How others perceive and treat us forms a large part of our self-concept. It all starts with how our parents treat us. "a leading theorist in inner child work ... estimates that 80-95% of people have not received the love, guidance, & other nurturing necessary to form consistently healthy relationships and to feel good about themselves and about what they do." Kneisl CR. Healing the wounded, neglected inner child of the past. Nurs Clin North Am 1991; 26(3): 745-55.
That's a shaky start! But if you're intelligent, sociable, wealthy, good looking, talented, well-connected and lucky, things can work out pretty well. For most of us, only a few stars align - briefly. We simply can't count on externals - including people - for lasting satisfaction. However dukkha & anicca are pretty reliable.
On one level that's a bummer, on another it's fine. Obviously we gradually let go of the first, and learn to stabilize in the second - if we don't we become progressive more bummed-out with life as it is. If we do, quality of life continuously improves, despite the fact that our stars' alignment keeps deteriorating.
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