This is a classic example of the ego-mind at work, obstructing our connection with our true Buddha nature, our heart. And as a result we suffer. When we are in this frame of mind, we do not have compassion for ourselves.
One morning while meditating some years ago, I realized that I have nothing to prove; that I have everything I need inside myself to be at peace and happy. And so I have no need, other than ego, to prove myself either to myself or to anyone else.
How to keep that awareness fresh every day and every moment of the day? One has to be in contact with your true Buddha nature, your heart at all times. You cannot allow yourself to succumb to the pull of the ego-mind. But as you know from reading this blog, that is easier said than done.
There are several things that I do every day to keep myself in this space, for the most part. One is reciting affirmations as part of my walking meditation every morning. One of those affirmations is, “I have nothing to prove; my only purpose in life is to offer others joy.” Just reciting these words focuses me on this truth.
I also recite that I accept my life as being exactly the way it is at this moment and release all desires; not just unskillful desires, but all desires. I am not advanced enough in my practice to have a skillful desire free of any attachment, and so it is best to release all desires. It feels like a burden is lifted from my shoulders when I recite those words.
Finally, I open up my heart and embrace all aspects of my being and experience each day (see my post, “The Heart’s Embrace”). This is one of the most powerful teachings that I have ever received. When I do this, nothing offends, I am over myself, I am free of all internal and external struggle. I know that I have everything I need inside myself to be at peace and happy and allow nothing to disturb that peace and happiness.
As the day progresses, I am present and thus aware if my ego-mind arises. And when it does, I either conjure up the smiling toddler that is my true Buddha self or I chant and quickly return home to my heart and my faith, open to experiencing all that the present moment has to offer, am grateful, and find happiness in the moment.
These elements of my daily meditation support my daily-renewed faith that I will be ok regardless what life throws my way because I have returned home to my true Buddha nature, my heart, and am at peace and happy. And it is this faith, stemming from my contact with my true Buddha self, that enables me to navigate the challenges of everyday life while remaining at peace and happy.