How self-worth gets all screwed up

For anyone struggling with self-worth… a story from inside my head 🙂

A few days ago I was on a boat ride from Boca de Tomatlan to Yelapa, Mexico. The only way to get to Yelapa is by boat, there are no roads. We had arrived too late to catch the regular water taxi service, but the property we were staying at sent a private boat to bring us. The hard shelled boat powered by a single engine rammed its way through the waves, slapping down on top of the water every few seconds, sending hard shocks through my bum on the seat. The speed and motion through the water were exhilarating.

The newness of the landscape – not knowing what it looked like around the next corner of the shore we were speeding past – and the entire situation being so unknown (would we have somewhere to sleep tonight?) brought out earlier ways of being. This old voice was so loud that night. Sitting in the boat, trying to enjoy the ride, I recognized this analytical voice going over everything. Louder than it’s been for quite a while. This is the part of me that views me from the outside rather than inside, and controls and calculates everything to try and create the best effect.

That night on the boat ride it constantly worked on the problem of how the boat driver – Carlos – was seeing me. The way I’m holding my hand right now, nonchalantly holding on to the gunwale of the boat – not too much but enough to keep me from falling in – does it look relaxed enough to indicate to him that I’m relaxed and confident and enjoying this boat ride.

Every little movement I made, this voice would say wait – wait until just the right moment, you have to do it “right”. So many new things to analyze, to figure out. In the newness of the situation, and the absence of knowledge and certainty of what was going to happen, there was a gap for it to come out again. On and on it went. It was exhausting, and in the exhaustion I noticed what was happening.
If you follow that thread, it’s trying endlessly to figure out whether or not I’m good enough, as a human. Whether I’m good enough to exist or not.

I used to completely identify with that aspect of my mind. So clear now, from being in a different place, that that is where I used to live. That *was* me, all of me. All of me that I could experience anyway.
Now I know, utterly and completely, that there is a much larger me. Or more accurately, there is no me, not anything related to the self that such voices create anyway. And from this vantage point I can also see much more clearly how this way of being creates an entirely different reality than the one I choose to create now, one built from a much larger awareness. And if self-worth is something that you struggle with, I share this story in the hopes that it may elucidate some of our illusory thinking.

The view of that persona, which I know is shared by many, views itself entirely from an imagined external perspective. It seeks to validate and create our existence based on an imaginary view of how others see us. And that external view is indeed of course entirely imagined. The thought that the position of my hand on the boat was being studied by Carlos, the boat driver, who more than likely was just looking at his phone, was without basis. I couldn’t even see him behind me. Yet I imagined that consciously or unconsciously he was studying and building up a picture of me, and my worth as a human being.

And, if I ask why that is, it’s clear that the reason is because that is what I used to do, how I used to interact with the world. Our ego develops the view that others view us as we view the world. My default view was to study, to develop rules of behavior about people, that would allow me to predict their behavior. That made the world safer for me. When you are a gay kid without a single role model growing up in a world that wants to shame, beat up and kill gay kids, it makes a heck of a lot of sense to develop a mechanism to be able to predict when it is safe and when it is not safe, and to tightly control your body language. It felt like a life-or-death situation all the time.

And so when I lived that life, caught up in that view, I unconsciously assumed that is what everyone else is doing. They are constantly studying me, and so every single hand movement became important. Each act adds to the body of knowledge about me. And, crucially, the ego view is that *that* defines me. This outside view. The view that someone else builds of me, by observation, defines me. So I better do everything right, so they create the right view of me.

And of course, this external view has no solid definition because it is dependent on the observer. It is a chameleon complex. Be whoever I believe the observer wants me to be. But this is ultimately a losing game. It can be a very successful tactic in the short term – fitting in can bring immense benefits. But it creates a wall, a shell, and the inside atrophies and dies, painfully. This is the outer layer of projection of who we want to be (seen as). Underneath that is who we are afraid we are. And under that is who we really are. Piercing this illusion of self is the most important work.

Who do you want the world to believe you are?

Who are you afraid the world will see that you are?

And can you connect instead with who you actually are, and let that out. Let that shine through bright enough to pierce those outer layers we built to try and protect ourselves. The big secret, the big idea that we can live by for evermore, is that there is nothing we need to protect ourselves from any more.

Wishing you all peace, love, joy, magic and PLAY ❤️??

Wishing you peace, love, magic, joy, and play in your journey.

If you think I may be able to help you, please reach out.