Self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy are unavoidable when we are mentally identifying with what we imagine someone else is thinking of us.
When we *think* they like us, we feel good. When we *think* they don’t like us, we feel bad. If I believe that how you see me is a reflection of who I am, this is inevitable.
Sometimes we’re wrong about what they think. And yet, notice how we're directly affected by our notions of their thoughts (read: OUR notions of “their” thoughts) regardless of having an accurate perception of their mind.
Self-worth is a natural outcome of being here, now, rather than lost in our own imagination of what another is thinking. Without any concept of how I’m being perceived, fear dissolves.
It could be that insecurity is not evidence that we’re bad, wrong, or inferior. Maybe it’s truly a call to get still, to come back to breath and presence, and notice where our attention is placed.
If you’re like me, at times the pull to play out what they’re thinking is so strong that coming back to the present moment feels impossible, this is when I dive deeply into The Work.
All forms of imagination, including what we call past and future, live in the apparent world of the mind's eye.
Think of the song happy birthday. You can hear the tune, yet solely within the mind's eye, not with your actual ears.
Recall what a friend of yours looks like. You can see their face and body, even though you're not actually looking at them with your eyes.
Now imagine the smell of lavender, notice the capacity to "know" the scent, without presently smelling it.
It. Feels. So. Real. And yet, there is literally no substance to it.
Presence is the capacity to be here, now, rather than lost in imagination; it’s the power to discern between what’s real and what’s not.
Suffering is only possible when we are recalling or projecting in the mental realm and confusing these dreams (suffering = nightmares) of past and future for what is real, now.
"To the dreamer, it isn't a dream."
- Byron Katie