Destroying to Build

by Isabel Galiardo
One of our greatest fears is the fear of change. Change forces us to face the unknown, to abandon our references and our security, to enter new and uncertain territory. Change is death, it implies the end of a time and the beginning of another.
In the Hindu Trinity, Shiva, the God of destruction and death, plays a fundamental role in the cycle of existence. Without these forces there would be no evolution, there would be no transformation, we would always remain stuck in the same place, trapped, fixed, dead.
We face a wonderful paradox: without death, there is no life. In order to grow and evolve, we need to die, to change. It is essential to remember that change is necessary, that it is fundamental for our progress. Change invites us to develop different aspects of our being and offers us the possibility of experiencing different dimensions of our humanity, always with the purpose of becoming the best version of ourselves.
Our first great move occurs at birth, we die to our intrauterine existence by leaving the womb to begin our life as individuals on earth. Our baby dies to give way to the child, the child gives way to the teenager and then to the young person, the adult and the elder. These different vital stages lead us through successive deaths and resurrections. Life drags us, drives us forward, mobilizes and transforms us, killing us and making us be reborn a thousand times.
On a psychological level, whenever we gain understanding, abandon an old belief, or let go of a certain prejudice, we are making space for the birth of something new, more encompassing and inclusive. It is a liberating and enriching act which is preceded by tension, rigidity and resistance. Something is about to come to an end and we find it hard to let go.
In times of change, we feel fear, we contract and we resist. This resistance is due to us not trusting our abilities or being unable to make sense of the impending change. We fear the unknown. The key is to trust, to go ahead and move towards the apparent emptiness despite the vertigo. At that moment we do not have the clarity to see where our steps will lead us to, but we do have the certainty that something has started and that within it lies a growth potential. Then, with the perspective that time gives us, we will realize that what we interpreted as a loss would end up being a gain, a progress on an inner level.
The processes of change are fantastic opportunities to better understand our fears and attachments. In those moments we have the opportunity to recognize them and face them with consciousness.
Each biographical stage entails its own challenges. Depending on our limitations and our strengths, we will live each change as an expansive and rewarding phase or as an intolerable and difficult loss to overcome. In any case, it is about cultivating the basic trust in life which sustains and leads us along the paths that are necessary for our learning and evolution. When we trust, transitions are more fluid, we relax and cooperate, putting ourselves in consonance with and at the service of existence. If we connect with the wise and loving current of life, then life becomes an adventure, magic and miraculous and we are available to dance with her movements.

Nuestros Hijos No Son Nuestros

De forma inconsciente manipulamos a nuestros hijos, les exigimos que se comporten como deseamos, o si no, les retiramos nuestro afecto. Así hemos sido educados y así educamos.

‘’Si no te comes la papilla mama se va a poner triste’’. ‘’No disgustes a papa.” ‘’Me has decepcionado.” Hemos crecido tratando de ser lo que no somos, tratando de agradar y cumplir con las expectativas ajenas, y pasamos gran parte de nuestras vidas aterrorizados ante la posibilidad de dejar de ser amados y aceptados.

Hemos creado una sociedad competitiva donde solo puede haber ganadores o perdedores. Debemos cumplir unos estándares, aunque sea a costa de sacrificar nuestra esencia. Ganar dinero, tener buena apariencia, obtener méritos académicos y profesionales son las máximas aspiraciones en nuestra cultura.  Nuestros hijos viven desde bien temprano sometidos a la presión que implica estar siempre bajo examen. Hay que obtener resultados, pasar exámenes, aprender idiomas y destacar en esta carrera desesperada por salir adelante. Ya no hay tiempo para ser, para jugar, para aprender por el mero placer de hacerlo.

Nuestra cultura ha hecho prevalecer la mente sobre el corazón. Nos enorgullecemos de nuestras conquistas en el terreno científico y tecnológico, pero hemos perdido algo fundamental en el camino, nuestro corazón. Sin el estamos incompletos, somos seres tripartitos: cabeza, corazón e instinto.

Enseñémosles a desarrollar una relación consigo mismos en la que escuchen sus tripas y su corazón, además de a sus cabezas, en la que puedan reconocer lo que necesitan y desean, no lo que se espera de ellos. Así podrán compartir desde su grandeza, desde su pleno potencial, en lugar de encogerse para amoldarse a nuestras expectativas.

Our Children Are Not Ours

by Isabel Galiardo
We unconsciously manipulate our children, we demand that they behave as we wish, or else we withdraw our affection. Thus we have been educated and so we educate.
”If you don’t eat your food mom will be sad”, “Don’t make your dad angry”, “You have disappointed me”. We have grown up trying to be what we are not, trying to please and fulfil the expectations of others, spending much of our lives terrified at the possibility of ceasing to be loved and accepted.
We have created a competitive society where there can only be winners or losers. We must meet standards, even at the cost of sacrificing our essence. Making money, having good looks, gaining academic and professional merits are the highest aspirations in our culture. Our children live from an early age subjected to the pressure of being always under examination. You have to get results, pass exams, learn languages and excel in this desperate race to get ahead. There is no longer time to be, to play, to learn for the sheer pleasure of doing it.
Our culture has made the mind prevail over the heart. We take pride in our achievements in science and technology, but we have lost something fundamental on the way, our heart. Without it we are incomplete. We are tripartite beings: head, heart and instinct.
Let us teach our children to develop a relationship with themselves in which they listen to their guts and heart, in addition to their heads, in which they can recognize what they need and want, not only what is expected of them. In this way, they will be able to share from their greatness, from their full potential, instead of shrinking to conform to our expectations.

