Saturday, 9 February 2013

Self Esteem The Importance Of Forgiveness And Letting Go

It is hard to define what self esteem is, the research on self esteem is not clear, I have read research that says bullies have low esteem, other research that states they have very high esteem and yet more research that says they have both, presumably not at the same time!

Yet take a look at the posts on any self help forum and you will find 80% of these people will have added that they have low self esteem and cite their low esteem as a contributing factor to their particular problem. I am not a scientist or a researcher but I am a human being like you so lets take a simple human story approach to understanding how to achieve this illusive concept of self esteem.

Metaphorically we run towards what we want, if we reach it and achieve it we feel confident in ourselves, So confident with our achievement without a second thought we run to the next thing we want with the knowledge we can achieve it. Even if we don’t achieve what ever it was we wanted we can understand why and run towards the next thing in the knowledge that the more we run to, the better our chance of succeeding.
But what happens if that first time you ran towards what you wanted, metaphorically you tripped up, lying on the ground with everyone laughing and pointing at you as if you were a freak?
As you walk home crying, without even reaching what you wanted, a crowd follows shouting abuse.
Most likely you would think twice before ever running towards what you wanted again. In fact even if you did finally achieve what you wanted you would be forever looking down at the floor in fear of tripping, never being able let go, trust, and enjoy what you had achieved.
The person in the second scenario looks at the person in the first scenario and wishes they could be more like them but let me tell you, the person in the first scenario doesn’t exist!!
We all trip, we all learn to keep an eye to the ground and we all experience failure.
So lets add some more to the second scenario, You are sitting at home re-living the pain of your experience and there is a knock at the door, you open it and standing there is the ring leader of the mob that was so hurtful, they are in tears they get down on their knees and tell you how sorry they are for being so cruel and beg for your forgiveness. Being the lovely person you are you forgive them and they leave.
All day long there is a procession of people, every single member of the mob comes to your door and apologizes and asks for and gets forgiveness from you. Until finally there is a knock at your door and standing before you is that which you had been running towards when you tripped. They speak ” thank you for wanting me but I am not for you, you didn’t fail, it was just not the time for you to have me”
To overcome feelings of low esteem you must be proactive and forgive and let go, in real life the mob are not going to come to your door to apologize but that is no reason to not forgive them.
Forgive yourself and others, allow yourself some freedom to develop and every time you find yourself thinking “I couldn’t possible do that” ask yourself why not? If your answer is low self esteem take another look, are you making up the low self esteem as a catch all for not giving yourself the freedom to try?

The path to freedom is letting go of the shackles that bind you to the past. Forgive and let go.

"Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment; Mastering others requires force; Mastering the self needs strength. " Lao Tzu

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