Bringing self-worth out of hiding
Bringing self-worth out of hiding
In this day and age, leading busy lives is the norm. We have a culture that encourages people to seek fulfillment and meaning in life through the recognition and identification they receive from what they do.
We expect our bodies to keep up with this approach to life and when something goes wrong, we look around at who we can blame and expect someone else to the fix the problem. Alternatively, we go into self-loathing and beating ourselves up for what has happened to us or what we have done.
Either way, we then return to another round of seeking recognition and identification, more determined than ever to settle the inner and outer discomfort. Yet all that happens is that we continue on the emotional rollercoaster ride over and over again while never stopping to question the cycle we are caught in. Of course I’m generalising here, but I suspect the overall theme is nonetheless something that others will recognise.
Little wonder then that low self-worth exists in epidemic proportions around the world at this current time.
Going around in circles
I too have been well and truly caught in this cycle. For most of my life I have lived going around in circles, watching others, comparing myself – sometimes with admiration and sometimes with jealousy, striving to be perfect and to meet the needs and expectations of others so as to not disappoint or displease them in some way, by working hard, pushing myself and over-riding my body for the sake of what I felt had to get done and crossed off my ‘to-do’ list. Furthermore, this was then followed with thinking I deserved a reward such as a glass of wine, something sweet to eat or time watching a television show because I thought that I had achieved something important, or as compensation and comfort because I felt I had failed in some way.
My life was lived in a driven manner and seen as being full of complications and something to ‘get through’ as best I could. Little wonder that hardness, guilt, shame and low self-worth were well-known inhabitants in my life. The walls of self-protection were very firmly in place with no compassion for myself and a wariness about letting others get too close to me, for fear they would discover all the flaws I was convinced existed within me.
As the years passed, I knew that something had to change and that my current lifestyle was unsustainable. From the outside it appeared as though I had a ‘good‘ life, while inside was an emptiness which seemed impossible to understand, let alone resolve. Years of various self-help tips, different forms of exercise, vitamins and health foods etc., didn’t lead to the answers I was seeking. Looking around me, I could see others were living in a similar fashion; human existence seemed to be one of struggle and pain with some glimpses of pleasure and joy, if one was lucky.
Everything seemed out of balance to me; we were supposedly the superior species on the planet, yet we remained in such a mess – so it stood to reason that we couldn’t possibly be on track with how we were actually designed to live.
Becoming the master of my own destiny
Eventually, someone introduced me to the ‘purple books’ written by Serge Benhayon and to the work of Universal Medicine.
What was offered was quite different to everything else I had come across, as key messages were that ‘we heal ourselves from within’ and ‘no one else can do it for us’.
There was no doubting the necessity for total self-responsibility implied here, and I felt what was presented was the absolute truth which gave the road ahead a new feel to it. Accepting that I was the ‘master of my own destiny’ meant that I could change what was happening and how I was feeling, and the potential this opened up for me was enormous to realise. It was the start of breaking down the ingrained belief that my self-worth was reliant on how other people viewed me and to begin to honestly explore the enormous untapped wisdom living right there inside me.
Over the following 10+ years I attended workshops, listened to webcasts and audios, read more books and had sessions with Esoteric practitioners. These practitioners didn’t tell me what to do, but rather helped me to keep digging deeper and trust what my body was saying was right for me. They also supported me by talking through issues that were troubling me and provided body work (e.g. Esoteric Massage, Esoteric Chakra-puncture, Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and Esoteric Breast Massage), to unravel the ideals and beliefs that have complicated my life for years. Humbly accepting responsibility for my own part in my past choices and experiences can be challenging, yet I have always come away from sessions with more understanding of myself and knowing of what I need to do next to truly heal.
My self-worth blossomed
What I found as time passed and I continued to learn more about myself was that my level of self-care kept steadily growing. Corresponding with this change in my relationship with myself, my self-worth blossomed along with a newfound rhythm and flow in my days as I came to know there is so much more to me than what I ‘do’.
It may look like nothing has changed in my life to the casual observer, but there is a world of difference in how I now go about my day.
For example, I treat my body as my primary guide to signal when it is time to slow down or stop or change the way I am doing things. Rather than remain silent, I have now started to speak up when it is called for. I notice when I start to get hard and judgmental with myself and others and I remind myself that this behaviour means I am holding a picture of some kind in my head of how I and/or other people or things should be and then I focus back on making my movements gentle again. Taking regular breaks as I feel they are needed has become my new ‘normal’ – whether this is to get a drink, stretch my back, use the bathroom or simply take a break because I have become too mentally driven in the task I am completing.
I realised that how I cooked meals affected the quality of the food, so I pay more attention to what is happening within me emotionally and physically while preparing and eating food. It’s amazing what a yummy difference this makes! My sense of health and wellbeing is now measured on how I am feeling from the inside out and I am letting go of the external façade I have previously invested so heavily in.
I know beyond doubt that the qualities I hold, such as my absolute honesty, reliability, genuineness, commitment and kindness, are there regardless of anything else going on around me and there is nothing I need to prove to anyone else. This has been a huge weight off my shoulders as I have previously strived hard to meet the various mental pictures, ideals and beliefs I’ve held around what I ‘should’ be like, or ‘must’ do to be a ‘good’ person.
Connecting to my qualities
I’ve now made friends with my body and pay attention to what it communicates to me. The term ‘esoteric’ i.e. connecting to what’s deep within me, makes sense to me now as I continue to delve inwardly to discover more and more about myself. I have a sparkle in my eyes that reflects how divine I feel these days. If someone had told me fifteen years ago that I would feel that I was delicate, precious, and held a beautiful fragility, and that these qualities carried a magnificent strength and power, I would have scoffed at them, especially as at that time I viewed such attributes as being weak and pathetic. In complete contrast, these days I feel the power within each of these qualities and the more I am embracing them, the more amazing I feel just for being me.
I find that other people are noticing the changes in me also and the relationships I have with those around me are quite different these days. People feel more able to come to me now as they sense that I am less defensive and am more accepting of the choices others make for themselves. The walls are coming down and I am allowing others in to a greater degree than ever before in my life, and consequently the connections feel more authentic. Conversations are more genuine as I have increasingly allowed others to see the real ‘me’. I feel a freedom to speak from the heart, rather than from my head. Sometimes this is warmly accepted and at other times it creates a disturbance, but I’m OK with that either way as my self-worth is no longer bound up in others’ approval of me.
Choosing my own level of self-worth
For me, it’s all about self-care and self-love these days, but not from what I have been told or read somewhere; it stems from what I have found through self-connection and experimentation around what feels right for me. What I have experienced through my willingness to explore what’s inside myself as honestly and truthfully as possible, and to use the resources around me such as the support of Esoteric Practitioners, is that I am the one choosing my level of self-worth.
The most powerful barometer of self-worth is how much I have been willing to accept and appreciate myself and the qualities I have that are similar, but different to others in how they are expressed; we are all unique.
This all sounds very basic in many ways, but moving from allowing mental thoughts to rule me to valuing my body’s communication and making that real and practical in my everyday life, has often been a challenging process. But it’s definitely one that has been worth every moment.
My true self-worth is now out of hiding; I’ve come a long way in silencing my harsh inner critic, and I love that who I am now is so much more authentic and real.