Last week I was invited to share some thoughts on how to develop self-respect. When I just received the notice, The first thing came into my mind was ‘what is the reason for not having self-respect?’ I think it is because we do not see our self-worth. Why do we not see our self-worth? This is because we see people a lot. What is wrong in seeing people? When we see people, we start comparing ourselves to them.
We start thinking ‘They are better than me. They are more fortunate. They are more successful. They are more experienced. They know better than me.’ What do we then feel when we have these thoughts? We start feeling insecure. If we sustain these thoughts by keeping these on and on and on in our head, we develop inferiority. Very often we don’t realize that we are nurturing these thoughts until we notice ourself feeling very low and small. This inferiority blinds you from seeing your self-worth.
Or you may start creating thoughts like ‘I am better. I am more fortunate. I am more successful.’ You develop superiority. For most people it doesn’t happen more frequently than the inferior one.
Comparing yourself to other people will always lead you to inferiority or superiority. You experience yourself emotionally in an oscillation between high and low. You are not comfortable to be in this oscillation. It doesn’t serve you inner stability.
Some call it ego. Ego is always false. It is just an illusion.To feel inferior or superior is an illusion. It is never permanent. Know this ego in you. Try to notice yourself when you start developing this. Be there for the sake of your inner stability. Because it is so destructive to your spirit (your self). It is very manipulative. It will never allow you to be able to see your self-worth. Your enemy for attaining your self-worth is not out there. It is right here, inside your head. Very subtle. Become the true warrior and conquer this enemy.
Someone used to say this to me. Company colors the soul. You are colored by the company you keep – your spouse, your family members, your friends, your colleagues etc. Those whom you work with or spend time with. You may get colored or you may color them. It depends o how strong your color (influence) in the companionship.
Now look at people around you. What do you talk when you are with them most of the time? There are three things – stuff or event, ideas or other people.
Some people like talking about stuff, a branded bag they just purchased, the latest gadget, the band new car, some are talking about the game they are playing. Average people talk about stuff or event. And some are talking about other people. They are called small people. What other people are doing or not doing, have or not have are completely their own business. These type of people mind other people’s business. This is the type of people you should avoid to be around.
It is said great people talk about ideas. They use their creative mind. Happiness lies in this. Contentment starts here. Not in stuff nor in a game. Happiness created through buying a brand new suff is just temporary. How long do you experience the happiness after you bought your new car?
If you want to become great, surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas. Not people. Not stuff nor event. Select the company you want to keep.
Listening is often said to be the missing part of a communication. For many people the ability to listen is not developed as much as the ability to speak. Many listen with the intent to reply not to understand as Steven Covey said. People are more interested to speak than to listen.
Why do we not listen actively? We listen only to the words that are being said. We don’t learn to listen behind the words that are being said. In Chinese language to listen is written in 3 symbols – ear, eye and heart. If any Chinese speaking reader here, please correct me if I am wrong. An active listening uses ear, eyes and also heart. An active listening is giving an undivided attention to the person who is speaking. You are completely present, physically and also mentally. Only then you can listen to the message that is not being said, what is behind the words.
In a survey words contribute 7%, intonation 38% and body language 55%. More messages are not expressed through words, or they can not be expressed through words. Words are not enough to express the feelings. Feeling can be so deep, while words are limited.
One needs to use the eyes to obseve the body language of the speaker, and the heart to catch the feeling. Ears are not enough. Many use the ears more than the heart and eyes. They are more ready to listen to the words which contributes only 7% to listening. This is why misunderstanding or miscommunication often happen.
To listen through your heart you need silence. It is the mind that needs to be silent, then the heart will follow. Many find it very difficult to make their minds silent. It takes time to practise. The minds have been constantly so busy. Start listening to your own mind, know exactly what you are thinking, just observe what is happening inside your head. be a detached observer, not a judgemental observer. You will notice the mind starts becoming silent. And when your mind is silent, calm and peaceful. Your heart opens for others. You are ready to listen.
I make this time to revisit my heart, the spirit inside. It has been sitting there for such a long time. I have been very busy listening the noise of my ego in my head. I have been neglecting myself. I have started believing what my ego said to me and it has completely made my heart weak and broken.
I make this time to sit with my true self, and listen. I open my heart. I feel very confortable.
It speaks very gently to me: “You are very special. You are loveable. You are here to share your love. Open your heart and express your love. Let the energy flow from the inside out”
It is so empowering and encouraging.
I can feel the energy of love fills my heart. I feel myself empowered.
Now I invite the Greatest Healer to fill my heart with His healing energy. I keep my heart open for His pure loving energy. His love is unconditional. His love is permanent and so uplifting. He has a very loving heart to everybody. I can trust Him. I have nothing to hide from Him. I let Him help me in this healing process. I keep His company with me.
The feeling becomes stronger and stronger. This genuine love puts all the pieces of my heart together. It heals the wounds and the scars. My heart become whole again.
I think everyone of us has a moment in life when we are down. We feel ourselves in a low state (mental state). You don’t want to let yourself in that low state forever, do you?
What do you do when you are down? How can you make yourself up again? How will you give yourself an encouragment or an energy booster? You can not always find someone to cheer you up, to uplift you. In that situation, you need to find a way to bring your state high.
Make time for yourself and being with yourself. Listen to your heart. Understand the thoughts you keep in your mind that make you feel what you are feeling (feeling low). Then speak to yourself genuinely. Encourage yourself. This is also called a self-affirmation. We need to do this.
Then a friend said “Is it not like sabotaging yourself by telling you are good when in fact you know you are not good?”
