Towards Deep Authenticity
Almost all of us are preoccupied by anxious, fearful, compulsively 'driven' thinking, speaking & other actions, arising from self-esteem issues. Our sense of who we are, what we do & where we are, seems 'never good enough.' So we constantly struggle, unsuccessfully, to earn 'external validation' - acceptance, approval & love by others.
We may appreciate, theoretically, that every one of us is always doing the best we can with what we have, and even that each one of us fully deserves self-acceptance (non-judgment), self-compassion & ultimately, unconditional love. But in our actual lives, we continue to fidget & scramble as if we were fundamentally unworthy of love. This is due to a distorted sense of self - which meditative traditions consider even more limiting, & therefore more damaging, than the psychological concept of 'low self-esteem.'
In meditation we relax our grip on the content of our psyche: thoughts, ideas, feelings, memories, impulses; and pay more attention to the context: we can call that consciousness, awareness, silence, presence or stillness. We take a well-deserved rest from exclusive entanglement with the frantic choppy waves on the surface (which includes our distorted sense of self & all our related anxieties), so we can rediscover, reconnect with, & savor the timeless, silent stillness in the depths of our ocean.
We physically, mentally & emotionally rest in our dignified authenticity, the depth of who we are. Here we hold everyone including ourselves & everything in unconditional love. We very gradually undergo an identity shift. We come to realize that, as far as trying to earn acceptance, the right to exist & be loved, we have nothing to do, no one else to be, nowhere else to go! We gradually become increasingly congruent, integrated: our thinking, speaking & other behaviors, more & more consistently arise from the depths of our being & thus are increasingly more appropriate to what the present moment actually needs, to decrease suffering & increase joy for all concerned, including ourself.
This can be roughly compared to a loving grandmother preparing a meal for her grandchild. The short- & long-term nurturing benefits of unconditional love – for provider, recipient, & all who interact with them – are literally “beyond measure.”
“Nourish and express the deepest domain of your being each day.” Adyashanti
We’re stunningly slow to adequately value each individual’s quality of life – our own especially – and to appreciate its profound ripple effect, not only in humanistic terms, but also politically & economically.
“Childhood experiences, both positive & negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization & perpetration, and lifelong health & opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Refer to research on: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).” https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/index.html