Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a Torah Scholar and song composer of the 20th century, would often do concerts in prisons. He would greet all the prisoners in their cells, even the most harden criminals, give them each a big loving hug and invite them to join him for his concert in the prison. One time after a concert, as he was on his way out from the prison, one of the prisoners, a tough looking guy, runs after him calling, “Rabbi Carlebach, Rabbi Carlebach, could I get another hug.” Rabbi Carlebach smiled warmly and gave him a huge hug. The hard features of the fellow melted and he said, “You know Rabbi if someone one would have given me a hug like that 25 years ago I wouldn’t be in a place like this.”
Sad but true, one of the major diseases of the world is low self esteem and chronic self-deprecation. People don’t believe in themselves. An egomaniac may believe in himself but only in himself and the source of his self believe is only him self. But a truly humble person believes in himself because he knows that G-d believes in him and love him. He knows that G-d is counting on him and wants to become manifest in the world through his good deeds. A truly humble person knows that as a soul s/he is an expression of G-d and therefore s/he could not be anything less then great, beloved and forever worthwhile.
The great Chassidic Master Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught that a person has to be careful to always see the good in himself.
If you are feeling plagued with low self, doubting your self worth then you need to remind yourself that you are a soul, nothing less than a manifestation of G-d. Judaism teaches that there is nothing that you can do that could damage that truth. No matter what you do, your inner self is pure divine light. Your wrongdoings cannot change that truth but they can conceal that truth. Take pride in the fact that you are a soul; you are definitely holy. Constantly psyche yourself up to act in a way that will express the truth of your inner godly worth. Chant to yourself over and over again I count, I make a divine difference, I am a beloved soul, I am holy, I am good and I owe it to myself to act holy, do good and affirm who I really am.
You may have taken on some bad traits. But that only means that your psychological clothing are dirty but that does not make you dirty. Your dirty clothing makes you look dirty and feel dirty but you are clean. So wash your clothing, clean up your act and reveal the pure beautiful godly you. Your true essential self is holy and good and you must convince your self of that truth. Do something, even something small and you will feel great results because that good deed is a peep hole into the real you.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
Few realize that before you can love others as your self, you must love your self. I know many people whom I’d rather they not love me as themselves.
You may ask, “But how can I truly love myself? I make a lot of mistakes. I have no shortage of character flaws.”
The Torah doesn’t say love your personality or love your behavior. It says love yourself and then love others like yourself.
You can love yourself despite your mistakes and flaws because your true self is a soul.
Remind your self everyday — “I am a soul — a spark of G-d. And G-d loves me as His very own self. And if G-d loves me, surely I can too.”
G-d is waiting to be revealed through you. He is counting on you. So go ahead give yourself a huge loving hug, do good and let G-d’s loving light shine upon and through you.
Remember, you are a beloved soul. You count.