"… The body is mortal, but your true self is eternal, larger and more encompassing than we dare believe. This is a powerful concept. It is a confidence builder at the same time that it helps us to better understand who and what we are. …"
Confidence is another word for faith, and faith is an active, life-long practice. Knowing that you are an aspect of creation and that creation continuously succeeds, no matter its current challenge, is a contemplative practice from whithin that causes our world vision - that which we feel to be outside - to change. Saying, "Yes!" to attempting a new activity is a result of confidence; saying "Yes!" bolsters one's confidence by making it apparent, but it does not create self-confidence. Only a deep change in consciuosness about self and world creates faith or confidence in ourselves, in our world.
To "instill" means to drill down beneath multiple layers of wrong self-conceptions to the core of consciousness and create permanent change. This is accomplished by either placing a new quality or element deep within the core, or by uncovering a deeply forgotten quality or element. Either way, when this journey takes place our consciousness is changed; a turn in the road takes place. Obviously, if the placement is at the core of conscious awareness, and the purpose is a permanent one, the process is not expected to take place overnight. However, the resulting experience may feel sudden or enlightening, as if having an epiphany.
Considering the above, it makes sense that patience is the watchword of the day, and being self-critical of a learning curve nets one nothing of value and impedes the process. This is valuable self-work of the first order. This self-work should have been done long ago. However, even for a loving, well-intentioned parent, how to welcome and guide a new 'self' into the world is an experiment. It usually goes off track for any one of a thousand different reasons and must wait until we have arrived at that stage in our journey when our sentient travels become self-directed, a point of individuation or adulthood.
How can I find the core self if I don't know what it looks like, feels like, sounds like? I must take the first step sitting quietly, all phones turned off, with "Do Not Disturb" signs on the door, and I need to ask, "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "What is my life's purpose, what meaning do I serve?" "I do not live in a vacuum, so, how do I fit in with all of creation?"
Right here, I want to state that the term "creation" or the phrase "…all of creation…" can and should, be replaced by whatever your conception of an intelligent, infinite spiritual guide might be: God, Jesus, Lord, Buddha, Tao, Ishvara, Divine Mother, Brahman, sat guru, Krishna, universal intelligence, personal deity, or impersonal force – it matters that from the start of your self-directed journey you feel a profound company in your heart that squares with your world point of view. No doubt, along the road to finding the self, your point of view will change. However, at no point should you feel that you are traveling alone – because, simply, my dearest friend, you are not.
This brings us to "confidence." To own confidence in any event is to keep faith: theistic; spiritual; or scientific. Once the inquiry has begun, you will find early in the process that you can only keep faith in a point of view and an event that you can square as your personal truth. Faith, truth, confidence, these are slippery qualities in a living dynamic we call life. No problem. Truth to be true, must be free to change as it learns and viewpoints develop and evolve; that tree which does not break, is the one that bends in the wind.
This then, is our working state of consciousness to begin the journey of instilling self-confidence: our true self - our essence – is Brahman's innate will to achieve consciousness in a creative, intelligent fashion [I will use the term, 'Brahman', because it happens to ring true for me. You will substitute as you wish]. Dynamic energy or Divine Will manifests itself in countless forms moment to moment, and I am one of those forms, and so are you – we are never alone. The body is mortal, but the true self is eternal, larger and more encompassing than we dare believe. This is a powerful concept. It is a confidence builder at the same time that it helps us to better understand who and what we are. Understanding "self" and having faith and confidence in the "self" is a simultaneous process. To permanently instill this self-confidence is part of the practice of living – it takes time and the contemplative discipline to stay with our original inquiry that now fuels our journey.
From this early point of self-realization we will keep faith in ourselves, confidence in that creation which we are by deepening our understanding of "self" and knowing that this understanding will continue to solidify the instilling self-confidence we seek.
We proceed as a finite expression of a single infinite creative energy desiring formation of its self-awareness through using the creative intelligence of its whole self. You and I are infinite spirit manifest as self-conscious individuals imbued with abilities to reflect on our condition and innovate change. Our evolution is a mindful one. We share direction and an innate cohesive consciousness. We do not travel alone, and we are not as small and vulnerable and tenuous as we first conceived our "self" to be. We find that we are not strangers in a strange land. We share the above fundamental elements of "self." As my audience, I cannot see you, but believe me, when I write I feel as though I know you.
Why begin our profound construction of self-confidence by first grasping this point about infinite cosmology as ourselves, as a single whole? Discovering faith is a healing that means to make whole - better, to make being whole an aware, conscious activity. If we felt whole we wouldn't be searching for self-confidence. Many of us feel bereft of our spiritual connection, an idea of who or what our true self is, or why we are an integral dynamic essence experiencing life's journey. When we introspect viewing ourselves as being born into this world - rather than from our world - we feel insecure, confused and separated from an infinite, intentional mind inclusive of, but broader than our finite aspect of that mind.
Unaware of humankind's fundamental nature, we suffer building a sense of self and journey, and sense ourselves set apart from others and from spirit. Our pathology, lack of self-confidence, is never having been invited to live as an aware whole.
'Maya', a Sanskrit term, is often interpreted in English as "illusion." I prefer the concept of Maya as an incomplete vision of reality, a pathology of starving for spiritual essence because one has forgotten they are an integral expression of our infinite creator's will to be conscious. Instilling the knowledge of what it means to live as a consciously whole human being is where the healing process begins.
I could have opened this article by telling you to go speak to a crowd, or learn to ride a bicycle, or undertake some new activity and discover that with practice, you can do it. But honestly, that is a small bandage for a gaping wound. However, if you can now link the above information to your daily activities, you will be practicing the healing art of instilling permanent self-confidence. I envy you your adventure in living!