Que es la autoestima?

Nuestra autoestima depende de la aprobación externa y de unos estándares que nos sirven de referencia para dar valor a lo que somos.
Si una determinada sociedad o grupo humano valora positivamente ciertos aspectos, estos serán percibidos como deseables y cotizaran al alta.
A su vez los criterios de valoración se plantean en términos binarios, en polaridades. Guapo o feo, trabajador o vago, egoísta o generosos, fuerte o débil. Es una manera de percibir el mundo algo rígida y limitada.
En las ultimas décadas hemos constatado los efectos indeseables de una baja autoestima y hemos tratado de compensarlo con una nueva forma de educar a nuestros hijos utilizando mensajes positivos que refuercen su confianza. Es un progreso el haber superado un modelo basado en la exigencia y en la descalificación. Ahora tratamos de cultivar nuestras fortalezas en lugar de poner el acento en nuestras debilidades porque sabemos que elevar nuestra autoestima repercute en toda la areas de la vida de manera positiva.
Sin embargo este modelo sigue basado en el juicio y sujeto a la aprobación externa.
Sigo necesitando que determinadas autoridades, que van variando a o largo de mi vida, me perciban de manera positiva. Esas autoridades que un día fueron mis padres y maestros, mis compañeros de clase, los vecinos y la sociedad que me rodeaba, ahora viven dentro de mi en la forma de un critico interno que esta a cargo de juzgar mi comportamiento,  mis sentimientos y mis pensamientos.
El problema de raíz no ha sido resuelto.Nuestra autoestima es siempre precaria porque esta condicionada a las caprichosas y azarosas circunstancias sobre las que no tengo control alguno. Puede perder mi dinero, mi status, mi belleza y juventud,…Y entonces quien soy/ Cual es mi valor? El ego se compara, compite y teme al prójimo porque lo percibe como un rival. Vive en un permanente estado de ansiedad temiendo no llegar a ser o  perder lo conquistado.
Cuando me acepto tal cual soy y comprendo que no necesito demostrar nada o probar nada, empiezo a disfrutar del  momento presente y suelto el miedo.
Dejo de identificarme con una serie de atributos y de rechazar otros, dejo de estar dividido y peleado conmigo mismo.
Cuando me percibo en proceso en lugar de como una obra acabada, me puedo permitir distintos estados de animo, distintas experiencias de aprendizaje, distintas vivencias. No necesito etiquetar lo que siento o por lo que estoy pasando. Simplemente estoy en el ahora y asisto con curiosidad y apertura al despliegue de mi existencia.
También dejo de percibir al otro como un rival contra el que tengo que competir para ser mas. El otro se convierte en un compañero de viaje porque también esta pasando por diversas experiencias y aprendiendo, creciendo en este mágico viaje que es la vida.

What is Self-Esteem?

By Isabel Galiardo
Our self-esteem depends on external approval and on standards that serve as a reference to give value to who we are. If a society or human group positively values certain aspects, they will be perceived as desirable. At the same time, the evaluation criteria are presented in binary terms, in polarities. Handsome or ugly, hardworking or lazy, selfish or generous, strong or weak. This is a rigid and limited understanding of life.
In the last decades, we have observed the undesirable effects of low self-esteem and we have tried to compensate it with a new way of educating our children using positive messages to reinforce their confidence. We have surpassed a model based on negative feedback and strong judgements. Now we try to cultivate our strengths instead of focusing on our weaknesses. We know that improving our self-esteem has a positive impact in our lives, however, this model is still based on external approval.
We still need to be perceived in a positive way by certain authorities. Those authorities who once were my parents and teachers, my classmates, neighbours and the society that surrounded me, now live inside me in the form of an internal critic who is in charge of judging my behaviour, my feelings and my thoughts.
The root problem has not been solved. Our self-esteem is always precarious because it is conditioned by capricious and random circumstances over which I have no control. I can lose my money, my status, my beauty and youth, … and if that happens Who am I? What is my value? The ego depends on that self-image. The ego compares itself, competes and fears its neighbour because it perceives it as a rival. It lives in a permanent state of anxiety fearing not to become someone or losing what has been conquered.
When I accept myself as I am, I understand that I do not need to prove anything and I begin to enjoy the present moment and release the fear. I stop identifying with a series of attributes and rejecting others, I stop being divided internally.
When I perceive myself as in process rather than as a finished work, I can allow myself to go through all sorts of emotional states. They are learning experiences. I do not need to label what I feel or what I’m going through. I am simply in the now and I attend to the unfolding of my existence with curiosity and openness.
I also stop perceiving the other as a rival. The other becomes a travelling companion because he is also going through various experiences, learning and growing in this magical journey that is life.
Enjoy the ride!