Q: What is the difference between self-esteem and pride?
Carrot In My Ear
Answer: I hear behind your question a certain kind of situation. In it, you don’t know whether you are sticking up for yourself in a healthy way, a dharmic way, in a proper way, or you are just being prideful and defensive. Do you recognise this duality? Sit down carefully and contemplate it. Examine the alternatives in your mind and in your imagination. Try to assess the feeling. Try to see which way there is movement, fluidity, grace, ease and upliftment. That is the best thing you can do.
In many of these cases, it takes a powerful discrimination to tell the difference between things like that. Baba gave one comprehensive answer: You will know it by how it feels. I call it the upward shift. Pride as ego feels a certain way inside, while speaking up for yourself, speaking from the dharma or from what is just and correct, has a totally different feeling. Pride makes us
inflexible, angry and uncomfortable. We try to justify pride with a host of internal arguments, but meanwhile inwardly we are burning. On the other hand, if you don’t stick up for yourself when it is just, when it is appropriate, then you also burn. Pride feels like being stuck. In such cases, we simply have to get off it. It is a very good question.