Our lives are steeped in artificiality; we hardly connect to our authentic God gifted talents. Instead, we seek to live according to other’s terms and desires. Kamlesh’s spiritual practices gave him a sudden sense of relief; he was happy. Nevertheless, life isn’t as easy as we imagine and the mind can be dreadfully nasty. Kamlesh was anxious for days. The thought of being a teacher was appalling; how could he become a school teacher when the friends he hung out with were all go-getters, flaunting flashy cars and were productive and ‘successful’?

He had undoubtedly improved his ‘Awareness’ in these three months. He knew who he was and what he wanted to be. But a million dollar question stared him in the face: ‘Can I accept myself just the way I am?’

‘No way,’ his mind screamed, ‘what would my friends say?’

Again a question begged itself, ‘Is it really worth doing what your friends are doing, simply because you need their approval? And how do you know they wouldn’t love you for making your choices in life? And if they don’t accept you the way you are, is it worth having them as your friends?’

The answers were visible to him; it was all about his own courage to accept these answers.

Step 1: Affirmations

Kamlesh finally took the big step: He internally accepted himself as a teacher. Affirmations or positive statements about the self, made in the present tense, helped him come to terms with himself. This coupled with prayers and functional social support, paved the way for a new, fresh phase in his life.

Many live their lives according to the dictates of others. By the time they realize they too have an individual sense of identity, they think it’s too late. Once they know they have a purpose and a dream, another problem invades their mind – that of fear and guilt. ‘How can I change now?’ or ‘Am I being selfish?’ are common self-limiting beliefs that plague many grown-ups. They may have won half the battle because they have ‘awareness,’ but they haven’t yet mustered the courage to ‘accept’ the self.To be continued…

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