Sylvia was beaming, this morning. I bumped into her on her way to office. What a change!
Just a year ago, she had come to me looking depressed and broken. She had resigned from her work unable to cope with pressure. Sylvia's pressure came from her own low self-esteem. She suffered from a nagging inferiority complex... constantly compared herself with others, put herself down. She felt threatened at the slightest criticism, magnified the tiniest of the problems, personalised every comment and even others' problems. The work place had become a traumatic battle-ground for Sylvia... She simply wanted to run away from it. And, she had done it, when she had come to meet me.
We had discussed the issue over a couple of sessions. From my own experience, I had told Sylvia that this is an imaginary war... and the enemy is our own creation. That, till we don't see this fact, we would keep fighting a loosing battle, and keep getting battered in life. I had told her to even laugh at it, laugh at herself. "No body laughs at you... still, you hear the laughter," I had told Sylvia, "No body whips you... still, you feel tortured."
From my own experience, I had shared with Silvia that the key to this personal victory lay in our desire to get hold of ourselves - our responsibility towards our own selves. "It is self-care, and with out it, we wouldn't be able to get hold of ourselves," I had advised her. "The moment we are kind to ourselves, we feel the kindness of others. The moment we recognise a 'small problem' as a 'small problem' - stop magnifying it - we find enough strength to deal with the bigger ones." I had remined her, "Emptiness is experienced, because we are unable to acknowledge our inherent talents and strengths... because, we are unable to appreciate our skills, even though we own them in good measure."
I also knew, from my own experience, that the feelings of unworthiness might come and go in the future, too. That, there would be those moments of depression and sadness... but, they would be only the fleeting moments. "Life is good; it is beautiful," I had pepped Sylvia up. "Don't give up on yourself."
What else, could a person like me - who had to (and who still does) fight his own personal demons - advise to a person like Sylvia? Our battle grounds were too familiar and too common. So, it was a common man sharing his common experience. A year later, this morning, when Sylvia beamed with confidence, I knew, that she had not given up on herself... that she had received her 'new eyes' to separate the lie from the reality.