Working as a therapist and a coach, clients often share with me an intention of feeling worthy and having good self-esteem. In the past, I might have supported them with identifying the misunderstandings in their consciousness responsible for their painful feelings of not being good enough. This certainly provides respite, and helps clients see their beliefs as false. It allows them to let them go of the limited thinking and experience a more accurate understanding of themselves. Working with the content of thought and clarifying it so a deeper realization can emerge is healing. However, there is another way to address self-worth that has nothing to do with worthiness. It is to simply experience the loving essence of our true nature.
When I drop into the love inside of me, I know my self-worth is a non-issue. I do not experience worthiness in that moment. All I feel is love — love for myself and everything else. My worth is not a question that even occurs to me. It would be ridiculous to entertain that kind of question. It would be like me asking if the fern in my living room is worthy, or if the cat lying on my bed worthy? What has worth go to do with it? They are neither worthy nor unworthy, they just are. Why is it any different for humans?
Now, I recognize, when I am feeling unworthy, this is a reflection of my limiting thinking being believed. It is a marker of me being disconnected from the truth of who I am. The only reason I would not be experiencing my beingness, the what is-ness of who I am, is by believing the illusion of my ego’s self-created limitations.
Having the anchor of the experience of love in my consciousness, reminds me I have the choice to surrender to love. I can relax and let my thinking settle. I can drop out of my personal mind and no longer be consumed by my self-conscious thoughts. I am able to enjoy the bliss of being self-less, with no concern for me and my worth. I can enjoy the freedom and liberation of being me without the painful experience of judging myself.
Any imperfection I experience is a conceptual idea that is made up. It is not the truth. Any notion of good and bad or right and wrong is created by the ego. The ego does not have the capacity to understand the spiritual context of perfection. Right and wrong are ideas of the ego. They are not the reality of what is. We make them up. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
There is a way outside the made up concepts of right and wrong. It is the path of love. Not personal romantic love reserved for a few, but impersonal, infinite love that is the essence of who we are and the essence of all things. When I relax and let my personal thinking settle, this is what awaits me. This is what awaits you.
Just like when we relax and let go when we go to sleep, we can relax and let go into waking up. We can wake up from the conditioned, limiting thinking of our personal mind. These thoughts may make up the background hum of our lives that we innocently keep alive. We buy into our physiological stress response that tells us we need to be vigilant. We believe we need to do more, be more, earn more, and have more.
I do not live my life in a state of surrender all of the time, but my intention is to continue to let go of my preoccupation with myself — looking good and getting it right — and to wake up more and more fully to the awareness of myself as love.
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, and has an international coaching practice. rohiniross.com