We rarely engage with gratitude, failing to see how much worse things could get. Henry Ward Beecher, G.K. Chesterton and Charles Dickens. Art by M. Raimondi
Jane Austen in 1814 said; “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be”. Instead of believing that feelings of low self-esteem must be cast away immediately, first hear what they have to say.
Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) is quoted as saying “A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”
We look up at the ideal we fall so short of, embittered. If only that target wasn’t so high, or better again, if it didn’t exist at all, we wouldn’t appear so dreadful! In doing so, we bring the heavens crashing down to join us in the slums. Now we are level.
With these lies we build a fragile fantasy that is not in line with the truth. Our perception is delicate, constantly threatened by exposure. On the other hand, when we align ourselves with truth, we start working with the world, rather than against it. There is harmony.
It creates such a level of unease that every endeavour is taken to appease everyone. But of course, it is an impossible task. If we take any meaningful or purposeful action, there will be people who are not going to approve.
Without us realising, every choice we make contributes to who we become, shapes our character and our integrity. Like droplets of water, over time, they will make an ocean. If we really believed we are a result of all our choices, perhaps we would choose more carefully.