Prem Answers Questions
Cape Town, South Africa
You talk about being attractive, and us generating this energy that is attractive to other people—but it has to start within oneself.
And this next question, I think, (as we were discussing which to take out of the multitude that came through), I think hit everyone backstage, and I think it’s going to hit all of you. And I hope that the person who wrote it really does light up now and take note of the response.
But the question read as such: “How can you love yourself when you’ve started to believe that you’re ugly and a failure?”
Well, fortunately, it is not a fact; it’s only your belief. Beliefs can change. So, you know, really, you can believe anything you want—but what is the reality? What is the reality? The reality is that darkness is never far from light.
Last time you flipped on a switch and turned on a light in a dark room, how long did it take for that darkness to disappear? You turned on the light bulb, and it’s just like, djjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj, like, you know, a drain—or like a toilet flushing, schhhhhhhhh? No! Boom?—boomf.
Darkness is never far away from light; light is never far away from darkness. Joy is never far away from sadness and sadness is never far away from joy. They ride together.
When you go into a bathroom and you lock the door for privacy, do you think it’s private? No. Your anger, your fear, your doubt have come with you. Even though you book only one seat for yourself on a bus or an airplane, your anger, your fear, your doubt, they’re always there—always, always!
But so is kindness. So is understanding; so is gratitude; these things are also there because they are the other side of the coin.
You need to know this—that if you have only experienced your ugliness, then you haven’t flipped the coin. You need to flip the coin—because the other side of that coin is incredible beauty.
And what is the beauty? What is the beauty? Somebody who is symmetrically shaped? A star? What is the beauty? Because you know the reality of it is, how many movie stars that are drop-dead gorgeous, spend hours sometimes looking at themselves in the mirror, going, “Oh my God, am I? Am I?”
You are the beholder. If you feel, in you—and see, I keep going back to this—and this is a great question, because this gives me more ammunition for my book. That’s why you need to know yourself!
Socrates said “Know thyself”; you need to know yourself. Why do you need to know yourself—because that is when you will be able to experience the true beauty that you are. That’s why you need to know yourself.
There are a billion reasons, I think, 7.5 billion reasons on the face of this earth of why you should know yourself. Because if each one did, I think we would have a very different situation in this world—if the beauty that you conceive in your mind is beauty that is different than you truly are. And you have that beauty.
Whatever other people tell you, you are worse than them. Because you constantly sit there and tell yourself, “I’m not beautiful; I’m not beautiful; I’m not....”
This beauty will be gone one day. The same thing that people come and kiss, they’ll be like, “Huh-hah, no way.” So, it’s not here; this is not the “beauty” part. The beauty part is here, in your heart, in yourself.
I think a big part of that journey to self and that getting to that point of seeing the beauty within you, a part of that has to be about forgiving yourself.
And one of the questions that was posed is, “If forgiveness is difficult for you to begin with, (forgiving someone else is hard enough), turning it inward to the person that you know better than anyone else, the person that you probably judge more than anyone else—how do you forgive yourself?”
Well, that’s a wonderful question—because that is so important, to be able to forgive yourself. And let’s just not even bring “you and somebody else” into the picture; let’s just talk about forgiveness, what forgiveness is.
And a lot of people think, “Forgiveness is granting license to mediocrity, granting license to somebody’s mistake.” That is not forgiveness. Forgiveness is to sever the relationship with that action that is dragging you down.
So, now, whatever—and, you know, somebody did something to you that was terrible. And that happened a long time ago, but that person still has a clutch on you. They still have a clutch on you. Because every day that you wake up, perhaps, and in a solitary moment, you curse that person; you think of that person; that person is still connected to you.
And forgiveness is saying, “No more. You will not have control over me. I want my life back. I want my life back and I do not authorize you any more to haunt me.” That’s what forgiveness is.
That’s what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is very powerful. It’s really saying, “No! I’ve got my life. Thank you very much.” Regaining—it’s regaining. Because if you don’t, then the clutches will still be there.
And it—and what it does to you; what this clutching does to you, these claws that are buried inside of you, it causes anger; it causes fear; it causes you to shut down; it causes you to stop moving forward; it stops appreciation....
And you cannot allow yourself to be a victim; you would—some of the things, you will never be able to say, “Oh, yeah, I’m fine with that.” But it’s up to you, whether you allow the talons of that person and that activity still to be gripping you. Because if you don’t, then use the sword of forgiveness and free yourself. You move on.
You know, and I understand. I mean, sometimes these stories are easier said than actually translated into your life. But at least, if you begin to chisel away....
I mean, maybe the rope is so thick that you won’t be able to cut it in one day. But at least, you start severing it, start understanding the dynamics that you have the power to sever that rope, that this is what forgiveness means—that ultimately one day you will weaken that rope; that it will, it’ll be severed. But you need to begin. You need to start understanding that.
Because whatever you practice the most, that’s what you get good at. You know, and practice, practice being yourself. But, then there is a problem with that, that if you don’t know yourself, how do you practice being yourself?
So, now it’s back to that “point one”.... [MC: Giggle. You go back to giggles; you’ve got giggles.] And, yeah, know yourself.
I’m so glad that you’ve honed in on—you mentioned a couple of words there, but the word “victim” came up so many times in so many questions: “And how we move beyond feeling like a victim,” which is very much a South African context, and as you’ve explained, I think, an energy that’s shared across the globe....
Somebody has to keep trying—and be it the citizens of this country, that in the face of what is absolutely, absolutely, impossibly cruel and horrible—but the good has to keep trying. That’s the victory.
And there are two kinds of victory. In one victory, you win but somebody has to lose. But when the victory is of yourself, then you win and nobody has to lose. Nobody has to lose.
And so, yes, in the face of all this horrible stuff, there is hope. And if we humans can dip so low as to do things like that, then we humans can also climb so high as to make the difference to not let it happen.
So, it’s up to us. At the end of the day, it’s going to always come down—we play a part in it. We play a part in it. And we wait....
How many—I mean, I shouldn’t ask this question, because I know what the answer is going to be. But I sincerely, sincerely—because my platform is humanity, I sincerely ask you to ask yourself one question. “How many of you are waiting for the others to change?”
And that is the biggest disease worldwide—everybody is waiting for others to change. No, you have to change. With the others change or not, you change. And then they will see “the change is good.”
The time has come to take ownership, find peace in your life, know yourself. That’s the time. You want these things to stop; they can stop. They’re not.... This is not God at work. You know, this is not, “Oh, yeah, it was his karma....” Stupid explanations! (This is the fifty-year-old talking.)
How many of you disagree with that—“That it’s somebody else up there who controls the destiny; you are just a puppet”?
Because this is what we are taught; we didn’t know this—we’re taught this. Because it gives an explanation to all the unfortunate things: “Oh, yeah, God works in mysterious ways.” And we go, “God works in mysterious ways.” And I say, “That’s it? That’s your explanation? ‘He’s mysterious’?” I mean, why is God mysterious?
There is only one way you can take away darkness. You cannot get an empty bucket to take away darkness. An empty bucket, to fill it with darkness and throw it out the window won’t work—sorry. There is only one way to take away the darkness—and that is, bring on the light.
Do I see hope? I see hope. And I saw hope when I went to that school. And they were little kids—so cute—little kids. And I saw hope in them. And you need to find some too. And you need to find the end of uncertainty, end of that fear, so you can find the end of anger.
You’ve helped me to unlock hope tonight; you have—I can feel off this audience, helped them to unlock hope tonight. And so I hope you’ve received some of that love from us as well. What an absolute pleasure and a privilege.
Thank you so, so much.