

If I think too much about it, I get so confused!

Elizabeth said...

This is all too confusing.
However, Reya, I know you are super-terrific in your work.
We cannot all be super-terrific at EVERYTHING at once.
It would be much too tiring.....
so you are excellent at being you.

Oliver Sacks is a really interesting writer.
Did you know that he is face-blind --meaning he can't recognise people by their faces?.....weirder and weirder.

When things get philosophical I start to flounder......and later to weep.

As regards perception

EH Gombrich's ART and ILLUSION is an oldie but goodie......

Have a wonderful spring week


Kerry said...

A quote by C.C. Coulton:

"Silence is foolish if we are wise, but wise if we are foolish."

The dilemma is how do you even know if you are wise? How can anybody be so sure? Nobody can know with absolute certainty the answers to difficult problems. Everybody should have a measure of self-doubt.

I hope you have a good and rewarding day with your clients.

Reya Mellicker said...

What I notice is that the wise are often silent. What to make of that, eh?

Cyndy said...

I too have a lot of self-doubt, which sometimes causes me to cast my opinions aside and go with the flow for the sake of other people's needs. But I always keep an awareness that I decided to do that and I try to remain cheerful about it on some level. I really enjoy the notion of "anything's possible" and there's no way to find out what the possibilities are unless you go with someone else's flow sometimes.

I think you should not be beating yourself up because you happen to have self doubt - it doesn't have to be a negative thing. I think it's because you are so open to the endless possibilities of reality within and outside of yourself. That's probably why you have so many talents in all kinds of different realms. I say celebrate the endless possibilities!

But what do I know?... :)

Jo said...

Look at the different perspectives of your gorgeous photos, Reya!

All the better to understand your aversion to a "one-size-fits-all" solution to anything!

Your last photo, especially, illustrates how important it is to see more than one angle of anything. To wait until you can see the entire issue from all sides and at all angles is an indication of patience and wisdom...NOT low self esteem.

You are mighty, Reya. Embrace it.

Linda Sue said...

No colour?
You just exploded my brain!
There is no self-
until you cut yourself chopping carrots- then it is likely that that self might need a band aid...
No sense in thinking about what is and what isn't, especially if it is bleeding.

Pauline said...

If you ever feel like doubting yourself, just look back at all your photos - you are seeing the world through the eyes of a very in-tune woman!

As for knowing anything, we don't. We just think we do because that makes us feel like we're standing on rock instead of shifting sand (or tectonic plates...)

Self-doubt is not a bad thing, as long as you don't adopt it as your only modus operandi. We should always, always question and watch how our answers change...

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo I do feel mighty, and yet still ... I doubt!! OK ... paradox as truth, I guess.

Hannah said...

I am crazy about that photo of the frames. It is so interesting. I would love a print of it. And the first photo is perfect for this week - pink week! will you post it? puh-leeze?

Natalie said...

To me, self doubt means that we just want to do our best, and are questioning if we have it right yet? That is a good thing.x

Angela said...

I enjoyed not only your ideas, Reya, as usual ( so you must have access to some wisdom, accept it!) but also those of all your smart readers! Wow, what a collection of self-thinking women, nice to meet you, ladies!
What life has taught me is that two opinions of the same thing, as opposite as they may appear, can BOTH be equally true. And therefore I have learned to respect people`s beliefs, even if I don`t agree. No, I am not wise and silent, I TELL them (cannot keep my mouth shut) about My opinion, but I usually see that their truth also has some good points.
It is really amazing how many things function after all, don`t you think?