Self Esteem: Your Self-Image Depends Upon Who You Believe You Are

Let’s try an experiment to test out how you feel about yourself. Assume you are standing in front of someone you want to love you very much. I’m not talking about sexual love. I’m talking about someone accepting you totally and completely for who you are no matter what you’ve done in life, or even what you have not done. This individual determines your ultimate fate. These are the assumptions I want you to use for this little experiment.

This individual looks you right in the eye and begins to address you. You might be a little nervous about what this one will say to you. You might even be scared. The first words out of the mouth of this person you want to love and respect you so much are, “Dear One.”

Remember, this individual knows everything about you. What do you feel when you hear those words, “Dear One”? Do you believe them? Are you excited? Perhaps relieved? Get in touch with how those words affect you right now.

I’m going to tell you that what was said to you is true. The question is, do you accept the truth held in that greeting? It doesn’t matter how much the person standing before you loves you and respects you. That may seem strange. What matters is whether or not you believe it.

If you don’t believe you yourself are dear, that you are loved deeply and unconditionally no matter what it is you do or do not do, those words will mean nothing to you. In fact, they may produce anger, resentment, doubt or self loathing.

Not many of us are raised with unconditional love. There are times when we are  accepted and cared for when we’ve done something less than stellar. Many of us, however, feel the withdrawal of love when we’ve done something wrong. We’ve often done that ourselves, pulled back because someone has done or said something which has hurt us. It’s part of the human condition.

It is probably near impossible for us to believe there is a being who loves with out conditions, who loves us just because. I’m talking about God.

The difficulty is that when raised in a religious atmosphere our tendency is to believe that anything bad that has happened to us is punishment for something we did not do correctly. We were raised to believe that God was the end-all and be-all. We were told that God loved us unconditionally.

By those same ones who said that no matter what God would love us, we were then told it wasn’t true. At the end of our life we would be judged and either accepted forever are sent away forever. There is no way both teachings are true.

The teaching you choose to believe will determine how you feel when God says to you, “Dear One.” You will either believe it is true or you will believe it is impossible. Your choice will determine how you feel about yourself and how you will act.

With anything change in your life if you knew to the very depths of yourself that you are loved and considered “Dear” no matter what happens in life… and you will not be sent away forever? Can You believe it?

The Definition of Love

In your Christian scriptures there is a definition of Love. This definition is rather long and has many negatives in it. This definition is contained in 1Corinthians13. I want to include the definition here. I recommend you read it aloud so that the vibration of the words enters into you.

 If I speak in the tongues of humans or of Angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Notice in this definition of Love that actions have little import in life unless it is accompanied by love. Because you were created from Love if you do not act according to Love then you are not within Love. You are no different than the angels who were thrown from the heavens when they decided that they wanted power over others.

Recognize that this passage is not saying that the actions are incorrect. The passages are merely stating that what  ever action you take, for you to be acting within Love. You must exhibit love. This definition of Love includes numerous things that you are not to be. You are not to be jealous. You are not to be angry. You are not to be judgmental. What you are to be is patient, understanding, accepting.

In many ways living Love appears outwardly inactive. Love is not what you do. It is how you are within yourself. Being in a place of Love is holding the space for others to allow them to grow and develop. Others watching you may even say that you are passive, that you take no active part in the world.

When you are living Love then you are living from the space within you which touches the Source of all Love. This Source is Love Itself.

The words in this text defining Love does not apply just to your actions regarding other people. This text also applies to your relationship with you. You are called upon to be patient, understanding and nonjudgmental of yourself.

The truth is, when you are able to treat yourself as this definition of love requires, then you will be able to treat others in the same manner. You can judge how much you love yourself by the way you treat others. If you are angry and critical of others then you hold within you deep anger towards yourself.

When you are able to face your own lack of patience and understanding of yourself and move into a place of acceptance of who it is you are, then you will be able to do the same for others. Learning to be the Love you were created with requires that you be that Love for yourself. When you are able to do this you will find that your ability to be in a place of acceptance of others, to be in a place of Love with others, comes easily.

Just as you project anger, disappointment, judgment to others when you are filled with these qualities, you will project Love onto others when you are filled with the knowledge and the conviction that you yourself are Love.

This is why it is crucial for you to focus upon healing yourself. When you are willing to face the pain within yourself, and to release that pain, then you will not spew that pain onto others. The difficulty is so many people fear facing their pain. So many people fear being imperfect. When you come to know that you were created from the perfection of Love you will know deep within yourself that you are perfect. You are continuing to expand into who you are as Love. You are continuing to learn from your actions and from those surrounding you. When you come to accept your lovableness, the fact you are beloved by the One who created you, then you will rest easy in that Love. When you rest in that Love then it is Love  you give to others.

When you feel the desire to judge another, stop. Immediately ask yourself, How am I judging myself?The answer to this question will give you the area you now have the opportunity to heal. The one who created you sees you only in the perfection of Love. It is others who have told you that you are not Love. It is others who have told you that you are not perfect.

When you plant an acorn and a small shoot bursts through the packed soil, do you berate it because it is not yet a mighty oak tree? Do you not tend it and give it direction in its growth? You are not angry because it is not yet a mighty oak tree because you know that it takes time to become that full grown tree.

