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Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect, he ceases to love entirely.

So says Fyodor Dostoyevski, one of (I think) the most insightful writers of the human condition, within The Brothers Karamazov.  And, of course, he’s right.

The most dangerous lies are those we tell ourselves.  It is these lies which can–and will–adversely affect us, let alone other people.  We tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not holy enough to find an ideal companion to travel with us through life.  That we’re not worthy of the warm friends we have.  That we’re a sham.

I tell you now, this is bollocks.  There are enough enemies in the World already. There is no need to add your own self to the list, and thereby commit yourself to doom.  Yet people do this all the time.  I can’t seem to figure out a psychological reason for it–it seems so detrimental to us that I find it hard to believe it could be any form of survival mechanism, especially when we’ve all seen people who believed the lies they told themselved a little too much, and thereby did horrible things to themselves. (If you ever get tempted to do that, Please, seek help from your friends and family.  They care for you)

A man I knew once told me that he deliberately cultivated this idea of self-hatred, because, otherwise, he felt he would commit the most grevious sin of all: the Sin of Pride.  Yet this is not true, for making yourself into one of the most debased creatures (in one’s own eyes) is just as much a pride thing as making yourself into the very best person in the universe.  This is just one reason why pride is so dangerous.

Try and stop hating yourself.  Don’t listen to the lies you tell yourself.  Which, of course, is easier said than done.  Even I can’t do it some days.

The key that seems to work for me is to tell myself about the good things I do, the good things I have, the things which I really deserve.  My brain thinks I’m lying to myself, of course, but at least it’s not listening to the real lies, the lies which can kill.