Recognizing the Unimportance of Recognition
I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it but I used to be a recognition junkie. And not just in one area of life, I wanted to be the best in all of them: the best dancer, the best artist, the best student, the best looking, the best friend, so that I could receive the attention that came from being what I thought was better than others.
The Sanskrit term for attention is "soma" which more specifically means flow of consciousness. Everything in creation likes to receive soma. This whole universe is the Self witnessing the Self witnessing the Self. We can get into a mindset that the attention from others is from where our validation comes. That when we are recognized as a successful person for example, this gives us our self worth.
However, our worthiness does not increase or decrease whether or not we have a big salary or are unemployed, have published a novel or have never written a word, or whether our parents think the world of us or are disappointed in us.
How someone sees us says more about them than us. For someone to recognize something, they have to have experienced it themselves, so looking for recognition from certain people can be like a Michelin star rated chef looking for recognition by the clientele at Applebee's.
We can still enjoy soma but the best thing is to let the recognition come from your inner Self. Even when I first became a teacher, I still had a bit of that recognition pattern in my behavior and I looked for validation from the outside. I wanted to have lots of students and be thought of as (I say this with another twinge of embarrassment) special. But now, it’s the recognition of my higher nature that I am interested in. Eventually, moving past even that as well. The paradoxical thing about it is, the more I let go of wanting that recognition from others, the more I got it.
When we meditate, we are staring into the source of all soma, and the more we meditate, the more we feel that flow of consciousness percolating up from within. So don't worry if others can't see what you are yet, that’s fine, they will someday, and your light will help them get there.