Genuine self-esteem is soft and open to our own flaws; the kind built on pretence is rigid, defended, and rejecting of self-honesty. The difference is fusion with our conceptualised self-stories.*
It is ironic that you must go to the edge to find the centre.**
We long for belonging and connection, and as a result can create stories for ourselves that we believe will bring us this.
Some are stories of dependence, some are stories of independence.
The best stories are of interdependence.
Honesty about who we are allows for connection to take place with others, with our world with ourselves, and, if we have a god, with god.
This story involves us walking from the centre of our lives to the edge, defusing from the story we have been telling ourselves – reality is bigger than we allow.
From the edge, we gain greater perspective and see not only the truth of who we are more clearly, but also the truth of others, our world and god. This includes a great deal of many things, including the wonder and beauty of our lives.
When we each make this journey – which is part of what it is to be human – then others helps us to see ourselves with greater clarity, with a greater perspective:
As you emerge from behind your eyes, you begin to see behind the eyes of others.*
Steven Hawes imagines this to be a place of greater consciousness, a transcendence to which we are connecting and in which we are belonging.
It is a hard journey, though, as Tania Luna readily admits and also offers the reason why it’s worth it:
We feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they’re not.^
It’s okay to need others and to be needed, to not have all the answers, to fail, to struggle – it’s human.