In western culture we are told we are to have self-esteem, self-confidence, self-belief, self-value, self-control, self-interest. The list goes on and on…
…but also to have a good sense of self in order to be happy and fulfilled.
Since I’m a student of ACIM, Eckhart Tolle and David Hawkins, I’ve known (for a long time) that there is no such thing as a self.
The ‘self’ is a construct that comes from the mind/brain, and ultimately comes from the human ego, which also does not exist.
The self exists only if we feed it…otherwise we are just awareness of being (free).
Unfortunately if you live in the ‘world’ (which also doesn’t exist), you do need a self in order to function in the world, which is very normal and ordinary.
The thing is: I’m painfully aware that my sense of self is what is creating my suffering.
So like millions of over people I’ve sought to reduce my self-ness, in order to have a happier life. (not easy).
My ‘self’ is very much like a turtle’s shell…
It protects me from what lies on the other side of the shell, so I can retreat into it,
…but it also (sometimes) stops me from fully experiencing the now (the present), and new things, or even just seeing things as they really are.
Many times I’ve heard people say: “that the problem is self”.
Scientifically, we know that the formative years of childhood have an enormous impact on our adult lives. These years are when we are most likely to identify who we are…(self)…
… if we fit in, if we are loved, and what kind of person we are…likes and dislikes etc.
All I can remember in my formative years was fear…
…fear of my parents… these were my first memories.
So having a self that is created by fear is most difficult to live with… but to know this, (awareness), is half the battle. so I’m half way there.
The process of change, (reducing self) has been slow, but permanently rewarding.