Currently in my life, my greatest struggle is recognizing the greatness within myself, or rather maintaining it, so to speak. There is a particular reason for it, as events in the past did quite the number on my own self-worth, but not because of the events themselves, but rather the perception of the event.

This is vitally important, and isolating this after much self-reflection led to a lot of liberation in my own psyche – and something I must continue to practice as I move forward in my life. Events that transpire do not hurt you directly unless it is physical, but how one perceives and reacts to it can do an incalculable amount of damage to you that can last years and years. And all of it is self-inflicted.

Yes, all of it, and I mean it. While I will not discuss my own history, after much meditation and reflection I realized that at some point, I had concluded some time ago that I was not good enough as I was – that something was wrong with me. This all came to me as I allowed my mind to simply allow whatever it was delivering to my awareness during meditation. It was identification that well, shit! I don’t seem to believe in myself. I don’t see myself as a force for good. I don’t see myself as a successful, capable, person. Doubt had somehow seeped into the cracks and poisoned my own image.

And from here I decided to challenge it. I made the choice to ask, “is that actually true, and where is the evidence?”. I looked back at the past few years. I thought of all the moments in my life – where there have been truckloads – where people have enjoyed being in my company. Where someone thanked me for the guidance I gave them, or the joy I brought to a conversation; or the compassion and connection that was felt. I remembered times when people recognized something I did and truly admired it, appreciating the work I put in, the honesty and virtue I displayed and the outpouring of love. A lot of it came flooding through, and that self-limiting belief started to look a little silly.

I made a realization, that I was good enough, and am good enough right now. And through that, I blossom naturally. The entire world around me sees it, and “why can’t I?” I asked.

It was an emotional, and unusual experience. It was startling how a simple perspective on an event that had transpired shifted my self-esteem and self-worth to tremendous negatives. I recognize now that during that event, I never did anything wrong, nor did the other party – we were both great and loving people in our own rights, but we both were fearful of something happening. I finally saw what happened separate to my reaction to it. I saw it with objectivity, and I identified where I made my error. And now I work to correct it, day in and day out.

The point behind this personal accounting is that how we see ourselves dictates whether we can live a happy or torturous life. I’ve written before about how self-improvement can be a nasty trap, and I still hold to that. Before one can actually “improve” themselves, they must first know that right now, they are exactly as they ought to be. Within the present moment, you are good enough. And much like a flower, when you bloom, you can shine the brightest as you bask in the sunlight. You don’t have to be good enough – you are good enough. You’re a human being.

It is also a testament to how powerful belief from others is. There are many, many people in my life who have come forth in droves showing how much they believe in me. They recognize things in me that somehow I didn’t fully identify. That’s the antidote. To be kind, compassionate, truthful, and to believe in others. It is what kills the poison of self-doubt, of self-worth and suffering. It’s also what you must focus on. It is so easy to focus on the negative and hurtful, but that’s not what is important.

It brings to mind a wonderful quote from a game I played a long time ago called Okami – a game about the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, who had fallen from heaven and was working to restore light to the world shrouded in darkness. At her lowest point, it wasn’t pure willpower that got her through to the end – it was belief from friends and the good of others, who after being aided by the Goddess during her adventures, decided to pay gratitude towards her kindness, in the form of belief. While the quote holds religious overtones, the message underlying it is also abundantly clear – gratitude and belief in others can help them shine again.

So c’mon, everybody! Let’s join together to call upon the great god. Let’s show Ammy that we truly believe! Put your hands together and pray. Let’s make our gratitude obvious! I mean, we shouldn’t pray only when we want something. We should consider how the gods must feel once in a while. We should even take on some of their burden. If you pray with all your heart, maybe the sun will cheer up and show itself once again, lighting our world with its heavenly glow.

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