My writing style includes bouts of false-arrogance (that I find amusing, if nobody else), and self-deprecation (also usually false). I like to tell myself that under that outward presentation I've got a pretty healthy combination of self esteem and humility going on. I know it sounds contradictory to call oneself humble, but the 12 steps gig I'm working on right now specifically says to be honest about both the good and the bad you find when you look at your life, and I think that with some regularity I'm pretty aware of my weaknesses, dependence, and blessings.
Unfortunately, I think when I dig deeper yet, I find lots of evidence that my life is filled with too much real arrogance and simultaneous unhealthy and unfounded poor self regard. In a weird way, I do think this contributes to my attractions. It's as if I can't really believe honestly within myself that I'm worthy of another man's respect and love. I mean, what do I really have to offer? My self scoffs and says, one way to connect (for someone as pathetic as you) is through sex. Everyone loves sex. It's a way to be loved. Yes, this sounds like I'm parroting Nicolosi, but it actually just popped into my mind through my honest introspection and it wasn't until I just typed it that I recognized the Nicolosi connection.
Let me hasten to add that I don't think that view of being accepted through sex makes any sense. So, I really do have a pretty healthy view of relationships and my own value... but all that cognitive self awareness sometimes conflicts with the the way I act. All I can figure is that I really do have some self-loathing in hidden places and my disrespectful subconscious is sometimes winning the war.
Whenever I consider myself, I'm very critical. When I read my journal, I'm embarrassed and want to burn it. When I think back to my mission I want to send apology notes to all my companions. When I think of achievements and public appearances, I always criticize the way I looked, the things I said, or ... something. Who would love me, I wonder? I don't know that I would love me if I met myself.
I think my self-conscious believes it's somehow indecent to give myself credit for anything. The good things are just meeting minimum expectations. The bad are horrible deficiencies. I have inconsistent expectations of myself and everyone else... and I don't know what they should really be.
I've been thinking about this for a few days now, and I still can't really tell what I'm getting at. But I went ahead and posted anyway because it jives a bit with what ATP was talking about today. I look at him and think, he's a great guy! Smart, funny, attractive (and no I'm neither joking nor hitting on you...). I wonder why he can't see it. And I can believe good things about myself with full certainty, but there's some deeply influential traitorous imp in my brain that will never be fully convinced.