Poor outcomes can result if cause-and-effect relationships are misunderstood.
It is important to ask why things happen.12
For example, there is the concept of self-esteem, confidence in one’s worth.
Philosophers say, “Everybody is valuable”;
It would be nice if self-esteem could be increased directly.
However, self-esteem is more of an effect than a cause.3
Increase self-esteem by striving for achievement and compassion.4
The causal structure of gratitude is similar;
Gratitude is more of an effect than a cause.
A little gratitude can help jump-start Self energy.
Yet, gratitude must be felt in proportion to what is received.
Anything else is artifice, self-deception.
Those who benefit from a formal gratitude practice5 haven’t received much.
It is a privilege to be an IFS Practitioner.
We have received a great gift.
As psychological healers, we exceed past luminaries by far.6
The gratitude I feel can be overwhelming and incapacitating.
Too much gratitude gets in the way of the work!
It is like walking along the narrow ridge of a mountain
Facing stiff wind and treacherous footing.
Make space for clearheaded judgment;
Perhaps the Parts that feel gratitude can step back and stay in the waiting room.
Only surefooted and true can we salve the knots of tangled minds.
The need for healing is great.
Pearl, J., & Mackenzie, D. (2018). The book of why: The new science of cause and effect. Basic books. ↩︎
Sapolsky, R. M. (2023). Determined: A Science of Life without Free Will. Penguin Press. ↩︎
Kwan, V. S., Kuang, L. L., & Hui, N. H. (2009). Identifying the sources of self-esteem: The mixed medley of benevolence, merit, and bias. Self and Identity, 8(2-3), 176-195. ↩︎
Schwartz, R. C., & Falconer, R. (2017). Many minds, one self: Evidence for a radical shift in paradigm. Oak Park: Trailheads. ↩︎