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Previous: Summary


        Please remember that there are many ways to tell this story - talking about Pride often triggers interesting responses in all of us,               and you may need to rewrite this for yourself.

"Pride goeth before a fall" yet we must learn to have Pride in ourselves. How seemingly contrary!

In many ways our Pride and Ego are closely related. 

Ego is often talked about in many ways, but for the purpose of our discussion, Ego is the centre of our consciousness, the "I" in "I am me", our sense of self. Ego can also as being like then centre of of our vision, where we only focus on the very centre, or like using a small flashlight to examine the contents of a large warehouse. But if Ego is the centre of our conscious, what is the centre of whole self - surely we are more than just our consciousness? Good questions to explore later.

Maybe it is best to think of our Pride as a battery backup that both stores and distributes our mental energies. Sometimes our energy runs flat and we have little energy to do anything. However, sometimes we can have too much pride, with our head bursting and ready to be popped by those around us. Again we need to have a balance, but where does pride begin?

When we are born, we are totally unable to look after ourselves, and depend on others (usually our parents) to feed us, clean us and keep us safe. To grow we depend on this, but in growing physically, we also develop a awareness of ourselves, and a growing sense of self but to do this we also develop an expectation that others will please us. With this comes a sense that we actually deserve our pleasure, are entitled to it, and a belief that we must be perfect. Of course this is exactly what our parents will also tell us. While we are small and continue to grow, we can learn about the world around us in the safety of our family, and our growing ego can expand as our pride expands. This is our childhood sense of self, and childish pride that develops with it.

Of course, our parents are not perfect - as they are actually human! All they have to do is be "Good Enough" as our children also need to learn how to "fail" and deal with mistakes. (Sometimes children do not have enough protection, and develop a poor understanding of who they are. For them, finding the balance of pride can be even more difficult.)

Once we become strong enough to stand on our own two feet in the world, we may leave the family, if only briefly. This usually begins as a teenager. But we no longer live in the comfort of parent's provisions, and our childish pride. Expecting others to please us is, of course, doomed to failure. As is, a sense of entitlement or perfectionism - we can't be perfect, we are human after all.

It doesn't take long for someone in the outside world to see we expect pleasure - so they will deny it - and we are then (seemingly) helpless. They burst our bubble and take away our pride, even wanting us to abandon having our own sense of self and belong to them - whether being broken in "army boot camp", initiation into a gang, or even being the outsider of a new social group.

So we have Expectation and this leads to Disappointment. A common problem for us all. In some ways I believe this amy be similar to the Buddhist problem of Desire and Suffering.

Most of us respond in a fairly typical pattern:

 - Some respond by trying to Please others, hoping, or still even expecting, others to please us back

 - Some respond by becoming angry and blaming others, or blaming and punishing themselves

 - Some respond by becoming scared - running away or avoiding people and things

Often we see a combination of these responses, and we can all recognise many of these patterns in ourselves. Interestingly, these patterns may become quite entrenched in our personalities that cause us to continually having difficulty being dependent on others, hostile to others, or constantly anxious and avoidant.

However, none of these methods helps us to solve the problem of our disappointment, or even gain any pleasure to feed our pride, so our batteries quickly run flat.

Pride and Ego can be a real problem

To help overcome this problem, I believe we must first learn how to please ourselves - and then learn to share our Pleasure with others.

Perhaps this is the same as learning to earn our own money, so we can share, or trade with others we wish.

Where does the Pleasure go?

Many (many)  years ago there was a toothpaste advert that said "you'll wonder where the yellow went, when you use new Pepsodent".

Its the same here - where does our pleasure go when we avoid it? We know that when we our expectations are disappointed that we feel hurt.

However what happens when we succeed? Surely we must seem pleased, but we are rarely allowed to admit it - its called gloating! So where does the pleasure go?

If we are sensible, we allow ourselves to be conscious of the little pleasures in life and allow ourselves to remember what worked - and even give due gratitude to those who helped us. 

But if we take this pleasure for granted, I suspect that it goes automatically into feeding our pride as fuel for our ego. 

True pride however doesn't allow this to happen.


Next: Healthy Pride

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