Monthly Archives: April 2023

Ep92 Encore: The Myth of Self-Esteem

Father Len exposes the dangerous effects of trying to boost self-esteem with excessive or false praise and compliments.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom.

  • “Self-esteem is like a four letter cuss word that when you say it you need to wash your mouth out” – Father Len
  • Father Len illustrates the negative effects of self-esteem by sharing the story of his encounter with a young man and his big dog during his quest to rid the church grounds of dog poop.
  • Our current culture promotes a competition to become the greatest victim.
  • Religion is about becoming a better person, not making you feel good about yourself.
  • Religion is about being in a relationship with God and others built upon the virtues of love, compassion, and justice.
  • People with self-compassion gain grit and determination and are more likely to pick themselves up after a failure and try again.
  • Attempts to boost self-esteem with excessive or false praise and compliments produces fake self-esteem that rejects critical or negative feedback capable of producing personal growth and success.
  • Fake self-esteem based solely on feelings of “I’m special and smart and beautiful and people love me” is fragile and produces social comparison and constant anxiety.
  • Kids become bullies to boost their own self-esteem.
  • Fake self-esteem prepares you to become a victim.
  • Real self-esteem based on achievements and making and keeping commitments is important for emotional and spiritual health.
  • Real self-esteem embraces failure and believes everyone can improve.

We welcome your questions and comments:

Links to Podcasts from Wrestling with God Productions

Ep91 Encore: Commitments, Happiness, Love and Having Kids

Reacting to why actor Seth Rogen says he and his wife don’t want kids, Father Len explains the relationship between making commitments, happiness, love, and having kids.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “It’s not an easy haul having kids. You can’t be narcissistic. You have to give yourself over to parenting. Kids have got to be the priority.” – Howard Stern
  • God asks of us that our lives be life-giving.
  • Living life for yourself, free from commitments, is an immature definition of happiness.
  • Commitments lead to greater happiness. Lack of commitments lead to greater unhappiness.
  • You’ll never find yourself through your feelings and aspirations. What defines you is your commitments.
  • “Without being bound to the fulfillment of our promises, we would never be able to keep our identities; we would be condemned to wander helplessly and without direction in the darkness of each person’s lonely heart, caught in its contradictions and equivocations.”-Hannah Arendt
  • Being unable to settle on something means not being settled ever.
  • People willing to commit to marriage and having children almost always test out happier than those who don’t.
  • The world tells us self-fulfillment comes from being free of commitments. Truth says fulfillment comes after commitments.
  • People who avoid commitments and constantly pursue pleasure in pursuit of an easy life tend to end up bitter and unhappy.
  • Christ challenges us to not to choose the easy way, to make a sacrifice and give ourselves away.
  • Life is not supposed to be easy, but rather a great adventure.
  • Pursuing pleasure as happiness always ends up in unhappiness.
  • Each year since 1972, there has been a gradual decline in people’s overall happiness in the United States. This despite the average person spending 22% more on eating out and entertainment, living in homes that have doubled in size, having huge screen TVs, access to the Internet, and social media.
  • The moral question is not whether you should or should not have kids. The moral question is why you would not want to have children.
  • Religion challenges us to look at everything in life and decide what kind of life we want to have.
  • Once you fall in love, you can’t help but want to give yourself away. That’s what real love feels like.
  • God’s perpetual command is to make an offering of our lives, to give ourselves away.
  • Those who don’t know the power of commitment are yet to know what love is.
  • God is a trickster who tricks people into falling in love and willing to sacrifice everything for those they love.

We welcome your questions and comments:

Links to Podcasts from Wrestling with God Productions