We often think that we are defined by what we do, what we achieve, what job we hold, what marks we get and what material things we have. From the time we are young, it is drummed into us that our achievement in life is measured materially. And that material achievement is also the measure of our self-worth.

Despite everything we have, we are unhappy and dissatisfied in life. As we grow up, we are rarely taught by our elders or parents that we should be grateful for all we have and that we should actually work towards attaining peace within.

Sometimes I question if this has anything to do with the value we place on our self-worth.

We are constantly defined by “what would people say and what would people think” that we forget that our success is not measured by what others think. It is how we feel about ourselves.

I have a cousin in Melbourne who used to anger me each time we met. She did very well for herself, lived in one of the most expensive suburbs there. Yet each time we met, she would seek the opportunity to make herself and her family look good, whilst insulting me.

It was only later I realized that she came as a test to me. Do I really value myself? How do I feel about myself? Why did her behavior bother me so much? Eventually I bucked up my courage and told her that her behavior towards me was unacceptable.

That day I realized something else, despite everything she had and achieved for herself, she was a very insecure person.

So now I reach out to everyone out there. Please cut some slack for yourself and for those you love. It is true that life is full of ups and downs but in the greater scheme, things will fall into place. Sometimes what we consider as failure is not that at all. With every set down in our life comes a success story, if we have the determination to make it in whatever we put our minds to. And it is also important that we surround ourselves with people that support and love us for who we are.

Everything revolves around expectations of ourselves and of society. If we had enough faith that all will work out eventually we would not carry so much fear and disappointment in us.

We are each born with our own purpose. And when we are in alignment within, all falls into place. When I say in alignment, I mean when we have faith, are happy, satisfied, positive and at peace, then we will be guided in life.

When we can love and accept ourselves for who and what we are, then nothing else matters.

Sadhana Awasthi is a wife and mother who always have had an interest in expressing herself from what she learned from her life of 50 years. Born in Singapore and emigrating to Melbourne when she got married, Sadhana works in an Education Institute. She is a Reiki Master and enjoys reading, swimming, yoga, meditation and oil painting. Sadhana may be reached at s.awas@hotmail.com