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May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Low self-esteem and the state of being free from pride are two different things

The minds are being conditioned to think and believe in a particular way to categorize everything into good and bad, right and wrong, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, positiveness and negativeness, happiness and unhappiness, appropriateness and disappropriateness, and so on. And once the mind is being conditioned to think and believe in a particular way, it's not easy to allow the mind to be opened to see things as they are, because the mind naturally and autonomously reasons and analyzes everything based on that particular thinking and belief.

People growing up being fed with many information coming from their parents, care taker, friends, religious teachers, society, medias, and went to school/college/university to learn about many things/subjects and gathering all kind of information, and all these information become part of the thinking and belief to reason and analyze everything. But how many would reason the truth of all these information that is influencing them to reason and analyze everything?

Practicing yoga is to learn to inquire the truth of everything, without the influence of the thinking and belief in the mind, but just to see things as they are. Most of the time, people are just being different from one another, and there's nothing wrong or sick for being different from one another. But, those who attached strongly onto their own way of thinking, belief and behavior, will perceive other people who think, believe and behave differently from them as something wrong or sick.

Low self-esteem is being categorized as something not good, bad, or negative in the worldly thinking and belief. It is being treated as a form of physical/mental/emotional weakness that they think it would make a person inferior than other people. But, low self-esteem is just another by-product of ignorance and egoism, just like pride, arrogance, unhappiness, anger, hatred, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, violence, grief, sorrow, agitation, meaninglessness, worthlessness, loneliness, fear and worry, and so on.

If the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, low self-esteem as well as all the other form of impurities won't exist in the mind.

Worldly minded people think that in order to counter or conquest low self-esteem, they need to develop confidence and proudness through accumulating knowledge, skills, achievements, friendships and widening the social interaction network. But they don't see where does low self-esteem come from.

The cause of low self-esteem is not because of lack of knowledge, skill, achievement, friendship or limited social interaction network. It is the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism about how a person should think, belief and behave in the society that categorize people into 'normal', 'rightful', 'positive' and 'healthy', or 'abnormal', 'wrongful', 'negative' and 'unhealthy', is the real cause of why people are suffering from low self-esteem when they try to comply to all the standards of the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism about what is a good and meaningful life that people would feel proud of, but somehow they think they are not good enough when they are unable to achieve the standard of a good and meaningful life that everyone could feel proud of. They were being told to believe that they are not good enough and their life is meaningless, if they don't achieve something that they can feel proud of themselves, or if they are unable to make other people to feel proud of them.

Even many of the yoga practitioners and teachers in the world are not free from being influence by the worldly thinking and belief that is based on egoism.
This is a common and 'normal' and 'right' thing to say in everyday life,
"I am so proud of myself."
"I am so proud of you."
"You must be so proud of yourself."
"My parents are very proud of me."
"You should be so proud of yourself. How is it possible that you are not proud of yourself?" and so on.

If people didn't make a statement about "I am so proud of you." after other people have achieved or done something that they believe as 'good' or 'great', they will be considered as lack of empathy, unappreciative, stingy to say nice things, or being 'abnormal'. And people would feel disappointed or upset if other people didn't say anything about being proud of them, and it makes them think that maybe they are not good enough to be proud of themselves, or they are not good enough to make other people to be proud of them.

And, in order to help people who they think is suffering from low self-esteem, they think that they should constantly telling people, "I am so proud of you." thinking that this will help people to be free from low self-esteem, so that people won't feel bad about themselves, and feel good about themselves. What can really help people who are suffering from low self-esteem is allowing them to understand that they are fine as they are, that they can just do their best without the intention of doing something to feel proud of themselves, and they don't need to make other people to feel proud of them, or they don't need to keep hearing other people to tell them, "I am so proud of you." to be happy or to live a meaningful life.

It's like some people always looking for love and affection or attention from other people. If they don't hear from other people, "I love you." or "I miss you." for some time, they will feel unloved, left out and miserable. And people think that by constantly showing and telling people, "I love you." will help people to be free from unhappiness or suffering from unloved or low self-esteem, but it doesn't, because it only empowers the attachment and the craving for love and acknowledgement from others to feel loved and meaningful. What can really help people to be free from the unhappiness or suffering from unloved or lack of love, is allowing them to understand that they don't need love from others at all, through realizing unconditional love in themselves, by freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism.

It's the worldly thinking and belief that is why people create unnecessary unhappiness or suffering in themselves, drowning in the desire of craving and ceaselessly longing for love and acknowledgement from other beings, by thinking that human beings should attain love and acknowledgement from one another, to feel loved and meaningful.

Those who are free, They are happy and peaceful as they are. They appreciate all love and acknowledgement from everyone as it is, but they don't need love or acknowledgement from others to be happy, to feel meaningful, or to be who they are. Even if they have no parents, siblings, children, friends or anyone being there, to show love and care for them or to acknowledged them, they are peaceful as they are.

