If you are constantly looking for praise; are looking to confirm or affected by criticism; if you are affected by external considerations all the time, then you have effectively moved away from your ‘Essence’ – that who you really are. The real ‘I’.
Your real ‘I’ or ‘Essence’ remains till about the age when you go to school. Maybe till about 3 years of age, after which the false personality starts to take shape through external considerations of expectations, norms, criticism, praise, rewards and recognition. You start to take on a personality which actually confirms to the external considerations than to what your internal essence – the real ‘I’ will be happy about. Over the years you are so driven by the external that you tend to move further and further away from your ‘I’ and become a personality which is not you.
Let me explain. You might have come across many people who after achieving so much in the external world, give everything up and start doing things which are totally away from their profession. For example an industrialist giving up everything he earned to walk a spiritual path, or an engineer who gave up his career to be a musician. These are examples of people getting to their true essence. In these situations they ate no longer looking for confirmation, praise, rejection or any other external stimuli to lead their life. They feel at peace inside. You can feel it too if you observe your internal state after every action of yours, that if you are happy and at peace with what you are doing.
The taste of your action will determine who you really are.
Let’s say you went into a store and the billing clerk gave you some extra cash by error. You ignore that and go ahead by self-justifying that you actually deserve it as the store has high prices for all goods and has been fleecing customers.
After this happens several times, we notice we have a bad taste in our mouth. This taste does not feel right and it stays with us. We are not critical; we are just observing it. It stays with us for a while. Then when we are in the same situation again when the error goes in our favor, we notify the clerk, and it is corrected. After the correction, we do not get the bad taste in our mouth. We might, in fact, have a good taste. The important thing is that we know by the taste of our actions what is true and false. This may take years. There are no easy shortcuts and we just have to observe ourselves without criticism, self-justification, internal considering, self-pity, or analysis, and with a sense of humor as to what we have observed to obtain a picture of what type of person we really are. Only when we have this picture of ourselves can we start to change. We must not only observe our inner states, but we must also observe our different centers.
My question to you is “have you moved too far away from your Essence – of who your really are?” Observe……