Binra, you have to pay less attention to all that psycho-babble. The preachers of the cult of "self-esteem" are the same ones who go on the network news every Christmas and tell all the parents it's okay to outright lie to their kids and tell them Santa Claus is real.
This in the continuing consideration of self interest on the Daily Bell page (my handle is Binra)
There is in many the attempt to coerce or manipulate self esteem - which fuels a lot of the 'self-help' market... and there is what I am talking about. The only way I recommend uncovering your integrity is to first notice the lack of it. Of course most of us do not feel this would apply to us - and certainly not in our presentation to the world. That's why I use the word consciousness a lot - because the so called 'waking consciousness' is a compartmentalized surface mentality that has an underside and a deep underside.
Even though all aspects of consciousness are fully present and active at all times - the 'waking' attention is a sort of continuity made up of a very specific focus within a vastness that few on the 'surface' have any notion of - and whose idea of sanity is to absolutely protect them from opening the awareness of the More of what is actually present. This surface awareness is mostly identified with the personality structure, and its conditioning is its dictate.
There are many devices or strategies that serve as psychological defences - you can look them up. Our minds use all of them, in all sorts of complex ways, so that our personality experience has a functional continuity of identity. But in a sense it is a virtual self with which we are identified - and which we largely experience as isolated consciousness within a world of fleshed out tangibility. As if it came from the past, arose from energy and matter - as a sort of anonymous amnesiac in a strange world that it's interactions and explorations model internally in order to experience it.
The construction of our world has a level of archetypes running at a template level and this language is deeply symbolic as a sort of primitive parameters of structure through which and within which are all the levels above (I could just as well say below - but the principle is of nested inclusion rather than spatial direction).
Father Christmas is a symbolic fiction - no less than your self image. It may or may not serve a function in any member of society and the nature of that function is determined by the active purpose or desire that it is used within. For the Crassmass industry it means $$$. Personally I feel that when our cultural vocabularies have been hollowed out to coercive intent, I prefer to reclain the Spirit from which all of them come. Presence rather than presents. Sharing the gift of life rather than hype. But I can choose without pushing anything on anyone else and trust that each can find there own way because - actually no one is really forced to believe anything. And what we choose is for our own reasons at the time and they can change because we are not so stuck unless we want to be.
I just watched a bit of a program on the placebo effect. Ordinary skin lotion as an effective painkiller, fake drugs enabling parkinsons persona to move freely, fake oxygen enabling a skier to ascend without sickness at high altitude. There is more to the mind than meets the thinking.
As for where I give my attention - it is to a point of relaxation in simple trust and willingness - and this psychobabble is created fresh - just for you. The official orthodox babble seems solid because you want and need it solid - and I don't want to deconstruct what works, but what is not working is reflected more vividly in our world as a breakdown of communication, as fear and attempt to control or indeed tell outright lies about the economy and the political and social situation. This deconstruction is already underway, and the perspectives that are beneath our presumptions of self and world are where true cultural renewal rises from. Of course it makes no sense to the old way of thinking - or it would BE the old way of thinking!
The genuine presence of you, that you extend to you kids - or your fellow man is real. But the stories you tell are whatever you choose. The idea of giving, to the disconnected, is the idea of losing. But the experience of giving without measure - that is as one is inspired and moved without inhibition or censor, is an intimacy in which everyone involved is blessed. yes people try to fake it. No that doesn't work. Consumerism is the appetite of getting. If we only teach our kids they are getters in a world of getters we have addicted them to the same lie as we protect against exposure.
I don't think what we each believe on surface amounts to very much - but what we hold and share and act from in our heart, which is a symbol and a seat of a unified consciousness.
Consciousness is not really IN the body. The body is IN Consciousness. But the intent to withhold (hide) thought that is too fearful, demands walls, disrupts communication, and then requires an alibi.
Now we're back to a defence mechanism that works to deny anything to awareness that would expose its lack of substance. But associate the form of its expression with its own intent and also with terms of derision, ridicule or invalidation. A large part of this is running subconsciously to the mentality that presumes its opinions are fact and self-evident to anyone of any credible intelligence - for which it presumes itself an example.