“Deliver me, O jesus:
From the desire of being esteemed…”
– Mother Theresa
Have you ever wanted to vanish off of the face of the earth?
I certainly have many times. One year it became so strong that I nearly did exactly that: I wanted to go with my surfboards and just leave for Java or some remote region of the planet of the earth.
But guess what? Illness hindered me.
In hindsight, even though sometimes it still crosses my mind, it is a good thing. Knowing myself a bit better now, a little less than a decade later, I can say that it served me good. This illness, which Tibetan’s call meditator’s disease (we call it PTSD) or I call it doing too much, is always a sure sign whether I am moving in the right direction or not. If I had gone off the grid back then I am certain that I would have somehow managed to kill myself. This is not an exaggeration on my behalf. I had a knack for getting myself into trouble. When I was younger it was small things, but when I got older, the situations had to be more grand, more, well, more of anything really. I went into waves when surfing, even though I knew I should not push it on a certain day. I had a few close calls, but did not see the forest for the trees. I had strange occurrences which I can now pinpoint as to what it was spiritually, but in hindsight I was blocked, focused on one thing only. And that was making it in surfing. I wanted to go away, to leave, to vanish as if I never had existed, yet, somehow leave my mark. This is nearly impossible in a world that thrives on recognition and wanting to be someone.
There is a prayer by Mother Theresa that I found many years later and it starts with:
“Deliver me, O Jesus: From the desire of being esteemed.”
So for this I wish to be freed from wanting to be esteemed. I wish that I did not have the desire in the slightest, which I cannot say is true. We all have some form or the other of it in our current society. Look at me writing this blog. Is it not a desire of being esteemed writing about all these things? It may be slight or just in the background, but I do feel that it is there. When I was younger I wanted to become an artist. I still do. Rilke wrote that being an artist takes time. It is something that one cannot rush or force. One needs to relax, be with oneself, and to understand that it is the indwelling spirit that promotes a healthy creativity.
I would like to change this connotation within myself and rather wish that people get inspired by my writing or paintings or whatever it is that I do (or not do). Rather than the desire of being esteemed I would like to change it into inspiration and love for creativity. So that others can get inspired to write or to do whatever it is that they wish for. It should be an expression of divine love rather than a desire of being esteemed.
Have you found your lack of wanting to be esteemed yet?