Elf on the self

Elf on the self

RISHI CHAVAN explores the nature of self-acceptance, self-love and getting rid of self-destructive tendencies.

Our relationship with our own self defines our relationships with others. Not only that, the degree of acceptance we have of ourselves directly correlates with the acceptance we have of others.

In order to avoid self-destructive tendencies, and their subsequent actions and habits, we need to feel a deep sense of self-love and self-acceptance. We all are prey to illusions about our own self and more often than not we are unaware of them.

Often there are many versions of our ‘self’, separated by time and situations. For example, there is one ‘self’ at home with the family, one at work, one with friends, one on holidays, etc. This creates conflicting desires at times, demanding our attention as well as our efforts. We often also feel anger as a result of feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and lack of faith or confusion due to the conflict within.

The spectrum of anger and its manifestations vary greatly. Anger may manifest as simple hesitation in daily tasks, like arriving late to work, chronic procrastination of important projects, inability to prioritize, or avoidance of difficult tasks. Eventually this all leads to self-sabotage.

Often we may feel so frustrated by our inability to correct ourselves, even when there is ample awareness of what needs to be corrected. This leads us to question our awareness itself. Mere awareness is not, however, enough. Acceptance is the key.

At times the awareness may not be so obvious or it may be disguised, pointing only to our outward shortcomings. Our ego and our past prejudices about our self, about others and about situations make the acceptance of our entire self a difficult endeavor. As a result we look outside.

As we try to climb high, what erodes away at our inner core? What affects our integrity? It is the multiple things we are fighting to hold onto.

Seeking answers outside often leads to more frustration as we cannot change anyone else or situations from the past. Also for those who are addicted to the chaos within, inner silence may be unbearable. Every excuse to stay busy or plugged in takes priority.

The first step is to accept the chaos that is within. This means accepting our self with unconditional love and having compassion towards that flawed self.

Once there is a state of unconditional love and compassion towards every dim lit corner within, there is a prevailing feeling of safety and security that allows awareness to deepen.

Here is something to try as an investment strategy: cultivate self-compassion through acceptance and gratitude for every aspect of yourself, the good, the bad and the ugly. The disciplined pursuit of this daily practice allows us to enjoy the silence, just as we enjoy the company of a very dear old friend, without the need to say anything.

When we are able to create a state of acceptance through self-compassion, devoid of the pulling or pushing of self-judgment, inner awareness provides a very subtle and effective vigor to selfcorrect. The result is that a natural vaporization of self-destructive tendencies is achieved. Over time this results in noticeable changes in our attitudes and behavior.




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  1. Helped a great deal. Thanks!

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