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Is there such thing as inner peace?

Quentin wrote:

This is my first time on this site. I am 18 years old and trying to find myself. I have been looking back on things from my past and am disgusted. I want more for myself and I'm starting to almost believe that I deserve more too.

I'm confused about everything. I cant always tell right from wrong and often find that I just let things happen to me. I never feel like I'm good enough. Also I realized that I really dont love anyone and how can I when I do not have love for myself. No self respect.

So I guess what I'm asking is...how does a person learn to love their self? How can I forgive myself and let love in? is there any way to find peace?

Dear Quentin

No-one 'deserves' anything. In the real world, life is very much what you choose to make it.

But I believe you have got it absolutely right when you talk about self respect; and recognizing the problem is one big step towards moving forward.

From what you've said, there are two issues here:

1. You are disgusted with things you have done in the past. So start by putting things right. If you cannot undo the exact harm that you did, you can regain your self respect by compensating 'symbolically'.

For example, if you were cruel to animals, do volunteer work for an animal charity. If you stole money, repay it. If you cannot repay directly, then give money to a relevant charity. And pay back more, as money is worth less these days. And so on ...

But above all, resolve to live your life to a higher standard from this moment on.

2. If you do not feel 'good enough', then start trying harder - be good enough. Don't be stupid about it; set yourself realistic targets, not punish yourself by aiming too high. But gradually raise your sights - until you can look the world in the eye.

Then - and only then - are you entitled to self respect. Then - and only then - will you be able to forge strong and honest relationships.

None of us are perfect; but we all need to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror, make eye contact, and say "I'm really doing my best".

It's your life; make it better. No-one else can.

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