Wednesday, August 31, 2011


While I was on vacation last week, I didn't have access to email or the Internet. I could have checked it when we went into town, but I chose not to. I have to say that I didn't really miss it. The Internet is very addicting and I was so surprised how much time I was wasting on it. The culture of the Internet has started to feel very unhealthy to me. All of these websites that feed our egos, but in all the wrong ways. I'm currently reading a book called "Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind," by Kristin Neff. I do have a history of perfectionism, insecurity and being hard on myself, so I'm very excited about this book. I'm learning the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion. Self esteem is based on our self -worth. Our society is so competitive, we get wrapped up in being the best. Our self-worth is based on how we compare to others. So as you can imagine, how we feel about ourselves goes up and down, up and down, depending on who we are comparing ourselves to at the time.

I've known for quite a while that some websites are not good for me and make me unhappy. Looking back on some of my past blogs, I realize that I talked a lot about taking breaks from the Internet, and now I better understand why I did that. I would spend so much time on certain websites that would feed my ego one day, yet make me feel like a loser the next day. But I had to keep coming back for those times it would raise my self-esteem. I have a feeling other people get caught in this same loop too. I realized that I was basing my self-worth on how I was perceived on these websites, to people I don't even know. No wonder I was so unhappy being on the Internet!

It's ridiculous and there is a much better way of being healthy and happy - self-compassion. We are all human and make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Let's forgive ourselves a little. Be nice to ourselves when we screw up or when times are rough. Do what we enjoy, for the sake of enjoyment, not rewards and accolades. Treat ourselves as we would a friend.

There was a very interesting quote in the book,which is actually a quote from another book. It really rang true to me. It is from "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement" by Jean M. Twenge.
"Understanding the narcissism epidemic is important because its long-term consequences are destructive to society. American culture’s focus on self-admiration has caused a flight from reality to the land of grandiose fantasy. We have phony rich people (with interest-only mortgages and piles of debt), phony beauty (with plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures), phony athletes (with performance-enhancing drugs), phony celebrities (via reality TV and YouTube), phony genius students (with grade inflation), a phony national economy (with 11 trillion dollars of government debt), phony feelings of being special among children (with parenting and education focused on self-esteem), and phony friends (with the social networking explosion). All this fantasy might feel good, but, unfortunately, reality always wins. The mortgage meltdown and the resulting financial crisis are just one demonstration of how inflated desires eventually crash to earth."

The Internet seems to perpetuate these fantasies and so that's why I'm stepping away from certain sites for a while. All that being said, I am going to continue blogging. I find it very therapeutic, getting my thoughts down, sharing my passion for food and eating healthy, and doing one of my favorite things - taking photos. I have to feed my husband and myself, so why not share my recipes and ideas and have some fun with my camera? I have all of these thoughts and ideas running around my head all the time and writing about things helps me get my brain "organized" (if that makes any sense). Just writing this blog is helping with my comprehension and memory of the book.

I highly recommend "Self-Compassion." In fact, I think everyone should read it. Everyone deserves to be nice to themselves and enjoy what comes from that. Happiness, peace of mind, serenity.

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