The I Inside (Part 2)
We all are used to seeing ourselves with the spectacles of others’ perceptions which are all based on physical attitudes and clouded by the worldly view. Today, we look at ourselves with a lot of respect for all that we think is good in us and based on what others tell us about us. And then, suddenly someone criticizes us and we become depressed and lose our mood to the other person’s perception. All this because we have learnt to identify with things other than the real I. Suppose I identify with what specialties I possess e.g. I am a good debater (speaker) and this specialty has bought me a whole lot of praises from people around me all through my academic career. Over a period of time people start praising you regularly for that and the identification gets stronger. Identification means losing yourself in the object of your attachment so much that you completely forget that this is not the real you. In this case, the skill of debating (speaking) with confidence is a characteristic which I possess, which can easily lose its importance if I don’t get an opportunity to express it as I become older or am out of school or college. So, what happened to the object of my attachment with which I identified myself? Suddenly it gets back at me and the same object starts giving me sorrow if the praise that I am used to receiving because of it is no longer available. In this situation, wouldn’t it have been better that I shouldn’t have attached myself so much to this characteristic in the first place. The more the identification, the more the sorrow experienced.
So, a simple way of not experiencing sorrow in the above case is being happy and feeling lucky for what we possess. At the same time keep a relationship of detachment with the characteristic of speaking well i.e. how we express ourselves through our words and deliver our ideas through our voice. A relationship of detachment means not losing myself in the characteristic but playing my role with it and even keeping a pure pride that I possess the characteristic. This can also be called self-esteem, but at the same time not get over-awed or over self-impressed by the characteristic. That would lead to a healthier relationship with my attainment. Even if it is reduced or is lessened by any chance or not praised any more as much as before, it will not harm my self-esteem and give me unhappiness at any point of time.
(To be continued tomorrow …)