Anthony Carter

Do You Feel Bad Because You No Longer Dream?

Filed By Anthony Carter | October 16, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: goals, Jill Scott, Margaret Cho, self esteem, self love

"Just because you have a nightmare doesn't mean stop dreaming" -- Jill Scott

chess-dream.jpg"For us to have self esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue" -- Margaret Cho

So much of my time has been spent learning to re-parent myself.

As a black intelligent gay man, I have spent years learning to hate and distrust my opinions and thoughts and almost as many years learning the opposite. In an effort to move our lives into ones of our own creation, nowhere do we get more tripped up and squashed than in the arena of feeling bad about ourselves/feeling unworthy (to dream and invent ourselves).

Much like being mired in the belief that things will not work out because they didn't before (creating our lives from the standpoint of disappointment) and the welcome distraction of relationships that allow and encourage confusing love with care, feeling bad about ourselves lets us off the hook and provides a wonderful set of excuses.

If I am depressed, too tired, too confused or too "whatever" then I can give up early and often.

When I have felt bad about myself or some life changing decision that I screwed up (when you are 20-25 every decision carries a healthy dose of doom and gloom), it is rarely about what is presently going on. Instead, I am worked up because of a past decision.

What I am suggesting is an all out revolution. A revolution that at its center involves taking a break from feeling bad about yourself and then naturally moving into feelings of worthiness.

Often times those of us who live and move from our hearts' desires and dreams (the ones who have the capacity to imagine a different world and can actually "see" it) are ridiculed by well meaning but ignorant and frightened adults.

We are told to be less, do less and dream less. Another way to look at this is the indoctrination to mediocrity which entails systematic and deliberate humiliation which always leads to "feeling bad about who we are". It is particularly difficult to move toward my goals and dreams when each time a step is taken in that direction, I have to fight against a voice that says: "Watch out," "Oh my God," or the always popular and highly effective, "Don't!"

When I first began seeing a therapist years ago, I suggested he read a book on shame.

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