Jul 10, 2007

Onion soup for the soul

Anonymous wrote: I've always been very confident about myself, and know I have a certain calling. As I grew up and got involved in the daily grind of domesticity and balanced work, I'm not so sure about myself. I've become possessive about relationships, I've become attention seeking, and my sense of self has plummeted. I feel I am not good enough, that my efforts are not up to the mark, and I am never happy with what I have done. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I live in an environment where the demand to perform is high. It pains me to feel so distant from my goal, although in my heart of hearts I know I have it in me. Maybe I am not looking for a answer, but only a reassurance.

Dear woman (your second line gives you away: a man would have NEVER worried about balancing domesticity with work!),

Your question is like an onion, going round in circles, with a strong flavour that is making you cry, and you have to keep on and on peeling the layers. And when you do it for a while, you reach the end, and there's nothing there. Just a bunch of flakes in your hands. And your eyes are dry because they weren't real tears at all.

There's nothing there, woman. All your feelings are of your own making.

Let's tackle the flakes (symptoms) one at a time:

1) Not sure about myself, sense of self has plummeted: Why are you letting people or circumstances decide your own opinion about yourself? Why letting your relationships, job, life situation define WHO you are? Do you know who you are?

You are a perfect being, eternal, full of light, radiating brilliance. You have no past, no present, no future; you are all at once. You are a thought, a form of energy, unchanging, indestructible. Yes, you have taken on human form temporarily. But that doesn't change who you are.

Neither do your surroundings, people around you, events change you. They can't.

Lack of confidence comes from forgetting how perfect, how divine you really are. Conviction comes from knowing it and believing it. Being grateful for it, and revelling in it.

2) Possessive, attention-seeking: Whom are you possessive of? You do not own anyone. Not even yourself! This body, this face, these thoughts, this personality... it's on loan. It will be returned, with some wear and tear, once you move on. So how can you own anyone else?

Don't cling to elusive definitions of relationships. The tighter you hold on to sand, the faster it disappears between your fingers. Instead, go back up, read the last sentence; know who you are, and revel in it. Shine with the brilliance that is there within you; be the source (as Neale Donald Walsch puts it). Give what you wish to receive. You have an unending, unfathomable supply. Craving passion, love? Give it. I promise you, you will become a magnet, and will draw all the love and passion in the world towards you. But don't believe me. Try it for yourself.

3) My efforts are not up to the mark, competitive environment, demand to perform is high: Stop thinking of it that way. Think of it as 'challenging', 'inspiring', 'motivating'. Tell yourself that you are in a position where you can achieve all you want, you can grow, help others grow and make a difference to the world. Be grateful for it, it sound fabulous to me!

Work hard. Don't wait for that wonderful elusive opportunity to come along and fulfil you. Fulfil yourself NOW. Be creative, be happy, work with the same amount of passion as if this had this been your 'dream life situation'. Do things that you love doing, do them with love, commitment and sense of responsibility. Pursue your goal right here, right now. Make your circumstances your mission.

As long as YOU are satisfied that your efforts have exceeded the mark that YOU have set yourself, you are doing fine. Others' opinions no longer matter. Your harshest critic should be you, yourself.

4) I need reassurance: Who doesn't? I need reassurance too. Maya (illusion) constantly convinces us that we are mere humans after all, we have failings, we have imperfections. It needs constant reassurance (from mentors, books, meditations, prayer) to remind us we are above that. That we are greater than the sum of our genes and circumstances. That all we need to be happy, complete and fulfilled is to choose it.

Each moment contains within it the possibility for both heaven and hell. Which do you choose?


Jyotsna said...

Thank you very much, Aekta for showing me the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aekta,

I have run out of things to talk with my friends. I am an intensely private person and dont have much to say outside my work life. The only person with whom I can share my life is my fiance and yes he is wonderful. Yet I often feel lonely and miss having good friends around.

How do I resolve this?

Jinal Shah said...


I have an insensitive and selfcentered husband. I am overworked, looking after our 2 kids, home, in-laws. I hardly get time to study ( I am doing my masters ). He comes back home from work, goes to play tennis, watches T.V....

I have been reading your blog and I am looking for an answer.

Aekta said...

Dear Jinal
Believe me when I say you have been on my mind since the time you left this message! I do intend to reply as sooooon as I get about an hour to myself without work or home or family demands taking over! But there's no excuse really.

I promise I will reply today if that's the last thing I do before I go to bed. Please bear with me.