Healing Low Self Worth

Projecting Our Inner World Out

Most people have fears and insecurities to some degree, although some are much more insecure than others.  What often happens with our insecurities is they get projected onto the outside world.  Someone might feel they are a little overweight and imagine everyone is looking at them thinking they are overweight and unattractive.  It is really that the individual feels overweight and unattractive so develops a belief that others are perceiving them this way.

This dynamic happens frequently and is at the root of low self esteem.  In order to boost self esteem one must pay attention to the thoughts and feelings going on in the inner world and realize they are just that;  their thoughts and feelings.

When you believe how you are feeling about yourself, or how you are perceiving yourself is how others are perceiving you, you begin imagining that others are judging you, the way you are judging yourself.  This makes you very sensitive to the way other people see you.

Although this dynamic is common, it can get way out of control in some people to the point where their self worth plummets.  They can also lash out at their imagined enemies; those who they believe are judging them.  The deeper truth is that they are judging themselves.

This deep underlying insecurity shows up as one believing he/she is not smart enough, good enough, successful enough, attractive enough and so on.  This belief, projected outwards, results in one believing others are judging them as “not being good enough.”

One mistake insecure people make is believing that the judgment they perceive as coming from another person is actually coming from that person.  Sure, there are plenty of judgmental people in the world.  We all judge to some degree.  But more often then not, the  judgments you perceive as coming from outside yourself is actually coming from within.

if you are fifteen pounds over your ideal weight and your friend is, what you perceive, to be the ideal weight, you might imagine that your friend sees herself as “better than,” or “superior” than you are because she has achieved something you wish to achieve.  Your friend may not even notice your weight.  She might perceive that you look really good just as you are.  She may know and understand that you wish to lose weight and support you in this, but her support may feel like judgment to you.

I use weight as an example here, but this dynamic happens with all of our insecurities.  If we aren’t conscious of our inner judgments and beliefs, we will unconsciously project them out into the world and develop beliefs about ourselves that are really debilitating.  They are not only debilitating to the one who is projecting, but the one’s receiving the projections.  This dynamic can destroy relationships.

We can heal this dynamic by developing awareness about how we are perceiving ourselves.  You can do this by sitting down with a piece of paper and pen and writing down everything you judge about yourself.  “I believe I am….”  You can also write down everything you believe others are judging you for.

Some of those judgments may feel true and some may not be.  For example you may have a partner who you feel judges you quite a lot because he tells you that you need to lose weight, or start working out, or develop greater social skills or stop being such a b*tch.  You may think to yourself  “he is right” but some of those judgments may actually be coming from your partners own self judgments.

With the law of attraction, we often attract people into our lives who treat us the way we treat ourselves, so if we judge ourselves mercilessly, we may attract people who judge the same things in us that we judge in ourselves.  But if the law of attraction holds true, when we stop judging ourselves, we will stop attracting people into our lives who judge us, or if we do find that people judge us, we recognize their judgments as coming from their own insecurity.

We live in a world that conditions us to believe, in any given situation, we are either inferior, or superior.  When we are in a workplace or social group, we may size up our surroundings and decide where we fit in on the inferior/superior scale.  We base our decision on what we already believe to be important criteria for success, i.e. appearance, financial status, academic achievement, age, intelligence, talent and so on.  If we score high, in comparison to our peers, we may judge/decide that we are superior, so we feel more powerful.  If we score low, we may judge/decide that we are inferior and feel disempowered.  If one consistently judges themselves to be inferior, they may develop avoidance behaviors.

One who consistently scores high on the superiority scale may actually be narcissistic.  A narcissist will normally judge themselves as being “better than” those around them.  They make this judgment to compensate for a deep seated feeling of insecurity.  Their superiority complex will cause the narcissist to believe they are more attractive, talented, intelligent or successful then they actually are, and they develop a belief they should receive “special” treatment.  Many narcissists will actually excel in the outside world because their belief in their own superiority allows them to climb the ladder of success quite easily.  They simply believe they deserve to have the higher position, or the “sale” or “the attractive partner” or whatever it is they are striving for.

We can learn from the narcissistic mind, that when one believes he/she is “deserving” of all the good things in life, he/she is more likely to get it.  We don’t want to strive to be narcissistic, but some of us could stand to have a little more “healthy narcissism.”

