I overheard a part of a radio programme where women agreed not to listen to themselves because they would only find themselves hearing self-accusations. If we are not acquainted with our true self, we may blame ourselves for not being able to live up to our or other people’s expectations on we should be or how we should behave.
We think these self-accusations mean that we are listening to ourselves. In most cases, however, the opposite is true. We have acquired standards of what is desirable in the society. We envy, or in fact our ego envies our neighbour’s car, home, spouse, title, beauty, diet, or whatever, because we do not love and value ourselves.
The very basis of our way of thinking states that we are bad, ugly, obese or undervalued. We only feel good and appreciated if we succeed in something. We are conditioned to thought structures like this, and therefore try to bolster our ego by pursuing something finer, and being or becoming better than someone else.
A circle of accusations
We believe that by achieving goals, we gain appreciation from others and we can value ourselves. We think that fulfillment of our ideals (from our external self) will bring us happiness. However, the moment of success or happiness usually fades away rather quickly. There will be a pound more weight or a wrinkle, we will eat unhealthy food, fail an exam, or lose our dream job, money or home. Nothing external can bring us lasting happiness – and happiness does not come by blaming ourselves for having done something stupid or not having achieved something…
Paradoxically, as we criticize ourselves and constantly seek to change something, we focus our thoughts on our problems and by doing that we strengthen the unwanted, our own poorness. We form a circle where we only pay attention to things that we feel bad about. This way of thinking then extends beyond our internal selves and this negativity surrounds us in many forms.
We react to what other people say or do because we want to be better than them. We respond to their comments because they are a threat to us or our mindset – that is a threat to our ego – because we want to be right and protect our position. We condemn what others do or say in order to exert ourselves above them because we want to show ourselves that we are wiser, greener, more compassionate, more aware, etc. We see our neighbour as a threat, even if the real threat is our own ego wanting to protect our perception of us being somehow faulty. In other words, because we do not value ourselves.
How to get rid of blame?
Meditation is one way of finding our true self, love and acceptance for ourselves. During meditation, external stimuli are not misleading our minds and reminding us of our desire to obtain and achieve something. In meditation, we do not need to be better than others and we do not even need to beat ourselves, for we accept the moment and ourselves as they are in that moment.
Meditation is listening to the messages of the body, senses, and emotions without judging and analysing them. We are not adding fears to our meditative mind. By being neutrally present, we can find compassion and love for ourselves. The healing power of meditation rises from the fact that it allows everything to be as it is.
Usually, we tend to explain everything and overestimate the meaning of our negative emotions and feelings. Our thoughts are intimidating. Therefore, the mind of a novice meditator can bring out self-blame, disappointment, pain and self-loathing. Very uncomfortable feelings and emotions about the life situation may arise.
When we become more adept in being with our true Self, we become able to neutrally follow our feelings and recognize our repetitive negative thought patterns. We are no longer imprisoned by them. By recognizing our negative thought structures, we can get rid of them. We notice “oh, you came again,” but we do not provide these negative thoughts more fuel by dwelling in them. Beyond our conditioned and biased mind structures we can find the Self that does not compare our life situation with others and find threats against us. The real challenge, however, is to apply this knowledge and consciousness in everyday life. It is real work.
What serves us in our daily lives?
Best for our own progress is to love ourselves. We can take long leaps by recognizing other people’s features and attributes in ourselves. We can also become aware of how and why we react on other people and their actions. We have all traveled a long way without understanding our true self. When we are able to love ourselves, we can notice the similarity between ourselves and others.
Once true love for ourselves has replaced the ego’s desires, we do not have to criticize ourselves nor others. There is no need to position ourselves above others or think of others as threats to us or our position. By accepting our true Self, we can forgive what we deem as trivial in us and what we undervalue in our life situation. As a consequence, we become more merciful to others. We all make mistakes.
When we see our own mistakes and can forgive them, we do not always have to accept what others do or say, and yet, we become more forgiving towards them and their actions. Every actions has its’ purpose, so has theirs.
Listen to yourself
What is good for one is not necessarily good for me or for you. Our highest priority should be to listen to our true self rather than the voice of the ego or the demands of other people. We all have the right not to blame ourselves.
Our ego tells us external goals and definitions of what is good, how to meet the expectations of others, and how to be a better person than others. By being present to our true Self, we do not have to compete with anyone or meet anyone else’s demands. We can accept the moment as it is. When we do not condemn ourselves, we are able to find compassion, understanding and love that expands from within us to surround us.
I can hear your whisper
As inspiration: The Course in Miracles, Eckhart Tolle, Sakari Antero Arcturus, my previous blogs, and people around me.
Photo: Leon Seierlein