Validation and Praise

Check immediately all popular applause and all flattery.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations I.16

We have an innate propensity to seek glory and praise. It is human nature to desire being liked and admired. I think recognition to some extent is part and parcel of a healthy self-esteem. The spiritual practitioner, however, transcends the need for recognition.The spiritual journey is the relinquishment of the small self for the evolution of the higher self. A higher self that is impermeable and unshaken whether ignored or noticed, admired or criticized. To reach our highest self, we must remember praise is not part of the journey. We must know our own worth. Realize our value has its end itself. It cannot be taken away or diminished without our consent.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations IV.20

See how soon everything is forgotten; look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the fickleness and poor judgment of those who present to praise…for the whole earth is but a point, and in that how small a nook is this your dwelling, and how few are there within it, and what kind of people are they who will praise you? 

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (IV.3)

Ideally we will evolve to a level of being that requires no validation or praise. Given the emptiness of applause and the vanity of existence, we must develop a sense of self that is self-reliant and humble. Believe in yourself and know your worth, all the while maintaining the wisdom of humility; out of this mentality you will be impermeable in any given circumstance.

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