Reflections on Inflated Self-Esteem
(Minghui.org) I have been struggling with all kinds of attachments, and I found it difficult to move past these disturbances. When I indentified an attachment, I could get rid of it after a struggle, but before I could relax, another attachment would nearly overwhelm me. And the attachments would come back repeatedly.
I realized only recently that I have a fundamental problem, which is the origin of most of my attachments. I would like to share my thoughts with fellow practitioners.
The problem is an over-inflated self-esteem, and many of my attachments are related to this. For example, the attachment to showing off stems from the desire to glorify myself; zealotry arises from self-acclaim and the need to be recognized by others; competitiveness is due to the desire to get ahead by struggling against others; and jealousy is the negative reflection on my self-esteem that comes about when I try, but fail, to be recognized.
I enlightened that sometimes, hiding beneath my words, is the desire to put myself on a pedestal and the desire for others' praise. Being judgmental of others stems from my subconscious belief that I am better than others.
When I thought about this more deeply, I found that many of my notions and tendencies are related to my thinking of myself as being superior – such as being proud of myself, pointing out other people's problems, and giving orders to others.
This is probably a common problem for some practitioners, especially those who have a high level of education. On the surface it looks like we are studying the Fa, but our overly high self-esteem and our desire for self-glory goes against the Fa. Being so self-centered, we lose our temper if challenged. The old forces believe that they are correct about everything and refuse to give up their notions. If we have a similar mentality and similar tendencies, won't we behave like the old forces? This will severely hinder our improvement in cultivation.
When faced with these attachments, I did not look inward and never thought that I was at fault. The teachings of the Fa hadn't really gone into my mind. Although on the surface I studied the Fa with the group, deep in my heart I didn't want to change myself, and I acted based on my old notions.
This is perhaps one trick that the old forces play on us—although I may appear to be a capable and smart person in everyday society, my main consciousness has been constrained by the old forces, and I didn't realize that my main consciousness was actually weak.
These kinds of attachments not only interfere with my own cultivation, but also negatively impact fellow practitioners and Fa-rectification. Dafa cultivators should not ignore these issues.
The above is my personal understanding. Please correct me if there is anything incorrect.