Developing a positive belief in ourselves is healthy, and necessary for our own success and happiness.  But developing a positive belief in ourselves involves balancing the scale between superiority and inferiority.  If we can learn to see that we are all equal in the eyes of the Creator, regardless of our appearance and achievements, we can stop sizing ourselves up as “better than” or “less than.”

The greatest success any human being can strive for is “inner success.”  Peace and happiness, the most important qualities any of us could have, comes from within.  Our happiness is not a product of our accomplishments or our appearance.  It is in our ability to be comfortable and at peace in our own skin.  We can’t be at peace with ourselves if we are always judging ourselves, and others.  What we judge in others, we also judge in ourselves.  Making peace with the “SELF” is important.

Developing a belief in your own “goodness” is also important.  We have to stop judging ourselves as good/bad, right/wrong, inferior/superior, fat/skinny, success/failure.  We are human beings and we sometimes do things we wished we hadn’t done.  We sometimes are wrong.  We sometimes fail!  But we also do many good things in our lives.  We succeed!  We do the “right” thing.

We need to understand that we are developing and growing every day.  At least those of us who have the ability to learn from our mistakes.  We all make mistakes.  We all do things in our lives that hurt other people.  And most of us do a lot of good in the world.  Striving to be a “perfect” human being is only going to bring you pain and suffering. No human being is perfect!

By our nature, we are imperfect and the more we can accept the imperfections in ourselves, the more we can accept the imperfections of others.  “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  Jesus made this comment because he knew that we are all imperfect.  We are all fallible.

Lets embrace our human-ness and learn how to love ourselves, and others.  Lets develop the understanding that we are all deserving of love.  And that means YOU!




Life in Costa Rica!

I left for Costa Rica on the 11th of January, leaving behind the faster paced life in the U.S..

Sometimes entering another Country is like entering another world.

Some things in the City of San Jose, where our plane landed are much the same as any City.  It is busy, full of hustle, bustle and fast food restaurants making any U.S. fast food junkie feel right at home.  But once our Taxi began to take us on our very long journey over the tallest mountain in Costa Rica, life began to take on a different flavor.

We opted not to rent a car, which we could see was a very wise choice after witnessing the traffic and frightening driving practices in San Jose. Many people ride motorcycles and dart between cars in the small space between lanes.  As we made the journey up the mountain it was typical to pass big trucks and buses when you couldn’t see what was around the next bend.  We held our breath a lot and prayed for our safe arrival to our Quebradas home outside of San Isisdro.

We wished to get groceries before arriving at our home so our Taxi Driver Elpedio, took us to the Ferria, which is a huge farmers market with an overwhelming abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We filled our bags with melon, pineapple, grapes, coconuts, papaya, onions, peppers, avocados, potatoes, organic black and red beans and organic rice.  These were our staple foods and provided many a delicious meal.  A vegan paradise!

As we settled into our beautiful river front mountain paradise, I quickly noticed that our Internet connection was not very reliable and I had planned to continue taking clients while here.

The beauty of my work, is I can do it from anywhere in the world, where there is an Internet connection.  Well, my first day back to work my Internet kept crashing in the middle of my calls, causing a great deal of stress and frustration for myself and my clients.  We used a cell phone with a Verizon International calling plan as a backup, which worked most of the time, but there was a problem with the headset connection on the phone so I had to hold the headset to the connection or it would short out.  Using the speaker phone was an issue too, as it seemed to have more of an echo and I strained to hear.  It was beginning to feel as if all avenues to a stress free work week were closed off to me.

We made a trip to Manuel Antonio for four days where there was a very reliable Internet connection, so I had one very good work day where the Internet didn’t go down at all.  But the next day my computer crashed.  It felt the powers of the Universe were trying to give me a sign.  “Unplug!”  I got it!  I cancelled the majority of my remaining sessions until my return to the U.S. and decided to truly unplug from the “Online” world.

My computer wasn’t working, the internet was up and down and we didn’t have working Cellphones.

We had been following some of the crazy things happening in the U.S., with politics and weather, but decided it was time to unplug from the U.S. and be here now.  Be here in our slow paced pura vida (pure life.)

We lived like many of the locals, taking the bus everywhere and doing our best to communicate with our very limited Spanish.  We were up in the mountains most of the time but down in the beach communities there was a lot more English spoken as there is much more tourism.

