In a social media group, someone asked if awakening helps with low self-esteem.
My answer – as usual – would be yes, no, and it depends.
NO – ISSUES DON’T NECESSARILY GO AWAY
Low self-esteem comes from emotional issues. They come from beliefs creating an identity and emotional issues. Those may not go away even if our nature notices itself.
It’s perfectly possible, and very normal, for our nature to notice itself and for us to generally live from and as that noticing, and still have many emotional issues. These will inevitably color our perception and life in the world, even if there is a general kind of awakening here.
YES – IT CAN HELP US RELATE TO IT DIFFERENTLY
Yes, awakening may help.
Awakeness helps us relate to what comes up – including those issues – differently. It’s easier to recognize them as issues and not get so caught up in them.
It’s also easier to recognize their nature, and that they have and are our nature, which also helps us shift how we relate to them. This gives us that interesting experience of oneness (it’s what I am and everything is to me) and distinction (it happens within and as what I am, it’s an emotional issue).
And, as mentioned above, these issues will still inevitably color our perception and life, and we may still get caught up in them.
HEALING AND AWAKENING GO HAND IN HAND
This is why healing and awakening go hand in hand.
Healing makes it easier for the oneness we are to keep noticing itself without getting distracted by issues. The fewer issues, the fewer of these distractions. (And these apparently distractions are really life bringing our attention to something that needs healing.)
Healing helps us operate from fewer issues coloring our perception and life. Any dormant issue will color our perception and life. (As is obvious when you look at the life of many who generally live from awakening.)
And awakening makes it easier for us to relate to our issues more consciously, to recognize them as expressions of the oneness we are, and invite them to reorganize within a conscious noticing of this oneness. This requires intention and skill and doesn’t come on its own.
And that’s where “it depends” comes in.
Whether awakening helps us with our emotional issues, including low self-esteem, depends on how we make use of the awakening. It depends on intention, experience, training, and skill.
It doesn’t come on its own. It doesn’t come for free. It requires work.
And it’s ongoing. It’s not something that’s fixed once and for all.
There is no place where we arrive and where this is not a theme anymore. (At least not in this life.)