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ENDORSEMENT IS THE ESSENCE OF RECOVERY

Bridal Veil Falls, Columbia Gorge, Oregon

ENDORSEMENT IS THE ESSENCE OF RECOVERY

Blog by Rob Winike 

 

“Endorse for the effort, not just the outcome.” Endorsement is the single most powerful tool for regaining self-confidence and self-respect. “To not endorse ourselves is to sabotage our mental health.”

“If you apply yourself even if you apply yourself inefficiently, if you apply yourself at all, if you make any reasonable effort, then you are not responsible whether the effort is successful or not.” — MYFMYA Dr. Abraham Low

endorseself

Dr. Low used to compare endorsing ourselves to a freely running stream that eventually leads us from a rocky place to a pool of serenity and peace. It’s an image that can transport us, from insecure thoughts to secure thoughts apart from the symptoms that cause us suffering. What follows are some varied ideas and reactions to my call for “endorsement recommendations” which have been submitted by RI practitioners throughout the Western regions. Here are some quotes submitted by veterans of the Recovery Method, reminding us why endorsement is essential to good mental health. Dr. Low summarized the essence of Recovery with this quote: If we don’t praise ourselves for our little efforts we blind ourselves to our accomplishments.

“Self-endorsement is our brain’s powerful means to add sufficient emotion to intelligence to override the established action pathways of instinct and tradition. It is the opposite of self-blame, which is one of the most common sources of temper.” – Anonymous

Skill in Self-Endorsement

  1. Frees us from dependence on instinct, tradition and human dictators to assume personal responsibility for who we are and what we choose to become.

  2. Is the antidote for blaming others and blaming our self, what we call “guilt.”

  3. Is the necessary prerequisite for love and forgiveness.

  4. Is the source of the patience necessary to attain important long term goals.

  5. Is our means to rehearse, plan, and create prevention instead of impulsive harmful aggression that thereafter requires a “cure.”

  6. Provides the bonus of making our self our own lifelong best friend and traveling companion!

“Failure to endorse is mental health sabotage.” – Dr. Abraham Low

“If you endorse a check you make it worth something. If you endorse yourself you increase your self-worth.” – Lena B.

“A person who endorses himself feels secure. Or, a person who feels secure has endorsed himself. Self-endorsement is so important because the sense of security which it produces makes for sure and determined action.” – Dr. Low, Selections from Dr. Low’s Writings

“We free ourselves to become our own person to the degree we teach ourselves sufficient self-endorsement skills. Good mental health dictates that we must collect, store, share, and pass knowledge forward to become our own person.” – Anonymous

“To not endorse according to Dr. Low is sabotage. We have been blaming and judging ourselves harshly  for so long it has become a bad habit. Endorsement is the antidote for this.” — Lorraine Badurina

“What Recovery teaches you, through its philosophy of averageness, is to endorse your successes and to refrain from condemning your failures. An attitude of this kind permits you to accumulate a vast fund of self-endorsement, which is made to flow in a running stream from your leading predisposition (philosophy) down to your dispositions for total acts, finally to seep through to each separate position taken in every single part-act.” – Dr. Low, Selections from Dr. Low’s Writings and My Dear Ones, p.273

Because of this quote, when I want to remember to self-endorse, I picture a running stream. I tell myself to endorse like a running stream. I keep a little image of that in my mind — “Endorse for the effort, not just the outcome. Tell yourself good job for everything you try to do, not just what you succeed at.” — Manage Your Fears, Manage Your Anger by Abraham A. Low, M.D., © 1995

 What Recovery teaches you, through its philosophy of averageness, is to endorse your successes and to refrain from condemning your failures.  An attitude of this kind permits you to accumulate a vast fund of self-endorsement.” – Selections p. 47

“If you apply yourself, even if you apply yourself inefficiently, if you apply yourself at all, if you make any reasonable effort, then you are not responsible whether the effort is successful or not. …If a patient improves and adds more improvement as he goes along the route of recovery, and a little improvement again and again, although he does not reach the goal of health quickly, but if he improves measurably, then I know he has done his part, although not efficiently, but he has done it.” — Manage Your Fears, Manage Your Anger, p. 13

“Doctor,” she said, “if I feel proud of myself, doesn’t that mean that I am vain instead of humble?” I asked her, “Is a mother vain if she is proud of her child? A wife is she adores her husband?  A citizen if he basks in the glory of his country?”  And I went on explaining that to be proud of actual and realistic accomplishments is desirable and valuable.  — Mental Health Through Will Training, pp.165-166

“Don: I used to buy my medicine from a drugstore in the neighborhood.  The clerk there knows about my condition because I told him  Now I am sorry that I told him because I feel uncomfortable when I have to go there to buy medicine  Finally I needed the medicine badly and my first thought was to put it off.  But then I said to myself, “No, sir.  You know you will be tense all day if you don’t make up your mind to face that clerk.”  So I went and got the medicine, and after than I felt I had done something worthwhile.” — Mental Health Through Will Training, pp. 35-36

