Self-esteem is an elusive creature in so many of our lives. I have made a series of self discoveries over the past few weeks regarding my self-esteem and my anxiety. I have come to the conclusion that, like so many of us, I have been in an abusive relationship all of my life. The irony is the abuser is myself. Thinking back over the phases of my life, I can slowly unwind events that happened and words people have spoken that have incepted a certain image of myself in my mind. It is an image supported by pervasive internal chatter in my mind. I am awkward, I am quiet and uninteresting, I am a loser, nobody likes me. I’m not attractive enough. I’m too lazy. I’m stuck being miserable. I’m not in control. Life is imposing itself on me. I am a victim.
I think back to little wonder of why I have self-esteem issues. These are horrible things to say about someone, least of all myself. I was fixated on these rigid, narrow definitions of myself and subconsciously, I loathed myself. I would constantly ridicule myself. I could feel it in my body, I would always feel tense and drained. It crept up on a conscious level when I would make a mistake or upset someone or maybe I didn’t achieve a goal I had had for the day. I would tell myself that the day was a failure, I would ask why I was so stupid. This is such an awful, damaging mental practice looking at it now, but I know I am far from the only one experiencing these thought patterns and beliefs.
Nearly all of us experience some level of consistent negative dialogue. We never give ourselves a break. We are immensely unkind to ourselves. We are always on our heels ready to pounce at a moment’s trip up. We are wolves to ourselves and most of us don’t know any better. We were never taught how to love ourselves. This frequent negative self talk just eats away at me sometimes. It isn’t compassionate. It isn’t even rational because it oversimplifies myself and the complexity of a situation or another person. It’s full of empty assumptions designed to reinforce a negative self-image I have carried from my childhood. I am tired of it. It’s been an exhausting life constantly living under the critique of myself. And it isn’t anybody else, it’s not my job or my relationship or situation, it’s me. I am the cause of my own misery because I choose to be, because it’s all I’ve ever known. Until now.
I have been listening to a collection of self-help and spiritually guided teachings recently and I have been thinking a lot about this notion that it all comes back to me. For so long, I have created this worthless idea of myself in my mind that doesn’t exist. I have found myself undeserving of love and respect. I have taken away the power that I possess and have given it away to people and problems in my life. I have projected onto others and perceived their words as negative or demeaning, taking things personally when there were obviously other factors at play. I have assumed I was wrong in so many situations and I give people unnecessary authority over my lives. No longer!
I looked in the mirror today and told myself I was done feeling this way, I was done treating myself this way. It isn’t fair nor is it accurate. I am not the same person I was when I was a child experiencing these traumas and creating this mentality. I am a living, breathing, powerful, dynamic, intelligent, and kind human being, worthy of love, worthy of everything I want in life. I am taking my power back. I have given it away freely and without warrant all my life.
I have lived in fear all of my life. Fear of failure, of judgments from others. Ultimately no one has the right or knowledge to judge anyone. No one can see all corners of someone’s life, to know what they are personally going through in the world of their minds. No one has the full context of where someone has been. What right does anyone have? It’s ridiculous to think that we give people that power and we believe them. The only one judging me is myself. Everything that happens externally ultimately filters through me. I have the final say in how I feel, what I believe, and how I think about myself. Those final processes of the mind are what fundamentally bend and shape my reality.
I am working on alignment at this point in my life. I want to align myself with love, with self-love, and with the realization of my own power and intention. I want to align my thoughts and my feelings towards a better world. This means tuning myself into the love and light of the world and changing the paradigm of how the world operates. It means seeing myself as worthy of unconditional love, and intrinsically valuable, no matter what happens or what people say. It means seeing myself as powerful and the captain of my own ship.
Seeing myself in this new light will shape my world, and everything and everyone in it. People will no longer be feared for their possible judgements, they will be loved and understood as complicated human beings worthy of love, just like me. Situations will no longer be seen as impositions but will be the direct results of my choices. The decisions are mine, and I am free to do or not do whatever I want. Challenges will no longer seem trapping and frightening, but will be seen as exciting new ways to learn and grow.
All any of this takes to achieve is understanding these dynamics and disciplining my mind. The power to change has always been within myself. I had just never recognized it or perceived it as attainable. I have woken up. I see now that our mind is our world. We are the creators of our reality and we can transform it into anything we want. We actually are the ones in charge, we have been the entire time! As long as we are willing to tune our minds and align ourselves to what we want. It is like tuning to a new radio frequency and discovering the wealth of music and information that was always there but never registered.
It’s so simple and obvious when you realize it but the world is yours. You don’t bend to the world, the world bends to you! It’s so easy to spot too, there are example of this all of the time. Even a mundane example like when you buy a new car of a particular model and all of a sudden you notice that car all the time driving down the road. Nothing has changed, only your alignment towards that particular car. The same thing works with love and compassion. If you tune your mind to it in the world, you will see that it is everywhere! If you approach the world with love the world will send it back to you. The world is flowing with love and kindness, it’s only a matter of allowing yourself to accept it and perceive it.
I want to believe in a world that is loving, gentle, accepting, curious, adventurous, and understanding. I want to go forth with the quiet strength of knowing what I am and what I am capable of. I intend on creating a great life for myself, the best life I can imagine. I want my light to shine so that others will see and be encouraged to do the same. This has given me purpose, a goal to work towards, and I believe in a better today. Each of us are a glimmering galaxy of uniqueness and love. We are worthy of everything we can imagine.