Sometimes when I'm struggling with my sense of self-esteem I begin to think of my accomplishments, good things I've done, positive things people have said to me, and so on. I was doing this tonight as I thought about who I am and where I'm at in life. I was navigating waves of doubt and insecurity - Who are you to feel important in this world? What have you done to earn that?
And then I wondered... why do I feel I have to think of what I've done or am doing in order to feel my existence is valid and worthy? Have I ever felt a wild flower needs to prove it belongs in this world?
Just think of it - you are walking through a field and suddenly you come upon a glorious yellow buttercup. It has brightened the field and thereby brightened your day. Even better, nobody planned for this flower to be here. It arose from a mysterious and far-reaching chain of events that is part of the ongoing web of Earth life. The fact that you crossed paths with this flower is quite literally a cosmic miracle.
As you gaze upon this flower, do you wonder what it's doing with its life? Do you wonder if it's actually earned that sunshine it is so freely soaking up? Do you ask yourself if this flower truly deserves, above all other existing and potential flowers, to be pulling in nutrients from the earth? Has this flower done anything special to be worthy of your attention and praises???
I mean, who does this flower think it is!
It would be strange and even depressing to put all of that on a flower, which is valid and important simply because it exists. We intuitively know this, and we allow this knowing to extend to all of the natural world.
We do not question if a moose is living up to its potential. We do not wonder if that hawk soaring in the sky is trying to find its purpose in life. We just know that they are here, and we are so glad they are. Even the mosquitoes, which literally feed off of other living things, they actually do the opposite of contribute or work hard or share loving kindness, are things we know that do not have to ask our permission or approval to be. We are free to swat them to their death, but don't expect that mosquito to apologize to you or anyone or anything about who it is and what it's done (or not done) with its life. The mosquito knows what created it is something beyond you, and therefore, it owes you no explanation, not even a "thanks for the blood!"
And how wonderful to know that is true of you and I also. We are also a part of the natural world, even if it seems our world has somehow removed itself. This is only an illusion. Your body is nourished by the the water of the earth. The food you eat, which creates your body, was grown in this planet's soil. That sunshine that is so vital to all of plant life is vital to you also. You are a natural part of this world, and whoever you are, wherever you are, the only person you must explain yourself to... is no one.
You are valid because you were created and you exist. You are a wildflower in the sea of stars we call the Milky Way. You, with every breath you take, are deserving and important. You are a gift from a higher consciousness, and that divine, mystical energy is a part of you right now. It may seem your life is as random as a leaf on a tree, but the thing is, no leaf is random. Each leaf ensures a delicate balance is achieved on each branch.
Sometimes, I will feel that I am valid because I believe in kindness. I boost my self-esteem by reminding myself I am a loving person. But even this is putting parameters and limits on what is important in this world. Who am I to say anger and angry people are less valid than I? And what about sad people? I used to be the saddest of them all. I was so depressed I scared the people closest to me. Would I, even for a second, consider that version of myself less valid, less worthy of the sunshine that radiates down? Of course not. Not even for a millisecond.
The same is true for other people who I don't always believe are acting in ways I wish they would. There are people who hurt me deeply in the past, and those very people were some of my biggest catalysts to get me to ask deeper questions, to seek what would ultimately become a path of meditation, curiosity and expansion of consciousness. I cannot say they are less worthy or less valid in their journey than I. They are the leaf on the opposite side of the branch. We may grow in opposite ways, but we also seek a certain harmony, a certain balance, a certain cohesion that often exists in a greater understanding than I usually look at them with.
And so today, I ask you to try, for the whole day, not to validate your existence. Do not feel you must justify who you are or where you are. Wherever you are, there you are, and thank you for being there. You don't need to win awards or promotions or even be considered a good person in order to feel perfectly content about being there. All you must do is turn your face up to the sky, feel the sun upon it, and know that what you feel and how you feel about yourself is between you and your cosmic creator.