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We have all been through those moments when we were explicitly or implicitly told that we were not good enough. Some of us acquired these messages when socially excluded or other relative experiences that made us feel that we were inadequate. For example, if you were not invited to a gathering you may have said to yourself- "no one likes me", or if your loved one gets mad at you- "no one loves me", then you find yourself spiraling downward thinking that there may be something "unlikeable" about you.
We now live in an era where we are inundated with "you are not good enough" messages. We receive these messages through unexpected or unpleasant experiences in school settings, interpersonal relationships, missed opportunities in the work setting, or perhaps when you couldn't secure that job you thought you deserved.
Similar messages are conveyed through the media or advertisements telling us that we need to be a certain size, achieve a certain standard to be considered successful, that our skin needs to be free from wrinkles to look beautiful, that we need to lease a new car, revamp our kitchen, get another toy, a better play station, more clothes, shoes - more, more, more! Yes, the marketing campaigns for every business tailor to their business need of acquiring more product or service sales by preying on the psyche of their consumers. We are socially conditioned to want more, and now we are falling into a cyclical nature of happiness. That is, we are happy when we have an iPhone 5... until we want 5s, when we get the 5s, we want 6 the 6s... and on we go. We get sucked into greed.
In our relationships, how may of us find ourselves engaging in rhetorical questioning? i.e. "s/he takes forever to answer my texts" , "doesn't s/he miss me when I'm gone?", "s/he used to laugh at my jokes, do you think s/he's lost interest in me now?"
Then you turn on yourself- "it's because I'm ugly", "what is wrong with me?" In other words, we hold this tainted sense of ourselves and our self- worth. Consequently, when s/he says something that triggers this insecure area we go off like the unattended kettle.
Human beings are biologically wired to make sense of reality i.e. we place meaning behind our experiences to make sense of our world. Embedded in us is our ego, also known as our self-esteem or sense of worth. We all want to feel good about ourselves and when we don't, our ego sets out on an ungodly mission to get us out of this uncomfortable and undesirable state.
Human beings are also biologically designed to survive. A great example of this is the body's natural mechanism of storing fat. When our body senses famine it will use these reserves to keep itself alive. Similarly, the psychological part of us was designed to maintain the body's need to survive. Your ego is what protects you from feeling less than. So if what you perceive does not sit well with you, your story may be re-created or reality distorted.
In addition, if we feel that we "lack", the ego will search for things to compensate for this feeling so that we can be somebody and feel connected with our being. When we try to compensate, our actions come from a place of insecurity. Your insecurity will follow you wherever you go- seeping into the health of your relationships at its worst. When left unsatisfied, the ego will always look for something outside of you, to complete you. You can have everything but it won't make you happy because what it is searching for resides within you.
Many of us believe that our happiness lies at the end of our achievements. We live in a "when-then" culture. Ever hear yourself say, "when I get that job I will be happy" or "when I lose weight, I will be fine". The truth is you won't. Your connection to yourself will strengthen through an internal sense of worth and you can start by telling yourself, "you are enough" and that "you are blessed" then look for evidence or the tiniest things that you can be grateful for. You will find what you look for. This is the complexity of the human mind. What you focus on will become your reality."
External control is the biggest psychological illusion yet human beings seek it. Life works in favor of pushing us out of our cushy positions, you know- into the unknown to give us the gift of growth. If you permit, the journey can be liberating. If you are not grounded, the same journey is one filled with pain and suffering.
We possess selfish energy that needs to be tamed. This energy stems from the evolutionary goal to survive. Taking the reigns back requires an awareness of the ego and how it serves the self. Then, you decide what role you would like it to play in your life.
Cultivating a relationship with yourself takes practice.
Ask yourself, who you are at your core?
Who holds the power to change who you are?
Tell yourself, "you are enough".
Do not allow things outside of you to define you.
Let your experiences guide you as you turn unpleasant moments into teaching moments.
Choose inner peace.