“I felt the impulse to rush home and tell my sister that she had been wrong, but that would have led to an argument again and might have given my symptoms.  When I arrived home, I said nothing about my conversation with the salesman and felt proud that I could exercise self-control.” — MH 162

Discussion: “Endorsing means to give ourselves credit for our accomplishments.  It also means to remind ourselves of how we are trying and improving.  We endorse ourselves for using Recovery even when we do not have as much success as we would have liked.    As humans, and especially as nervous people, we often forget to endorse ourselves.  It may seem stupid to have to endorse ourselves for getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, walking outside or doing other simple things that many other people may do without effort or thinking.  But if these tasks require effort and determination, and are a change from previous behaviors, then we endorse ourselves for doing them.”

“Situations in which this spotting could be used include: when I feel like I am not learning Recovery fast enough, when I use Recovery and still have symptoms about a situation, when I can’t think of as many spottings as I would like, when I try to express my feelings without temper and the other person still gets mad at me, or when I intend to go to a Recovery meeting and no one is available to go with me.”

Related Spottings

  1. To be proud of actual and realistic accomplishments is desirable and valuable.

  2. Not to endorse is sabotage.

  3. Try, fail; try, fail; try, succeed.

  4. It is never too late to endorse.”

“But if you consider yourself always wrong yourself – I don’t say somebody else – or you consider yourself wrong most of the time, then you indict your character, and that’s bad. That’s what we call the inner temper. Not temper against anybody outside you, but against yourself, against your own character. If you do that, then you are consistently tense, you can’t relax. Nobody can relax if he distrusts his own character, if he is disgusted with his own character. And, again, since character is a continuous way of behavior – you don’t have character just today and strip it tomorrow – a character is always with you. Since that is a continuous mode of behavior, if you become disgusted with it, angry at it, ashamed of it, then you will be ashamed and angry and disgusted all the time or most of the time. And if you are ashamed of yourself, angry at yourself, if you hate yourself most of the time, then you create tenseness most of the time, and you have a nervous system that stands tenseness very badly. That nervous system of yours is so easily shaken up by tenseness. And if it is shaken up, it develops symptoms, and you are racked by disturbances of your interior. — Manage Your Fears, Manage Your Anger, A Psychiatrist Speaks p. 146

“And memory is fresh yet of the days when I grappled with Lucille, trying to persuade her that the thrill provided by the tantrum is nothing but a momentary exhilaration, certain to be followed by intensified suffering and aggravated symptoms. She listened and seemed convinced, but when the occasion for a temper reaction arose, she craved the thrill and yielded. One day, she came to my office beaming with joy. She told the story of how she felt provoked by a neighbor, how her temper rose, and she controlled it. “After that,” she continued, “I was relaxed and comfortable as never before. I really felt proud of myself.” She had hardly completed the sentence when a shadow settled on her face. “Doctor,” she said, “if I feel proud of myself, doesn’t that mean that I am vain instead of humble?” I asked her, “Is a mother vain if she is proud of her child? A wife if she adores her husband? A citizen if he basks in the glory of his country?” And I went on explaining that to be proud of actual and realistic accomplishments is desirable and valuable.” Manage Your Fears, Manage Your Anger, pp. 165 – 166

“A person who endorses himself feels secure. Or, a person who feels secure has endorsed himself. Self-endorsement is so important because the sense of security which it produces makes for sure and determined action.” — Selections  p. 46

From random unidentified submissions
 “Most of us have a habit of feeling bad about ourselves. We blame ourselves for lots of little things that happen to us everyday. When we blame ourselves for trivialities it causes us tenseness and tenseness gives us symptoms.”

“We deserve to feel proud, to feel good about ourselves, when we work hard to get our mental health. And when we feel good about ourselves we are able to go ahead and do the things we want to do with our lives.”

“Every time we make an effort to get well we should take a moment to remind ourselves that we deserve to feel good about ourselves. Endorsing helps us stop the habit of blaming ourselves. Then we get into the habit of feeling good and believing that we can do the things we want to do with our lives.”

“If we don’t endorse we don’t get all the benefit of the work we do to regain your mental health because we still have the habit of feeling wrong.”

Endorsement Spottings:

  • Endorse for the effort not for the outcome.

  • Sabotage if you must, but keep it to a minimum.

  • Excuse ourselves rather than accuse ourselves.

  • If we are not endorsing, we are blaming ourselves.

  • Tenseness creates symptoms.

  • Beliefs can be changed.

  • Feelings are not facts, they lie and tell us of danger where there is no danger.

  • Don’t take oneself so seriously.

  • Be the flower of culture instead of the weed of temper.

  • Nurture the inner smile of self approval.

Oregon photos thanks to Don and Phyllis Zeck

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