13 Feb My whole life I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, particularly when around people in positions of authority or those whose intelligence I feel far exceeds my own. How can I make a lasting change in this area?
Don Miguel answered J.M.’s question:
If you feel inadequate it’s because of your own self-judgments; you are judging yourself against an image of what you believe you should be. And because you judge yourself, you make the assumption that everybody else judges you the same way, and you are afraid of their judgment.
To make a lasting change in this area, you need to accept yourself and love yourself just the way you are. But first, you need to be aware of what you really are. You are truth; you are life; you are perfect just the way you are. You are what you are, and you don’t need to pretend to be something else. You come from life and you are far greater than you realize, but the distorted image of yourself – the one who feels inadequate – is the one who is living your life and it’s extremely powerful. Years of practice have made you a master of pretending to be what you are not.
In the process of domestication, the outside dream hooks our attention and feeds us all of our beliefs. Little by little, we forget what we really are and we believe what other people tell us. Awareness is the key to recovering the truth, and it’s one of the main masteries of the Toltec. When you become aware of what you really are, in that moment you respect yourself; you respect others; you respect all of creation. You completely accept your body, your emotions, your life, your story. You love yourself unconditionally, and you love every secondary character of your story unconditionally.
When you live your life in love, you see your own love reflected in every secondary character of your story. This changes your relationship with other humans. It makes you completely impersonal. You no longer compare yourself to others or judge yourself against a false standard of intelligence or worthiness. You no longer need a reason to love yourself or to love other people. You are aware that to love is your nature.
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The Circle of Fire by don Miguel Ruiz