Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Frigid Last Resort

Part 19 of 30
My Fragile Self-Esteem

Now there’s a cold sight! An ice castle in a cold place surrounded by ice. The flag fluttering in the frigid wind means a bad windchill. If you’re not already frozen to a crisp you soon will be. The horizon is barely in view, but what we see promises little relief except for the questionable shelter of this lonely outpost. Called “Last Resort,” with the unwelcome words that No One’s Home despite the lights being left on. The rest of the text gives a helpful point of policy, then chilly command, while in the end turning suddenly gracious, with a wish that the visitor might stay warm.

That gracious wish first strikes me in a most unpleasant way. Of course the rest is easy to understand; it’s cold, it’s arctic, there's no one home; but it's called a Last Resort. How a place could be a Last Resort with the policy of being closed daily and an admonition to "Go Away", it doesn’t make sense. Yes, we want to stay warm, but under these circumstances, ice and freezing winds, blustery enough to at least ruffle flags, how can we? Closed Daily and being ordered to leave means we will be incapable of staying warm, more likely than not.

Some of the issues, however, resolve themselves, when we remind ourselves that someone suffers with fragile self-esteem. And therefore we can begin to picture this arctic scene less as a literal closed refuge on the frozen tundra, which would be inhumane and criminal, and more as an aspect of my own personal problems. It's hitting me even now. Comparisons in artwork, often in cases like this, mean that one’s condition is comparable to a lonely frigid outpost, not that one oneself suffers with a cold outlook, let alone frigidity. Which is indeed the case, just reminding myself of my purposes here. I was about to sue the North or South Pole, only to discover the problem turned out to be my own!

Where does self-esteem come from and where does it go? Greater minds have explored these issues. However, I don’t know any -- and it could be their much needed therapeutic expertise is locked behind a paywall, because, face it, those with the most expertise feel they need to make money off it. Yes, of course, they started out idealistic, receiving grants, public assistance, and were helped along by well-meaning friends and experts not expecting a thing in return except the natural reward of raising a generation of compassionate helpers. Who now are essentially extorting their corrupt thirty pieces of silver from those who suffer, then standing by clinking it in their pockets while we’re marched to our death, assuming fragile self-esteem ever leads to death.

We would have some questions, pleas for help, were the information more readily available, without having to take out a subscription, blood money. I mean look at me: I give, give, and give some more. Do I regret not getting money? Of course I do. I could always use more money. But my good nature says, Just give away the information. The life you save is worth more than my ability to pay my bills, eat, feed the dog, etc.

Most of your problems with self-esteem are easily cured. Try taking a nap, watch a fun old movie, take an inventory of your talents and abilities. Chances are they’re far beyond what you believe you have. Sometimes self-esteem will be great, sometimes fragile. Just don’t settle on fragile but stimulate your mind, remain open to the goodness of life, and it's most likely what you’ll see most of the time. Which never did me any good, but you could be the exception.

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