I offer my obeisance to you, Rev. Sri. Om Swamiji🙏🕉
Never realised that self worth is such an esteemed gift. Owing to the stressful times as of today, and even otherwise, incidents of youngsters taking drastic steps to end their life, depression seeping in quietly, our expectations meeting failures…Joy, happiness, peace are made to look like silent spectators.
This week Om Swamiji’s post on ‘The simple Truth’ stirred within, the innate hard reality of what life is!
It made me wonder, as to how we truly conduct ourselves throughout our life. Since childhood we were taught and given lot of knowledge on the wisdom of self respect , dignity, pure love, pure intent, kindness, compassion , discipline and many other virtues but, the wisdom of self worth , self love, somehow feels amiss or its vaguely given a faint corner to sit , amongst all the other virtues.
The reason could be endless but most of the times, giving importance to the self is mistaken as being selfish, or self-centred, and is made to appear like a demon who is hungry for grabbing attention , which is not the case. And we keep allowing many such inflicting thoughts and accusations of others on us. Eventually these thoughts form up a deceiving story on the Self.
Sometimes hushing a small child of his natural curiosity, putting him in comparison to others, comes naturally to us and our being impatient or us situationally worked up, we miss out majorly in not making the child understand his own precious worth. In other words we have conditionally eased ourselves too by perceiving, that this is how the society/ world functions and pass the same conditioned message to all around and to our children too. I remember my childhood times, that we could never question or reason with our parents too much, for the only reply that would come was… “we never questioned our parents,and that’s the way it should be”. Period!
Eventually, to fill this void of getting acknowledged or praised , the child too, learns to please others, suppressing his quest, and start seeking attention the same way from outside , who would make him feel worthy or unworthy. Sadly, which actually was his own graceful domain ,now is in the hands of others. The journey of how we perceive ourselves now depends on how others view us.
We learn to master our life with a sense of limited belief, in our achievements or accomplishments, ( be it a career , homemaker etc.) for even if we reach the top or excel well, give our 100 percent , we always keep doubting our abilities because of our very own gripped nature, waiting for a validation or acknowledgement from the outer world. Slowly, it does take form of an energy of inadequacy within, and it’s the same energy we start throwing out in the world around us, which keeps re-bouncing back in patterns , during the process of our growth.
In later stages of our career or once we are settled this same energy plays at every step, and we are treated indifferently or pushed behind by people and conditions outside, which leads to even working hard on the process of pleasing others all the time.
The comparison farming:
We compare our weaknesses to the strengths of others. Why? We put others up and ourselves down , Why? We torture ourselves with our own expectations, demands and fears, Why?
All kind of mental chatter good or bad goes on:
I’m not capable enough , not experienced enough , am not adequate , what if I fail/ excel, am not good looking, oh, I look too old/ young, I feel incomplete, undeserving, or it’s too late to take up my passions etc. and slowly we start to become our own worst critic, many a times getting into this weird cultivated comparison and competitive trip of the human Universe. The crop of outward dependency growing insanely.
Not realising that it’s not important to be perfect, if others are more smart or creative, what’s the big deal, why should you struggle or keep boggling your mind to become big because of others expectations from you . You don’t have to be perfect or right in other peoples eyes and perspective all the time, for that’s like living a rented life with your ownself . Just because you don’t do something marvellous should not hamper your own growth or psyche day in and out.
Creating our own Self- worth:
Self worth leads to Self Love, which is of utmost importance. It’s like treating your self with the same care , of being generous, tolerant and compassionate as we treat others, fearlessly and without inhibition and not getting anxious as to how others are perceiving you. We can recognize and celebrate ourselves as valuable people, equal to everyone else, and so are our thoughts and talents . But if we only keep allowing other people’s expectations most of the time, we’ll struggle throughout our life to find our self-worth. Unfortunately many of us have mastered to be extremely skilled outside and keep postponing or overlooking to master the inner skills, which is the vital force of our very well being.
