Transform Inadequacy Into Abundance With 3 Magic Words
The soul is a ravenous creature. It craves to be seen, valued, and loved.
Babies take their first steps and look to adults to validate the achievement. Their smiling gaze asks, “Did anyone see what I just did?” Children bring home their art projects to tack on the refrigerator. They search the audiences at their shows and the crowds at their games, wondering “Does anyone see that I’m amazing?” When they can confirm that someone does, they find great reassurance.
Adults, too, yearn to be seen, valued, and loved. We look to friends, colleagues, and family members for validation. When we find it, we eagerly gobble it up. But this food is quickly digested and then the gnawing hunger for visibility returns. This hunger is exacerbated by social media. Too often, I find myself scrolling through other people’s images, inventing narratives of their wonderful lives. The hunger in my soul grows in its voracity, fueled by a desire for more, for elsewhere, for better.
Growing our hunger is also a profitable endeavor. Corporations spend billions of dollars on this goal. During a recent visit to the dentist, I was complimented on my healthy teeth, and then promptly offered three whitening products so that I could achieve optimal whiteness. I had never even considered this aspiration! One voice in my head said, “Leave my teeth alone,” while another whispered seductively, “Perhaps life would be amazing with whiter teeth.”
What incredible energy can be poured into comparing and evaluating ourselves!
But using our energy this way only results in more hunger. How, then, can we feed our souls in a way that will lead to true satiation? How can we find liberation from constantly hunting and gathering for self-worth?
Very simply. By giving what we seek.
The more we see, value, and love others, the more we feel seen, valued, and loved. By nourishing others, we create fullness within ourselves. This is the magical physics upon which the soul operates. In Buddhism, it is called mudita — sympathetic joy.
In forming a practice of mudita, I used a mantra comprised of three magic words.
“You are amazing.”
When I witness someone else’s brilliance, bravery, strength, vulnerability, creativity, compassion, or generosity, I say “You are amazing.”
When I am confronted with feelings of envy towards another person, I reach for these three words so that I may move into admiration. These words redirect my energy from pulling me down into darkness so that I may brighten and uplift another instead.
Upon receiving the gift of recognition, my recipient always softens into an expression of gratitude. This moment opens space for warmth and love, the essence of human connection. In here, I see my power as a source of joy, and thereby generate a deep sureness of my own value.
True abundance lies in our capacity to add joy to the world, not to extract it. When we use our thoughts, words, and actions to celebrate others’ gifts, we communicate to them that they are seen, valued, and loved. We alchemize our energy to nourish others and feel full through to our bones.
Loving energy is, in fact, a renewable resource.
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