The power of self-esteem


At the heart of all spirituality is the relationship with the self. The whole spiritual journey, if we embark on it, is about healing this relationship with the self, and stepping back into my true self-worth. This I then carry into each part of my life. It is a life-long learning to regain the power of self-esteem.
If we look around our world, we can see that there is a breakdown in absolutely every facet of life. In health, relationships, family life, the workplace, governments, institutions, all are trying to fix the problems, but they are only able to tackle the symptoms. The root of the problem is the fractured relationship that 8 billion people have with themselves. If I am able to take back my sense of self-value, it is like a seed that affects every area of my life. I will treat myself with respect, love and compassion, and understanding and caring. Once I am able to do this for myself, then it is a natural consequence that I will treat others in the same way.
Self-confidence and self-respect are very different. We grow up being encouraged to have confidence and maybe to do great things; to open businesses, to explore ideas, to go where others have not gone. However, although many people have done great things, it does not mean that they like themselves, and very often, they do not. Confidence is a way to hide the fact that we do not have true self-value. Self-doubt is something that most people battle with every day. The world judges us in nanoseconds, other people criticise us, make negative comments, try to put us down. The most destructive vision of the self of the self; we limit ourselves constantly with inhibiting self-talk and lock ourselves in a self-imposed jail.
The sense of self is often based on what I do rather than what I am. We rush around being busy ‘doing’ because actions bring success, and we get a temporary sense of our self-value. Our spiritual life, though, is the complete opposite. When I sit in meditation, in the awareness of my original fundamental self, the soul, and experience love from God, then I am creating a state of being – who I really am. God sees the beauty in the soul and meditation enables the soul to accept that vision of the self and move towards complete fulfilment. Then, when I come into action, it is not to create a sense of self-esteem; I am already full of self-esteem and love from God, and my actions will have real value. I can live in the world and not be affected by the world.
This understanding of being a soul and not the body, is intellectually easy to understand. It is the practice though, of being soul conscious, that holds the magic of transformation. By practising a simple spiritual lifestyle, step-by-step the sense of self returns. It is simply the love of God that is at the heart of the power of self-esteem. I have to educate myself on how to become a bodiless soul and allow myself to be loved by the Supreme Soul, a real living point of consciousness who does not have sense organs, as I do. That is why it is a unique relationship, but no less real for that. It is as real as a relationship with one who does have sense organs. It is the right of each soul to experience this kind of love and it is God’s love that opens the doors of the self-imposed prison and sets the soul free. Initially it can seem difficult, but when we remember that the original blueprint of the soul is full blown self-esteem, we understand we are just regaining our spiritual power. When I begin to reconnect with this awareness, and then reconnect with the love of God, I reconnect with soul consciousness, and I automatically step back into a sense of true self-value. That is the power of true self-esteem.
Charlie Hogg, based in Sydney, is the National Coordinator, Brahma Kumaris, Australia.