Self Esteem and Health part 3

June 10th, 2013

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(The final installment in this series on self-esteem and health.

Click here for part one and part two)

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“Wherever you go, there you are.” goes the saying about our relationship with Self.

 

I remember having a slightly underwhelming experience of this in one of my first trips abroad. There I was in a lovely part of northern Italy when the thought struck me. “Yes, but this is just me…in Italy.”

 

Such a thought infers an assumption – that we can escape ourselves by changing our surroundings. It is our inner state that is of primary importance. The internal world of the mind is the one we must cultivate and be at peace with. Without that, all external things will ultimately prove to be frustrating, ‘just out of reach’ illusions.

 

Journey to the Center of the Self

 

soft center

 

In previous installments in this short series on self-esteem and health we outlined the misery and suffering caused when we become divorced from our Self. The solution must then be to re-member[1] our Self again. So how do we become centered in the Self?

 

Three Questions

 

A simple way to do this is to ask ourselves three questions in any given moment:

 

  1. What am I thinking?: This can include, if we can manage it, any thoughts going on behind our ‘first’ thoughts.

 

  1. What am I feeling?: This is less about what is happening externally and more about how we are responding to it internally.

 

  1. What is it I want to experience?: This may include even things we are trying to avoid. It may also involve what we want to transform or heal in ourselves.

 

All of these questions help bring us back into the Self regardless of the external situation. With practice we begin to see how the outside world is not really the ultimate determiner of how we feel. To our surprise we may also be aware of an entire universe inside that has its own autonomy. Our reactive self subsides and we begin to adopt a more reflective attitude to our surroundings.

 

Defining Boundaries

 

Boundaries

 

A reflective center is not passivity. It is the ability to sort out the ‘who’ of each situation and therefore, in a conflict, to define who really ‘owns’ the responsibility.

 

So we come to another question:

 

“Who’s problem is this?”

 

If it is ours then, fine, we can work on strategies to solve it. If it is not then, despite how much others may want to make it ours, we can stay centered in our Self and retain our personal power and integrity.

 

This is because self-esteem is a function of self-knowledge. If we do not know our Self then our center is lost and we will easily be bullied by others into doing what they want, whether or not it is our problem to solve or in our best interests to do so. All the problems and scenarios outlined in the first two parts of this series will ensue.

 

“That’s the lack, the lack of love.” [2]

 

This brings us to the intrinsic nature of the Self. The human-being is not just human, with all the attendant ‘failings’ implied and associated with the term. We are also our Being. The state of our Being lies beyond our human frailties. It is not so easily buffeted by the external world. Its state is that of unconditional love; un-conditional because conditions do not determine it. It is both a state and a resource we can dip into anytime. It is the true revitalize-er of self-esteem.

 

Without connection to this resource we will eventually become totally dependent on things outside of our Self to ‘make’ us happy which, as we have seen in this series, becomes the leaky bucket of diminishing returns. We find ourselves in a life devoid of love and hate ourselves for it.

 

Meditation: The reflection of Self

 

Self reflection

 

Daily meditation is less about stilling the mind or being a ‘spiritual person’ and more about calibrating with the Self.[3] Its outward appearance of ‘doing nothing’ is time well spent and a tonic to self-esteem. In a day so full of distractions and stresses it is vital to our health that we reconnect with the Self for at least a little time every day – just to re-member our Self.

 

“If you leave me, can I come too?” [4]

 

This is the way out of low self-esteem and back to the Self:

 

  1. To realize it is us who have abandoned our Self – and keep doing it over and over again.
  2. To regularly center and reclaim ourselves with the three questions: What am I thinking/feeling/want to experience, create, avoid, heal or transform?
  3. To spend time in daily meditation to calibrate ourselves with our Self.
  4. To be, with all of our Being, the thing we want the most: If we want love then be love – and so on.

 

Micro/Macro health

 

Making these small changes in our life can have a profound effect and not just on us as individuals. Imagine a society that made this switch from the constant craving for and fear of external things to being more centered and loving.

 

We do not need to just hope. We are able to know for ourselves that such peace is possible because it already exists – in the Self. In the Being of humanity. It is accessible to everyone regardless of belief, faith or cynicism.

 

Till our Self knows another Monday…as long as we keep telling ourselves Mondays exist,

 

 


[1] literally: to put the pieces back together

[2] As pop band ABC never sang…

[3] …and perhaps the frequencies that surround us, including mother earth but that is a subject for another time.

[4] As pop band Mental as Anything did sing. All rights reserved

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© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

 

 

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