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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Know Thyself

Know Thyself; Finding Self Acceptance[1]

         The ancient Greeks encouraged us to know ourselves; that is to work toward accurately looking at our own action, motivations and feelings.  Many of those focused on this idea also emphasized the need for positive self-regard, which is seen as a central feature of mental health as well as characteristic of self-actualization, optimal functioning, and maturity.  Life span theories also emphasized the importance of self-acceptance of self, including our past lives.  Both Erik Erickson’s formulation of ego integrity and the Jungian individuation emphasize the kind of self-acceptance that is notably richer that the standard views of self-esteem.  It is a kind of self-evaluation that is long-term and involves awareness, and acceptance of, both personal strengths and weaknesses.
         Having a purpose in life means having to effectively cope with life travails and suffering.  Gordon Allport, one of psychology’s most important theorists, held that having a clear comprehension of life’s purpose is central to life satisfaction.

[1]  C.D. Ryff & B.H. Singer (2008) Journal of Happiness Studies  DOI 10.1007/s10902-006-90190

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