Last week, we began to explore what self-confidence really means and how we can experience it in our lives. Healthy self-confidence gives greater presence and meaning to our actions. This gift of a peaceful spirit is rooted in knowing our inherent worth and cultivated through intentional practice to stay connected with that truth.
Self-confidence is like a strong and radiant container to hold our vital energies so that we are fully charged, focused and capable, while being respectful with others. If this container weakens, so does our spirit.
I invited you last week to consider if there are any ways you are giving your power away. Everyone has this tendency to some extent or other. They are the places from which our self-confidence can ebb. This week, we will explore how to keep this from happening by staying rooted in who we truly are – literally standing our ground.
Stand your ground. You may hear the phrase often. Sometimes it is expressed as encouragement to one who too readily gives in and passively allows others to have their way. Other times, we might speak of standing our ground when we feel shaken by adversity or attack. We may stand our ground to defend what feels like our own, to lay claim to territory and assert our sense of propriety. Yet, since we are interconnected, live in an unconditionally loving universe, and are choosing to cultivate inner peace, we need to look more deeply into the meaning of this phrase.
When we feel attacked, we tend to defend, because we feel attached to an idea of “mine” that seems to be threatened. Yet, the idea of “mine” only exists when we feel separate from the whole—and, therefore, not rooted in inner peace or self-confidence. In the attempt to defend, we are giving our power away to the idea that someone outside of us controls us or determines our state of happiness and worth. We sap our own inner strength and peace.
But from the vantage point of a healthy sense of self, we can begin to feel the confidence to let go of the grip of our ego, the tendency of the mind to divide and defend. Healthy self-esteem, self-love and self-confidence are not born out of feeling separate, but from a sense of our sacred place within the whole.
Standing our ground is not about defending a sense of an attacked self. When we truly stand our ground, we are like trees. If a strong wind comes, the tree does not pick up its roots in anxiety and run away, or fight back in rage. It stays connected with the ground and air that give it life. To stand our ground is to be anchored in our understanding of truth, while witnessing that truth within the greater context of the situation. We are not all-seeing or all-knowing beings, so our sense of perception is limited in any given moment. We are humbly receptive to the wisdom of the whole that will arise only from within our warm hearts and cool minds.
When we truly stand our ground in self-confidence, we stop trying to control and distort circumstances the moment to suit our ego. We no longer give our power away to anything external. Instead, we get out of our own way so that we may witness our interconnection within all that is. We are deeply present for whatever may come. In this, we can experience profound joy and freedom.
Like a tree, standing our ground in self-confidence will always feel rooted, vital and expansive.
Between now and next week, revisit the rooted, vital expansion exercise I shared last winter when we were exploring those three qualities in depth. When you get to the point in the exercise where you “stay with this for some time”, begin to consider the idea of standing your ground even in a situation that challenges you. See if you can understand the situation from a perspective of presence and self-confidence. Notice any desire to defend and evade, and consciously open to what is, to simply witness it. See the ways that desire is based in a limited sense of self. See the ways you no longer need to go there. Feel the effervescent ease of being who you most naturally are.
From my heart to yours,