Sunday, February 12, 2012

Concept of Self and Esteem

The concepts of anything self – esteem, confidence, love are all ideas surrounding and supporting the ego. The ego’s perception of being fractured or singular feeds the concept of self and of it’s own lacking. It is a structure born of duality. Duality is the idea that the mind and body are distinct. The ego believes it is separate from everything else and this is how we perceive our reality – a reality that is subjective and personal. I would invite you to consider where and why these constructs of self exist. If you are feeling like you have low self-esteem, place some attention on the role of your ego at that moment. These feelings may arise because it is your ego at the forefront, prescribing its insufficiencies as your own. It is the nature of the mind to see itself as less than because it is always comparing itself to others. This game of comparison dictates that one must be better than the other. Without such foolish judgments, we would have no experience of low or high esteem. Our esteem would simply be. Ultimately, our esteem or confidence is a neutral state of being, neither good nor bad. We have an opportunity to accept it a state of being. And with conscious awareness, we may choose any other way to be in this world.

The ego is a result of the impressive development of the brain and in particular the pre frontal cortex. It is a powerful, well-developed tool that has led us to be reflective, referential and believe in our own separateness. Consequently, it has overstepped its usefulness. The incessant mind chatter and constant judgments of yourself and others create the threat to your esteem. The constant streams of thoughts are not your true nature. The essence that is you is not to be defined by the mind but rather experienced as an inner state of awareness, joy and peace.

You are connected to and a part of all the love, esteem and confidence you could possibly imagine. There is no need to search for a book, guru or exercise routine to build your self-esteem. All the esteem you could ever hope for is already in you. You are the esteem in which you perceive to be lacking. Let the book, guru and exercises be the tools that you use to your find own esteem. They are at best pointers back to you as the source of what you are missing. If you follow the ego to search for self-confidence outside of yourself, you may find a temporary fix but it will be dependant on your continuing to do that activity.  It will also be at the expense of perceiving that someone else is less than you. Ultimately your external solution will fail you because someone else is bound to come along and display greater confidence. The ego will be hurt and your new self-confidence will be in jeopardy. I would like to propose a way to infuse your life with confidence in a way that is not contingent on anything outside of yourself.  It involves refusing to compare yourself to anyone or anything.

One of my favorite states of being is when I am able to witness life around me without labeling anything. Usually this experience follows a highly stressful, emotionally charged event but I’ve learned to mimic it at other times. I believe it is my soul taking charge of my physical by shutting off my brain from incessant thinking. It is a mechanism that forces me to run the feelings through my body and give consciousness to them. Not mind attention that labels the feelings, but conscious attention that simply lets the feelings be. During this time, I am able to witness the world around me with a peaceful detachment. Often times, in the stillness, I find my attention gravitates to something simple but infinitely beautiful. I will take notice of an impressive tree, snowflakes falling or gentle music playing somewhere in the background. The result is a smile reaching my lips. I’ve remembered to not take life too seriously. And I’ve reconnected to my wholeness. My esteem is no longer low. My sense of esteem simply is. It is complete, intact and infinite.  

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