Even if you don’t like sports, you probably like games. Games require us to shift into the present tense consciously which is inherently fun and adventurous and they also speak to our ego where we establish our self-esteem (our identity) from either winning or losing. As an adult even if we don’t actually play games in the traditional sense, we still continue to make competition part of everything we do. Unfortunately, however not as a means of experiencing life as a present tense adventure, but in order to build and protect our identities. Activity in general is just a way we keep score. In fact, most would say the measure of our productivity and effectiveness directly corresponds to the activities we accomplish as opposed to how we feel on the journey itself.
It would be one thing if the mental games we played were at least fun, but they’re not. Like a jockey beating a horse to get to the finish line, whether the horse wins or loses, it’s stressed. So, as you grow, eventually you realize that even healthy or high self-esteem is no longer enough because the process of running frantically in pursuit of something isn’t actually enjoyable if you’re honest with yourself. Not to mention it all depends on others having less or knowing less than you in order for you to feel good which is uncivilized to say the least.
Have you ever noticed that anything connected to your self-esteem and identity tends to be dead serious? Well this seriousness is exactly what makes it stressful. Activity in order to be productive does not actually require tension though. In fact, the activity of the body and mind under these conditions is clearly inferior to the relaxed state. – When we observe this state, we find that we are connected to something larger than the just mind and body. The reality is that we must learn to recognize this state and connect with that larger aspect – call it Stillness – first and see action as a complementary aspect that adds comfort to our life, but is not the basis of life. Rest and stillness through meditation, not sleep, are the basis of life and dynamism and yet are the most commonly neglected aspects of life.
The path from suffering to transcendence is usually clearer than the path from superficial happiness to transcendence. So, if you’re suffering from low self-esteem use this time to observe how your seriousness is connected to your suffering. Meditation will help you disengage from that state. On the flip side, if you think you might be experiencing superficial happiness, which can suspend you in a dream like state, be honest with yourself. Is it because of some activity that happened to go your way or because of a self-induced state of happiness you’ve chosen for yourself?
Now is the time to transcend conventional self-esteem and discover the beauty of Stillness.
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