Worldly minded people would relate or refer the people or children who are being free from pride, who don't have the need/desire/craving to feel proud about anything as a form of suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect/self-love, or worthlessness. They believe that 'normal' and 'mentally healthy' people must have some sort of pride or proudness about themselves or towards something that is related to them in life, such like be proud of their family background, culture, religion, country, nationality, parents, siblings, children, friends, or things that they like to do or things that they can do, and etc.

Or else, they suggest that people must be suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect/self-love, or worthlessness, and it's 'abnormal' and 'mentally unhealthy' for someone who doesn't have the need/desire/craving to feel proud of anything, who response to the question of "Do you feel proud of yourself? You must be so proud of yourself. Your parents and friends must be so proud of you for your achievement." with the answer of "No. I never feel proud of myself or anything. Why do I need to feel proud of myself? I don't need anyone to be proud of me either. People can be proud of me if they want. It's their freedom. It doesn't matter to me whether people are proud of me, or not. I am what I am. I'm not interested to be what other people want me to be, so that they will be proud of me."

There are children or people whom the worldly minded think that they are suffering from low self-esteem (which they are not), when they don't need to feel proud about themselves even when they had achieved great results in school or in career, as the worldly minded think and believe that every normal and mentally healthy person should feel proud of themselves or feel proud of other people around them for being 'good' and for achieving 'great results' or 'success', that it's something wrong in their brain or mind for not feeling proud for something that the worldly minded think is good and great. But actually, people are peaceful and happy as they are, when they are free from pride or the need/desire/craving to feel proud and meaningful about anything towards oneself and others, which the worldly minded have no understanding at all due to ignorance. These people or children are aware of themselves of what they achieve or don't achieve, but there's no identification or attachment towards the quality of names and forms that they possessed or don't possessed, and there's no need to depend on anything to feel proud, in order to feel good or meaningful about themselves or about life.

The needlessness to feel proud of anything and the absence of meaninglessness due to the mind is free from ignorance and egoism, and the low self-esteem or the sense of meaninglessness that is due to being informed by the worldly minded to believe that they shouldn't be contented with being what they are, that they always have to be better than what they are, that they have to achieve certain standards and higher performances to feel good and meaningful, is two completely different things. And, most people become mentally disturbed, when they start to believe what they have been told by other worldly minded people that it's 'abnormal' and 'wrong', that they are mentally sick for being different from other 'normal' people.

There are children or people who don't feel the need of friends or companionship from others, who are happy being alone by themselves, or they feel fine and happy without mixing or playing or interacting with other children or people, and there's nothing wrong with that, and it's not a form of mental illness to be alone, to feel needless to have friends, or it's needless to be mixing and playing and interacting with other children or people in order to be happy, to feel meaningful, to not feel lonely, or to be 'normal'.

The children or people who are fine and happy being alone by oneself and don't need to feel proud or meaningful about anything, they are not mentally sick or in suffering at all. They are happy and peaceful as they are. But worldly minded people don't think so. They think that these people or children must be so lonely and miserable and meaningless without any friends to play with or interacting with, because that is being planted in their mind, "If you don't have friends to play with or interacting with, you must be lonely and miserable and meaningless."

There are people who don't need to feel sad or grief or mourn for the dead, and being indifferent towards birth and death, it's not that they are lack of empathy or mentally sick, but they have realized the truth of life existence and have gone beyond 'normal' worldly thinking and belief about birth and death, where 'normal' people would cheer and celebrate for the newborns as a form of happiness and blessing, and they would grieve and mourn for the dead as a form of painful sorrow and suffering.

Meanwhile, 'normal' worldly minded people would feel so unhappy, meaningless, lonely and miserable when they are alone by themselves, when they are not being with other people, thinking that they are being left out and unloved, that no one notice or appreciate them, that no one is there to love and care for them, to be friend with them, or to play and interact with them, constantly craving for and clinging onto 'friends' and 'social interactions', in order to feel happy, meaningful, loved and 'normal', and there is fear and sadness towards solitude, illness, old age, death and separation from the people and things that they love, constantly missing the people and things that they loved when they are out of sight or unavailable. But for them, this is 'normal' and 'mentally healthy'.

No wonder the saints and sages in the past declared that "The awakened ones are awake while the others are asleep." and "The unawakened ones take suffering as bliss and take bliss as suffering." There's no debate can change another person's mind. It has to come from everyone's self-realization to realize what is going on in their minds.

Everyone is free for how they want to feel and what they want to do with their body and mind. Allowing everyone to feel what they feel and be different from one another, even if people believe that being prideful and full of passionate desires is 'normal' and 'healthy', while thinking that it's 'abnormal' and 'unhealthy' for other people who are free from pride and passionate desires.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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