Hello. Ananda has helped me greatly thus far in my life. The problem I have been having I believe comes from the same root but is in two parts. I am having trouble with people judging me, when this happens I find myself comparing myself to others, this seems to perpetuate a feeling of unworthiness. How do I dispel others judgments and live free from comparing myself to others? Thanks again all the help: it is much appreciated!
—Isaac, United Kingdom
We are very glad that Ananda has been of help to you thus far in your life. Thank you for letting us know that!
On many occasions, Swami Kriyananda spoke to us about how spiritual seekers so often seem to suffer from self-judgment problems, feelings of low self-esteem, and feeling unworthy or overly concerned about how they are thought of by others. I certainly went through it myself.
These are very unhelpful attitudes for anyone to have, but most especially for those who are sincere truth-seekers, as it seems you are! The problem is that they focus our attention back onto ourselves and boost the hold the ego has on us.
Yogananda says that an inferiority complex and a superiority complex are two sides of the same coin—both being harmful because they bring one’s focus strong on to the “I” principle. “I am very smart,” or “I am no good,” or “I am concerned about what other think of me”… and so on. At first glance, this does not appear to be the case, I know! But do you see how the emphasis is always on the “I” or the “me,” no matter which way it goes?
Never compare yourself to others. God has a particular and very special song to sing through you and you alone! No one else can sing that song (that is, live your life) in exactly the same way.
Yogananda’s guru, Sri Yukteswar, once said to him when he was comparing one spiritual teacher to another, “Why make comparisons? This is how God has chosen to flow through each one of us.”
Live centered in yourself, meaning in your spiritual Self, the greater, higher Self or Soul. This is not being selfish. Rather, living this way, from the inside, out, will show you your great spiritual strength and power. Of course, deep, and daily mediation is also essential to reinforce your sense of this kind of spiritual Self-worth.
And always try to serve others selflessly. By doing this, you quickly learn forget your ego and feel God and Gurus flowing through you in whatever you do. It is God serving God—that is the nature of life’s drama, in its finest form.
Please read my blog on this same subject: Self-Esteem Issues, Anyone?