Confessions of a confused soul: All about self, self-esteem and selfishness

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Your self-esteem is too high. Someday you are going to repent it.” Were her last words. My best friend, class mate, bench partner, soul-sister and the only person who knew my worst secrets was saying this to me. All because I had been vocal about my feeling ignored amongst a group of 20 friends and had expressed my opinion about not wanting to be a part of it any longer. It hurt real bad that time. If after more than a decade of that incident I still remember her words so clearly I am sure it reflects how deep its impact was. 

Since then every time something happened I would always recollect her words and blame myself. I remember trying to find the dictionary meaning of self-esteem wanting to understand where I picture myself in it. I couldn’t find any answers. This was followed by my first ever heart break. Ending an eight year old relationship at 20 was extremely painful. In the literal sense he was my world for I had grown up with him around me. I was so used to his presence that now his absence made my whole life seem futile. I cried like it was the end of the world for weeks together with no one around, till one rainy day when the whole city was flooded. 

I don’t know what happened that night. Sitting alone with no power and the uncertainty of life looming around I had decided that it was enough. You cannot mourn a dead person long after that person is no more. Life has to go on and it will. The relationships were dead but I was alive and that was enough for me to move on. That night I had promised myself I will never be a creeper in life, who is dependent on someone for survival. But eventually that never happened. Sometimes it was a friend, a colleague, a neighbor, a childhood rakhi brother or a crush…the list just simply refused to end. I was causing the worst damage to myself like this and yet the cycle kept on repeating itself. 

Till one day I came across these lines by Osho, “Till the time you are live, you can never be independent. For till then you are even dependent on oxygen for your survival.” It hit me hard in my gut somewhere. As now I was feeling more lost than ever. Finally after a lot of inner debate I had concluded I am selfish and that’s how it is going to be. Good or bad, this is it. Life continued to move on thereon with handful of instances where I felt my selfishness was harmful but then there was nothing I could do about it. By now it was too deep a conditioning to change it. 

Years later very recently I met one of my blogger friends for lunch. Having known each other for almost 4-5 years our conversation was very free flowing sprinkled with liberal doses of laughter and gossip. Suddenly the conversation moved on towards a common friend and her life when out of the blue she said, “That is sheer selfishness.” To which I replied, “We all are in some form or the other, aren’t we?” She smiled and replied, “It is better to be selfish than be self-centered. And she is out rightly self-centered.” 

That day I realized the difference between being what I am and pretending to be something just to please others. 

Comments

  1. I loved this story, Privy. Your take on selfishness reminded me of how God tells us to love others as we love ourselves. Loving ourselves does take on selfishness, does it not? However, not loving others out of that love is self-centered nature, one opposed to accepting others into our lives and embracing them as God's creations. So thoughtful, my friend!
    Blessings!

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    1. I just love your comments Martha, they always manage to make me smile :)

      I had been pondering over this so much and then this incident happened. Like I always like to believe some questions are better left unanswered for either God doesn't want you to know the answer right now or maybe you are not ready for it. The answers will reveal when you are ready. I was perhaps, ready at that moment.

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  2. I remember you discussing a few of these confessions with me and even that I felt the same what I felt on reading this mow - you are in true sense comfortable with you own self when without any inhibition you can spell this out here for everyone to know.

    Also those last few lines reminds me of this, which again is so true -
    "One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.
    - K.L. Toth"

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    Replies
    1. :)

      Thanks so much for such lovely words. It just reinstated something for me.

      And what a lovely quote, I absolutely agree with it.

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