As my journey reading the life-changing book – ‘The Art Of Happiness‘ – draws to a serene and soul-enriching close, here is another bountiful Buddhist insight on a modern neurosis that’s affected us all at one time or another – negative self-image.
Shaped by our parents and upbringing, the implicit messages that we pick up about ourselves as we grow and develop can easily topple into negative self-talk that we carry with us through-out our lives.
Where Does Negative Self-Talk Come From?
Self-hatred can creep into our lives and be exacerbated when our behaviour fails to live up to our idealised self-image – a self-image culturally reinforced by environmental factors like Facebook and Twitter which can feel as stiflingly present as the air that we breathe.
Why This Negativity Ain’t Real…
But here’s the good news! The notion that self-hatred is a widespread human problem is challenged by the reality that it is virtually unheard of within cultures such as the Tibetan culture.
This strongly reminds us that this troubling mental state, like all other negative mental states, is not an intrinsic part of the human mind.
It is not something we are born with, irrevocably saddled with, nor is it an indelible characteristic of our nature.
It can be removed.
This realisation alone can serve to weaken its power, give us hope and increase our commitment to eliminate it.
How Real Are The Burdens You Carry Around?
And that’s one of the great beauties of this wonderful book – so rich in spiritual learnings. Based on a western psychiatrist’s interviews with the Dalai Lama, it unites learnings from the East and the West to powerful effect – challenging all sorts of burdensome assumptions we carry with us in the spaceless vortex of city life.
How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?
So next time you feel weighed down by the noise of life – like the walls of social media are caving in on you – like you can’t recall what’s special about you – or life – pick up a book like this one and treat yourself to some deep-healing, Eastern meditation that will replenish your mind and soothe your soul.