Low self-esteem is one of the great dis-eases of our modern culture. When the Dalai Lama first visited the United States, he had no idea what it was as it was non-existent in Tibet.
Low self-esteem results from a variety of factors including: neglectful parents, negative peer groups, trauma/abuse, the media as it relates to body image, and the karma we bring in.
There are few people in our western culture, who do not suffer from low self-esteem and those that do, can spend their entire lives trying to be seen, heard, affirmed and loved. They often seek power, control and success at any cost.
With low self-esteem we can become takers, which then negatively impacts the world and it’s inhabitants.
Most of us think, if no one sees me break dharma, even in little ways, that it won’t matter, but it does. Each time we break dharma, we eat away at our self-esteem. It’s not pretty, I know because I have lived it.
So what’s the way out?
Right or dharmic action.
What is dharma? Dharma includes the physical, psychological and moral laws that govern the cosmos.
Right action takes into account universal dharma but also personal dharma which varies from person to person depending on past karma.
It is vital to discover one’s personal (sva) dharma – our gifts and passions and then live them. What we were born to “share” with the world.
Yet, how can we make a contribution to the world when we feel so inadequate and believe the world owes us something?
We all know what’s right. As my wife and teacher Deva often shares, “don’t do it unless you’d be OK telling your grandmother.”
Choosing what’s right over our fears and desires builds esteem and character. You’ll feel the heat (tapas) as you stand in dharma. Over time this tapas will burn negative karma making it easier to do what’s right.
Much love and gratitude for the ancient teaching of the Vedas, the source texts modern-day yoga.
May we courageously choose light over darkness.
Vedanta book study begins again after a summer hiatus, every Thursday noon beginning September.
Pictured above, the True Nature Kiva in Carbondale, CO. An inspirational setting for conscious events, seminars and retreats.
Learn more at http://www.truenaturehealingarts.com
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