I think I’m getting better in this. I believe I’m coming closer and closer to being a person who does not need the affirmations of others to feel secure. Or, for that matter, I don’t need others to make me feel bad about myself either. I can do this all by myself.
I think that is huge, at least for me. I observe that we humans are very insecure as a rule and spend a good deal of our lives trying to be validated by the outside world, namely by other insecure people. For the most part, we play the good soldier, try to say and do the right things, feel guilty when they think we should, and play by the rules. In sum, we manipulate each other in order to get what we think we need.
It is a rare person indeed who seems truly comfortable with who they are and who genuinely don’t seem to need anyone’s affirmation of what they say or do. They have a certain sense of integrity.
I have been ridiculously responsible, studiously over-prepared, and a pretty strict judge of my own performances – all to hear some good word from a boss, spouse or some valued other. While I still value people’s perspective about my various performances, I don’t need them to feel whole.
It is quite liberating, actually. I am less responsive to the manipulations of others, and more importantly, I feel less driven to manipulate. And I can sense a manipulation in progress. And more readily admit my own ‘scam’ when I relapse.
When one of my witty statements falls flat, I’m not devastated or in need to recover face. When someone says I should do this or that, I am now more able to consider the act with considerable personal indifference. Whether I do or don’t do what they suggest, I am not diminished one way or the other.
I hope that this is an important part of what it means to mature, to have integrity, to be one’s own person. I hope it’s not simply belligerence or indifference or laziness.
It has the potential, it seems, to make one more confident, decisive and sure-footed. Playing to so many voices, motives and agendas can be confusing and debilitating. But as we answer to the one ‘voice’, things can be less complicated, and the soul less wearied.
I sure hope that’s true. Wonder what people will think….
About the Author: Master Hobbit