So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality. Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.
When was the last time you exclaimed, “Eureka, I have lost everything, all that has given me a sense of security and happiness is now gone?”
I remember a few of those profound moments of self-realization – when I finally divested of a toxic relationship which included the entirety of my possessions and my house, when I walked away from my own life-time dream to chase after and share the dream of another person, when I closed the door on a promising corporate position to reorganize my life and follow the path of sober-living. And honestly, I don’t remember screaming, “Eureka.”
I repeatedly found myself on the bottom rung of the ladder which had promised to lead upward to wealth, happiness and security. The bottom was so near and the top seemed so far away once more. This was not where I intended to be at ages thirty-five, forty-four and sixty-two. However, following the most recent self reckoning ten years ago, I did not look again to the top hoping to some day be the man whom I felt others wanted me to be. Miraculously, money, prestige, social standing, worldly success did not matter. I became blissfully content to feed at the bottom. There, where most of the world’s population dwells, egos are reduced to a manageable condition, wants finally become distinguished from needs, and smelling the roses becomes more desirable than beating the crowd to the top. Poor materially, but enjoying immeasurable inner wealth.
Dorothy Day (1897–1980) said much the same: “The only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have far to drop, you do not have much to lose.” 
Richard Rohr at CAC. ORG continues with this comment:
“From that place, where few would expect or choose to be, we can be used as instruments of transformation and liberation for the rest of the world.”
When we stop climbing those ladders set in place for us by others who have been part of life’s journey, we finally see the truth and reality of our life and the tremendous need for us to feed with the rest of humanity, not from lofty perches atop mountains, but at the bottom where we meet the poor and destitute, the homeless and persecuted, the sick and defenseless. Centuries ago a man of great wisdom called them “the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3) and promised them the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Imagine that. Heaven is not a few steps above the top of the ladder high in the clouds; rather, it is upon the ground of humanity where our ladders have been standing all this time waiting for us to step off…or fall off.
 Dorothy Day, Loaves and Fishes: The Inspiring Story of the Catholic Worker Movement (Orbis Books: 1997), 86.
I AM LARRY – worthy, unique, loved