Dealing with Low Self-Esteem and Shame, Conclusion


This article is the conclusion of a four-part series on low self-esteem and shame, written exclusively for by Richard Hartnett.

Click here to read Part 1

We have seen that low self-esteem and shame originate in an experience of disapproval and are sustained by the fear it instills. We all want to feel good about ourselves, and when other people deprive us of our sense of affirmation, then we need to seek it elsewhere. We begin by recognizing how we have suffered from being disrespected so much, and we discover how we have perpetuated the problem by internalizing disapproval in the form of self-hatred.

To regain our self-respect, we need to find an internal source of affirmation. We accomplish this by developing an active dialog with our Healthy Self, or its equivalent. In this way we connect with the ultimate Source of our life that cares for us unconditionally. Because we are all expressions of this Source, we will no longer be vulnerable to feeling unwanted or unworthy. Instead, we will discover how much we are cherished as instruments through which the Source can care for all its creation.

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Awaken your Healthy Self - the part of you that connects you with your creative forces

Give you many new insights and tools to restore your health and self-respect

Offer you exercises, dialogs, and meditations to awaken an awareness of the Source of your healing and creativity

Give you the confidence to defeat the destructive forces in you

Enable you to find your own spiritual path and have a real spiritual awakening

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Richard G. Hartnett, MA, MS, LCADC is a former Jesuit priest who now lives with his wife, Kathy, by a lake in northwestern New Jersey. He has served as the chaplain at Hazelden New York, pastoral counselor at the Chemical Dependency Department of the International Center for the Disabled in NYC, and continuing care counselor at the outpatient Chemical Dependency Program of High Focus Centers in New Jersey. Currently he maintains a private practice in New Jersey. He is the author of The Presence at the Center, Renewing Your Fourth Step, The Three Inner Voices: Uncovering the Spiritual Roots of Addiction and Recovery, and Sobriety and Inspiration: Entrusting Ourselves to the Source of Our Healing and Creativity.

We'd like to thank Richard Hartnett for sharing his wonderful words of wisdom


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