Discover Authentic Self-Esteem via the Chopra Center’s Awaken to Happiness Series
As has been my great fortune since trying to find how to stay living in the moment, this week’s Chopra Center teaching comes to me at the most opportune time. 😀 Since becoming recently single, I’ve had my moments of wallowing in a pitty party instead of living in the moment, in love and gratitude…well not today 😉 Today I am on track again toward being my true self, which is “…pure love, infinite awareness, and unbounded joy”. 😀
- to feel connected to the world;
- to let go of feeling limited and in constant struggle;
- to feel safe, even when living fearlessly instead of fearfully;
- to see the world and ourselves with compassion and understanding.
It is at this point (self-referral), where we “…feel whole and at peace even when life rises up with its inevitable challenges and surprises”. It is when we’re at this point that we can let go of object referral, which is when we base our self-image on external things – “…status, relationships, possessions, accomplishments, titles, and so on”.
Ding, ding, ding – since I turned 30 I’ve been saying that I’m happy in every aspect of my life, but my romantic relationships. Having just ended my most recent relationship, I again find myself feeling a sense of despair that I’ve only really felt when thinking about my romantic life, because really, who doesn’t want to be loved? But this week’s teaching very importantly points out that: “We may feel happy when things go our way, but we will always feel an underlying current of instability or insecurity because part of us knows that the source of our good feelings can disappear at any moment”. Yup, everything I’m currently feeling, but don’t have to… 😉
See, according to the Chopra Center, “authentic self-esteem comes not from improving your self-image but … from knowing and accepting that core self within that is beautiful, wise, and loving”. This allows us “…to let go of the struggle to build an external sense of self-worth. You will stop trying to ‘make’ yourself feel better as you push down feelings of emptiness and unhappiness. Your true self doesn’t need to be improved, changed, or even healed. It is whole, perfect, and complete exactly as it is”. 😀 Isn’t it lovely to know that the saying happiness comes from within is true?
To help us along the journey of discovering our authentic self-esteem, the Chopra Center asks us to say the following “whenever we look in the mirror…Make eye contact with yourself and silently repeat the three principles of self-referral:
- I am totally independent of the good or bad opinion of others.
- I am beneath no one, and no one is beneath me.
- I am fearless in the face of all challenges.”
To keep ourselves honoring our self-esteem through out the day, the Chopra Center, asks us to:
- Meditate. (Click for an example of a So Hum meditation)
- Notice what you’re doing – awareness is key; let go of the false need for approval
- Allow and accept – As you open the door to awareness, feelings of fear or insecurity may seem more intense. Instead of fighting or resisting these uncomfortable feelings, simply be with those feelings as best as you can. When you try to push away a feeling, it only grows stronger, but when you simply notice and allow it to be, it will soon dissipate. Per Harvard neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s bestselling book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey,she suggests sitting with whatever feeling is coming up, knowing that most feelings move through the body in ninety seconds or less. Whether we’re feeling joy, fear, or surprise, the chemicals in the body associated with those feelings flush through the body in a short time. The only reason a feeling would last longer is if we continue to fuel the emotional loop by choosing thoughts or telling ourselves stories about the past or future that re-trigger the emotional response. By allowing your feelings and bringing the light of your consciousness into the present moment, in time you can heal old emotional patterns and reclaim your true self-esteem and innate happiness.
Based on Dr. Taylor’s insights, I am now going to make a conscious effort to not let any emotion, especially bad ones, linger for longer than 90 seconds. I will try to not let “…EGO, which is laden with self-judgment, anxiety, and limiting beliefs, take me down the rabbit hole. Instead I will allow my “…true self to speak the language of love, peace, acceptance, possibility, and joy”.
To help us on our journey, please enjoy Deepak Chopra’s guide on how to let go of our EGOs and embrace our true self.