Note: This is a digest version of the guest post featured on The Positivity Blog. Special thanks to the blogger Henrik Edberg for featuring my post!
Elsewhere, I defined that low self-esteem is the root of all problems. In it, I defined 3 levels of self-esteem — your right to exist, your trust in your abilities, and your trust in the world. Of which, the first is the very foundation of our being: the belief that our existence is justified and wanted.
When this foundation is compromised, its effect is felt throughout your systems, from physical to psychological to relational. Problems such as chronic pain and inability to form fulfilling relationships all boil down to you being unsure about your right to exist.
It’s futile to try to mend this by addressing those surface problems: you are treating the symptom, not the cause. To cure all your problems once and for all, you need to heal from the bottom up.
So, how can you affirm your right to exist?
With unconditional love.
Unconditional love says that you are a good existence. You are wanted. We are glad you were born, and that you exist. It doesn’t matter what you say or do — or what you don’t say or do. Your welcome never wears out. It doesn’t mean that everything you do or don’t do are justifiable. It’s just that no matter how grave your mistakes, errors, crimes and lack of accomplishments are, it doesn’t change the fact that you are a good existence.
It’s the affirmation of all affirmations.
But it’s hard to really let this concept sink in, to the very bottom of your being. It’s not enough to just merely understand it logically. You need to feel it with your entire self.
How do we do that?
By going back to the beginning of your life. And reliving your infancy — but this time, you play the parent and the child. You love yourself, the way you’ve always wanted to be loved.
Here are 5 practical ways anyone can use to rebuild your very foundation:
- Visualization. Visualize taking care of baby you.
- Drawing. Express the unconditional love visually.
- Playing. Live out the unconditional love. You have no responsibilities, nothing to take care of — simply play, like a child.
- Role-playing. Get a doll and take care of it, as if it’s baby you. Give it your name. Shower it with your love.
- Caring a child. I obviously am not advocating that you become a parent just to heal your personal wounds — but if you happen to be one, recognize it as the most powerful opportunity to raise yourself, along with your child.
In my personal experience, #5 has produced the most powerful healing. Being a father awakened in me the capacity for unconditional love, and I’ve experienced tremendous healing and growth in my process of raising my children.
Are you struggling with a personal problem? Most of us do — you are not alone. Employ any or all of the above, to re-experience what it’s like to be a peaceful baby in your parent’s arms, being rocked. You don’t have to do anything — just breathe, and rest. Just be.
Do you feel a powerful sense of relief?
Welcome to your healing.
You are right, fatherhood is the greatest gift of all. It makes you appreciate life and teaches unconditional love.
Brian´s last blog post..Down by the river…
Yes, isn’t it? I notice how relaxed I am around my kids — which goes on to show how I’m putting my guards up around everybody else. Ultimately, I think that comes from fear of judgment. I know that kids don’t remember what I do and if I make mistakes, they’ll forget them soon. They have nothing that prevent me from being just myself.
That sounds really nice, doesn’t it? 😉
Hi there Ari – I think it is very true that dealing with our feelings about our right to exist is essential for health. I love your techniques for healing these issues.
(I will have work out what is going on with CommentLuv – it won’t show my latest post)
Cheers – Robin
Robin´s last blog post..Love Song To Planet Earth
Thanks. And yeah, I see what you mean about CommentLuv — sorry about that. I’ll look into it when I have time, which may not be this week. 🙁
That’s OK Ari – I just needed to sign up with commentluv.com
Robin´s last blog post..Ice And Global Warming
Is that what it was? That’s good to know. Thanks!
WOw, thanks for the post. Great things to consider. We all get into the mindset that we are vauled by what we produce. It’s more of a challenge to think we are valued just because we ARE. Good things to ponder.
Welcome to OBV! Yes, I think many of us feel that unless we do something useful/good, we are worthless. Yet, that creates a great pressure for us to do something that meet others’ approvals. Once we realize that we’re valued simply for our existence — imagine the relief that idea brings — then we can more freely explore our personal potential. And when we’re fully realized, we’ll have A LOT more to offer to the grater whole!
Keep in touch — I look forward to getting to know you!
Yes, number 5 seems to be me right now. I am reliving my life with my children and changing things that I missed along the way. It is a great feeling to be able to give to my children some voids that are in mine. I do agree with 1-4. I need to take the time to relive some things the way they should have been lived. In the hustle and rush of life I seem to just ignore some of my inner feelings. Slowly they are surfacing and I am embracing them this time.
You have given me a great deal to think about here.
Tammy Warren´s last blog post..Was that a compliment? Think about it.
Well, you are living the most powerful way to heal yourself, at least in my opinion. I’m sure it’s done wonders to how you view yourself already. 😉
Ari, I really love your blog a lot–you have so much good information for people–and I can tell we are both on the same page with our philosophies about the interconnections of mind and body.
Keep up the great work!
Melinda (from Melindaville)
Melinda´s last blog post..Just Say "No" to Stupid Assumptions
Welcome to OBV!
I’m glad you came by. I think what you have to say to the world is very important. And indeed, we have some things in common — I am a survivor and witness of depression, you of addiction. We’re both trying to make the best of what we learned, as we see many others struggling.
I hope you keep in touch! I’m hoping that we can capitalize on our common grounds in some ways, to make a great impact.
Hi Ari – those are great ideas. I do believe that if we can change our past in our own minds, it can improve the way we live now. I uses a hypnosis CD which keeps reaffirming that your childhood as abundant. And I think it does work.
I can see how that can work. Childhood is our foundation — when it is cracked, it’s hard to build a stable house on it.
Ari, what a beautiful post.
I think these sentences are ONE of the reasons we connect so much.
“It’s futile to try to mend this by addressing those surface problems: you are treating the symptom, not the cause. To cure all your problems once and for all, you need to heal from the bottom up.”
We both work hard to try to get to the root of problems. It’s the only way to find the answers to life and in healing. You are so right that if you don’t believe you have the right to exist it will most certainly affect everything you do.
I love these suggestions. Are they original with you or did you learn them from somewhere?
Jennifer´s last blog post..Heroes of Healing: Ron Wilkins
Thanks for picking out what I believe is the core of these matters.
That’s why I think there’s nothing more cruel than seeing little children realize how unwanted they are. They arrive, full of confidence and joy of being alive, only to realize that there’s nothing that affirms the goodness of their existence. They are resilient, but sooner or later they resign to the realization that they are not wanted.
My father felt very insecure about his existence, and he struggled with it to the very end.
It’s a hard and painful work, but it is possible to heal the broken foundation. What I described here is only a scratch — it depends on how deep the wound is, but there is a fair amount that one can do by oneself. After all, healing is also something that happens from within — doctors, therapists and other healing professionals are only aides.
The list, I compiled, though they are taken from other sources. There’s nothing ground-breaking there. I suppose role-playing may be something that’s not often discussed. I didn’t do it with this issue myself but I have used that technique on another issue I had in a co-mentoring session with a long time friend of mine. It’s very powerful, if you feel comfortable enough to really get into it.
Another interesting post Ari! I like it when you say play like a child. I have actually written a post titled ‘Play Like A Child’!
sharon´s last blog post..The Prosperity Mind Game-Ask and It Is Given
Next time you’re referring to your own post, feel free to post a URL here, OK? I just went to your site and punched in that title in the search, but couldn’t find it.
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