I would like to share A little Zen story here…
After winning several archery contests, the young and rather boastful champion challenged a Zen master who was renowned for his skill as an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable technical proficiency when he hit a distant bull’s eye on his first try, and then split that arrow with his second shot. “There,” he said to the old man, “see if you can match that!”
Undisturbed, the master did not draw his bow, but rather motioned for the young archer to follow him up the mountain. Curious about the old fellow’s intentions, the champion followed him high into the mountain until they reached a deep chasm spanned by a rather flimsy and shaky log. Calmly stepping out onto the middle of the unsteady and certainly perilous bridge, the old master picked a far away tree as a target, drew his bow, and fired a clean, direct hit. “Now it is your turn,” he said as he gracefully stepped back onto the safe ground.
Staring with terror into the seemingly bottomless and beckoning abyss, the young man could not force himself to step out onto the log, no less shoot at a target. “You have much skill with your bow,” the master said, sensing his challenger’s predicament, “but you have little skill with the mind that lets loose the shot.”
This profoundly speaks volumes, to however skilled one is from outside , in any sphere of life , the skill within anchors a solid grip in keeping both the outer and internal influences in balance. People who have a high sense of self-worth just don’t want other people to be interested in them, but they’re passionately interested in themselves.
The right Company and letting go matters:
It helps one immensely to choose and gather essence of people with healthy self worth , as they are ever willing and freely sharing their life experiences, full of positive attitude towards life, uplift you and many times guide you well to face and deal with life and it’s situations with clarity. . Letting go of the parts of your self-worth that are based on opinions of others since childhood be it your parents, teachers , friends at school, or even the ones in our day to day surroundings, should no longer determine who you are as a person. Some of those feelings are really difficult to let go, but once we do, it strengthens our own path to not only our success, but our creativity too.
The key here is ..Once we start trusting our own feelings, we automatically start to see and deal with, both the high and lows of life, and not succumbing to unnecessary demands of others and respond better.
A famous quote here by Lao Tzu…
Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.
Self worth vs Self esteem:
Self-worth is the belief, our very foundation that you are loveable and gracious regardless of how we evaluate our traits. Our self-esteem on the other hand fluctuates (as it inevitably does for everyone)or could crash down many times in our lives making us feel weak and unworthy, however goal driven or successful we are, to the point of even giving up totally. But if we have truly embraced and solidified our self worth, even if we fall or stumble, hit rock bottom or face any rejection or failures in life , or feel that immense pain, or get into depression or suicidal tendencies , this very core of our self worth would rise like a Genie each time and open our innate treasures , of how capable, valuable and good we are, re-charging and strengthening us further to venture into yet another newness awaiting. Self worth is purely filled with the belief that we are ever loveable and ever-valuable and nothing is ever lost with immense faith within.
A very beautiful note was mentioned by G. Hibbert.
Think of a child. You know how they just believe they’re good and loveable and valuable? They “know who they really are.” I was at a field trip yesterday and the leader asked, “Are there any artists in the room?” Almost every hand went up. That’s not because they have had experiences that tell them they’re good artists or even because they’ve somehow proven it to the world—they’re only 5! They believe they’re artists because they simply know they are of worth and have great potential. They haven’t had a chance yet to believe otherwise. We need to get back to that childlike sense of who we are, that deeper knowing that we matter just because we are.
Yes, let’s preciously keep the childlike spirit alive in us. Let’s cherish life in a better light , Serving well, with our ever glowing Self Worth…as the saying goes smilingly…” You Matter!”
Food for the soul is our dear and Revered Swamiji’s ever smiling reminder ..”Live, Love, Laugh, Meditate, Let go”….Let’s live it! 😊🐄
I would like to extend a big thank you here, to my dear son Karan Singh, who is wholeheartedly serving humanity as a dedicated doctor, with a smile, in these crucial times, miles apart from me in the U.K. and yet like a true friend , keeps motivating me to write and pursue my passions.
Thank you all immensely, for giving your precious time in reading this post.
pic courtesy: Matt Tommey.