The same is true for your growth and development. There is no judgment from the Source of All regarding your own growth and development. There is only an enfolding in love and delight and watching you becoming who you are.

When you know within the deepest part of yourself that you are enfolded in Love then you will give that Love to others.

What Part of Unconditional Don’t You Understand: Part 1

I am working with Amma to write about unconditional love. The title is above. I’ll be posting parts of this book as I go along. I would love your comments on what I write. Here’s the first installment.

You live in a society which spends a great deal of time talking about religious principles. Notice that they spend little if any time talking about “Love”.

This book is about Love. What it is, and what it isn’t.

First, remember the basics. Love is the essence from which the universe was created. Love is the essence from which you were created. Love is the essence which is the foundation of the entire world, your world, other people’s worlds, of life.

In one way Love is unchangeable. Because Love is of the beginning and Love is in the middle and Love is at the end. There is just Love. At the same time, you see that creation changes. You see growth and you see death in nature, and societies, and with people. There is truly a circle of life. This unending circle of life consists of the movement of Love at the very heart of life.

Although you see changes within people and societies, the nature of Love itself does not change. Love does grow and expand. Loves strengthens and becomes more complex. Love is not an object or an emotion. Love is a living consciousness, a force which is within every adamantine particle of this universe.These adamantine particles are the smallest particles of nature. They are made up of Love. They are the creative building blocks of the universe. Since they are Love they can only be directed from a place of Love.

The force of Love has certain rules and principles to live by. When sentient beings do not abide by these rules and principles the energy of not love is formed. Although everything came from Love and everything will return to Love, those who live within Love, within this universe, can make individual choices. This is the concept of free will.

The interplay between the immutability of Love and the free will of sentient beings obscures the nature of what Love truly is. No matter what sentient beings do they cannot destroy Love. They may hide it from those who are less aware of what Love is and where Love is. They can manipulate people into a place of fear which hides Love. Although you are always living within a state of Love you cannot be aware of it when your internal energy is in a place of fear, which is not love.

There are sentient beings who have made a choice to deny the immutability of Love. They have made a choice, due to various factors which occurred to them at the beginnings of their life, to pervert the power of Love. They did this by disseminating information which placed people within a state of fear.They did this by manipulating the minds and the hearts of people who had not learned to control their own minds and hearts.

The Christian Scriptures contain a story about the entrance of evil into the world. In this story angels who had seen the face of God, the face of Absolute Love, decided that they wanted to have the power that Love had. A battle ensued in which those who were still loyal to pure Love threw out those who wanted to use Love for the purposes of controlling others.

Within Love is Power. But power over another is not within Love. Power used separately from Love produces darkness. It produces chaos. Power used within Love produces an expansion of creation with possibilities unimaginable to the human mind.

Power as a destructive force is limited because when the destruction is complete there is no more. Power, however, used within Love is a creative force which is infinite. Once you begin the creation that energy expands and expands and expands and expands and expands. On the human level you may think, “Well, I’m going to create this work of art and when I am finished it is complete.” The work of art which you have created, however, produces more creativity within yourself. When you begin creating the ideas flow, the energy continues to flow.

Every individual has the potential within them to join the creative process to infinity. It is only limitation and fear which prevents them from doing so. Those who use power outside of Love do not want people to know their power of being able to create infinitely. They prefer people to be in a place of fear because fear disconnects them from Love.

When people learn that the limitations and fear produced by those who prefer to have power over them, is simply illusion, they will be able to move out of fear. This is a well manufactured illusion by those who prefer to have power over people. When one breaks through the illusion of fear and limitation it is impossible for anyone to have power over the one who has broken free. There is nothing more terrifying to those who wish to have power over than for one person who has broken through the illusion to share the experience of freedom.

What are some of the things contained within this illusion propagated by those who prefer to have power over others?

The biggest illusion is that you have to do something and be something for you to be loved by God. Within this illusion is the belief that love with the capital L is conditional. There are no conditions to you being loved by Love Itself. You do not need to follow any rules, commandments, doctrines or precepts to be loved by God. If you did then that would make love conditional. Love, in the fullness of what Love is, totally, completely undeniably unconditional.

The second illusion is that you need someone outside of yourself to tell you what is appropriate for you. The goal of being a mature human is that you will be able to learn to tap into the wisdom and knowledge that is within you. The Source of Love is within you. In your early stages of development it is appropriate to have mentors and guides who can assist you. When you reach a place of maturity you no longer need the mentors and guides on a continual basis.

An illusion you may not be aware of is that the world is Real. The world you live in is simply a creation for you to have a multitude of amazing and wondrous experiences. This solution was created by Love for you to experience the power of coming into your own potential and realizing that you are Love and made to live in Joy.

Those who wish to have power over you don’t want you to know that you are loved no matter what you do. In fact, they are loved no matter what they do. That is the nature of Love. It is unconditional. You do not have to do or be anyone are anything to have Love. Love cannot be anything other than Love. If Love requires conditions for you to be loved then Love would not be Love.