We had a favorite restaurant in San Isidro called the Urban Farm, which served a lot of fresh, organic food and many vegan options.  We would hang out in the back garden and speak to many English speaking ex pats who lived in the area or were visiting from somewhere else.  The owner, Kurtis, is an American married to a Tico woman and they run the restaurant together.

Most expats who live in Costa Rica love living here and have adjusted to the differences.  A woman who has a booth at the local Ferria (Farmers Market) said she has lived here for fifteen years and loves it more and more all the time.  I get a sense this place really has to grow on you because there are a lot of differences from Western Culture.

We are very privileged in the U.S., in spite of its issues.  Things we take for granted become obvious once you enter a third world or developing Country.  For example in both Costa Rica and Brazil they don’t have plumbing that allows for waste paper.  You must put your toilet paper in the trash and take the trash out often.    There is no hot water in the sinks and some don’t have hot water showers either.  But the hot water showers are “on demand” hot water that is generated from the shower head.  We do our dishes and wash our clothing in cold water.

Dryers are a luxury.  Many places I have stayed have washers but not dryers.  You must dry your clothing on a clothes line, which I do at home most of the time anyway, except for here, it is so humid that nothing dries very quickly.  In Arizona my clothing may dry in a few hours, but sometimes it takes a few days to dry here in Costa Rica and our clothing is still always a bit damp.  Bath towels are always damp.  It is rare to have a dry towel.

Even in the dry season here, it is humid and their is still rain.  But the temperatures don’t fluctuate much as we are in the tropics.  In the mountains the temperatures are usually in the seventies and at the beaches they can be in the high eighties and nineties with very high humidity.

There are crazy laws everywhere but the longer I stay here the more I learn about the laws that protect the Tico people but not the foreigners.  I thought it was pretty cool that you could hire a gardner and a house keeper here for very little money, but there was something I didn’t know.  If you employ a Tico housekeeper or gardener you are responsible for paying their insurance and should they be injured while in your employment, whether or not they are injured while working for you, you are responsible for their salary while they are recovering.  If a woman gets pregnant while working for you, you are responsible for paying for her care until the child turns eighteen.  That is enough to scare many people away from hiring a Tico to work for them. It is a sad law because the unemployment rates are very high and the people need the work.

People drive really crazy here and the laws are in favor of the driver and not the pedestrian, so pedestrians have to be very careful.  But even with the crazy laws, the poor Internet, the insane driving, the intense rainy season, and lack of conveniences of modern society, (such as amazon prime,) many expats love it here and would never leave.

Costa Rica has curbed both my Internet addiction and my Amazon Prime addiction.  We don’t often realize how much we are addicted to such things until we don’t have them.  On the other hand, I am walking much more, eating more fruit, learning Spanish (very slowly) and living a much slower pace of life.

I probably won’t realize how my life has transformed until I return back to the U.S..

I remember returning from three months in Brazil and when I hit the Orlando Airport it was like walking through a time warp.  I had a very difficult time adjusting to the chaotic and fast paced energy.  Thankfully I was on my way to Sedona, Arizona, which was much quieter.

Somehow I think a place like Costa Rica grows on you.  One may not realize how much they love it until they leave.

For me, time will tell.  I miss my bathtub, my good Internet connection and my very comfortable bed the most.  But for now, I am enjoying the pure life!

Pura Vida!



Winter Solstice, A Return to Our Inner Nature

We are approaching the Winter Solstice, which is the darkest time of the year in North America. Although I can enjoy and appreciate all four seasons there is something really special about the Winter Solstice.

It is not just the Christmas season that makes this time of year special.  Christmas has become more a retail holiday then anything else.  It feels like the true meaning and the sacredness of the season has been lost in a maze of shopping and busy-ness.

What makes the time of Winter Solstice special is that it is a time where nature turns inwards.  In nature it is a time of stillness and quiet.  Even the snow fall is quiet.  It is also the darkest time of the year and the dark is a time of rest and reflection.  The Winter Solstice is inviting us to be still, to go within, and to reflect on our inner life.  It is a time of introspection.

The bear hibernates in the Winter and yet in the Native American Medicine Card Deck, the bear is the symbol for introspection.  Hibernation equals introspection.  We equate hibernation with a long sleep; a long rest.  But hibernation can also be a time to withdraw your energy from the outside world and bring it to the inner world. Continue reading Winter Solstice, A Return to Our Inner Nature