We need to belong, that is why we depend on external approval, on standards that tell us who we are. If society positively values certain aspects, we will perceive them as desirable.
Our parents, teachers, classmates, siblings, and the whole culture in which we were immersed in our early years shaped our world views and the assumptions we have about ourselves. Today they live inside of us in the form of an internal critic who is in charge of judging our behavior, our feelings, and our thoughts.
The ego lives in a permanent state of anxiety. Our self-esteem is always precarious because it is conditioned by capricious circumstances over which we have no control. We can lose our money, our status, our reputation, our beauty. Deep down we fear we will always be inadequate and therefore unworthy of love. We live in constant tension, we dread being discovered and exposed.
If we only knew that everybody is doing the same, they are investing all their energy in keeping a facade that hides the original wound of not being loved and accepted unconditionally and the shame and hurt that comes with it.
When we accept ourselves and stop hiding our humanness we break free from this fear of inadequacy and the dependency of our self-image. When we stop being divided internally we reconnect with the totality of who we are, accessing a more integrated and whole version of ourselves.
When we accept we are constantly learning and evolving, that we are a process, not a finished work, we understand our ”mistakes” as opportunities for growth, freeing ourselves from expectations and becoming available for the unfolding of existence.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” Tao Te Ching