If you are now feeling low, check your thoughts. What kind of thoughts have you been keeping in your mind? Be honest in this. This is an internal check. Only you can do it. No one else can do it for you or help you. Not your spouse nor your “soul mate”. This is an individual inner work. To do an honest checking means you need to make time just to be with yourself. Can you do this?
If you are honest enough, you might realize that these are the noise that keep playing in your head. “You are not good enough. “You are weak.” “You are unlovable.” “No one likes you.” These thoughts have sabotaged you and made you BELIEVE it. You feel what you believe. That low state doesn’t come suddenly. It takes time.
Now do the same. Keep telling yourself that you are good enough. You are worthed. You are lovable. You are special. Make yourself believe what you are telling to yourself. I know it also takes time. But if you understand that this is the way to bring yourself up again, will you not do this?
Meditation is an art to deal with the noise of the self in your own head. Can you hear the constant noise inside your head? Or do you find it easy to make it quiet? A friend said to me that it is very hard to make the mind quiet. Who makes that noise? You have the 3 personalities inside you, “the inferior I”, “the superior I” and “the real I.” For many people it is their “inferior I” that makes noise more than the other two personalities. You might hear the voices like “I am not good enough.” “I am not valued.” ”I am excluded.” This is the noise made by the “inferior I”. You might hear voice like “I know better.” “I am more experienced.” “They should listen to me.” Which voice do you listen the most? And the “the real I” ussually speak the least. “the real I” always speaks the uplifting voice.
You need to deal with those 3 personalities in your head to make the mind quiet. How to deal with it? Observe, listen and don’t judge. This is the easy steps to start a mediation: 1. Find a place to sit where you would not get distracted during your meditation session. 2. Sit comfortably and relaxed. 3. Let your eyes open 4. Turn your attention within (inside your forehead). It is where the mind is located. Observe what is going on. 5. Acknowledge the noise. Acknowledge which personality is speaking or creating that noise. 6. Let them speak. 7. Keep observing, keep listening. 8. Don’t judge.
If you keep observing and not judging, ussually they will become quiet. Only then you can let “the real I” speak any thought that elevates you like “I am great.” Let the intellect listen that thought and churn it. To churn it means to think it more deeply. Bring your awareness to it. The heart will very soon generate a feeling of greatness. You feel what you think. Choose to think elevated thoughts and you will generate elevated feelings.
Mediation is a powerful way to take your energy back – emotional, mental and spiritual energy. You might need to practice this everyday and make it into your self-care routine.
A scoreboard is another tool you can use for your self-care. How to create an energy scoreboard? Make a list of your activities from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, and then put a score on each activity. The score indicates the energy units you create or consume for each activity.
What is your morning routine like? What activities do you ussually do in the morning? You create energy through your morning routine, don’t you? We have been talking about this energy in the previous posts in this blog. The energy that we are talking here is renewable. So we create the energy for the body and for the soul to live . We renew it everyday. We recharge ourselves.
Which activities are physical (for body) and which activities are mental (for soul)? Start your day by filling yourself with energy, physically and mentally. During the day, you might be very busy with routines that consume your energy. So it is better to fill yourself in the morning with energy. Really make time for this. Don’t let yourself get distracted especially during your morning hours. For me, morning hours is my golden time for the whole 24 hours. Let me not miss this golden time for my own self-care. For this, I don’t check my phone for the first few hours in the morning. I do not want to let myself (my mind) get distracted at the first place.
My morning routines include meditation and journaling. I found these two activities generate energy the most – emotional, mental and spiritual energy. These activities are for the mind, intellect and heart. These three are the faculties of the soul. So meditation and journaling are exercises for the soul. They make your soul (spirit) very strong. When your mind is strong, you will not get easily influenced by people nor situation. When your intellect is strong and deep, you can extract wisdom from your thoughts. When your heart is strong, you create faith in yourself and with this faith you have courage and hope. This is what you need in your everyday life, right?
For the body, I include a workout or a walk in my morning routine. How about you?
In understanding the self, we need to know the two aspects of human being; physical and non-physical. It is very easy to understand the physical aspect, the body. But it is more difficult to understand the non-physical one. The non-physical one in fact refers to the spirit, the energy. The nature of the physical one is not permanent, it can change. Our bodies change from young to old. It definitely will die. But the spirit (energy) is permanent, it doesn’t change. It will never die. To understand the self is to understand and accept the self as a spirit, not a body. The spirit is the soul. A soul has three faculties – mind, intellect and heart. This idea is very clear and also very simple, but many have made this so complicated and the journey to understand the self becomes a never ending journey.
When someone said to me : “I do not believe in soul.” In fact I would like to ask him : “Do you not believe in yourself either?” But I held myself and didn’t say anything.
I think he just did not really understand this two aspects of human being. Because he did not understand so he didn’t accept it, and he did not believe it. The next question is “Who am I?” I think the first step to understand the self is to have a clear answer to this question.
Where does the self get lost? It is lost in our own head (mind). The mind creates thousands of thoughts everyday. It keeps busy and also noisy. The mind is always occupied with thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. It is like a jungle, full of thoughts. You might find it very difficult to make it silent for just a moment. The self gets lost in this jungle. You might have heard a story of a queen who lost her necklace. She searched for her necklace around. She kept searching the necklace that she did not realize that it is in fact around her own neck. This story refers to our self-discovery journey. We might have searched for the self “outside” which in fact it is lost “inside”.
Journaling is a way to discover the self which has been hidden behind the thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. This is an inward-journey. By writing them down one by one, you will experience more clarity in seeing the self. You are removing the veils. You will be able see your true self.