We deserve more than to have to live up to the expectations of others, especially when their expectations fall far short of our abilities or aspirations. I often get so caught up in not wanting to disappoint not only those near and dear to me, but pretty much anyone that I have any respect for, that I lose myself in the process. My constant battle for significance, I believe, is what drives this insane behaviour.
I once heard that we have three specific fears in life; the fear of feeling insignificant, the fear of being seen as stupid, and the fear of appearing incompetent. This drives almost all our behaviour, both negative and positive, especially our anger! However, it is my uninformed opinion that people with a high self-esteem (NOT narcissitic egotists!) are less prone to these fears influencing their overall behaviour because they have a well established confidence in their own ability to be good wholesome human beings without needing the affirmation of others at every turn.
Some of us are fortunate enough to have been raised with this sense of self-worth as an inherent characteristic of our make-up, while others (including me) have had to establish it the hard way through years of ridicule and perseverence that eventually led us to a point where we realised quite unwittingly that chronically trying to please others will only lead to our destruction. And so we get to a point in our lives that can easily be labelled a ‘light bulb’ moment from which point forward the world has a new charm and attraction about it. Relationships take on a whole new dimension of enchantment, and complacency seems vile.
But the struggle is never over, because snapping at my heels is a constant reminder that losing focus of my newly found ‘wisdom’ will send me tumbling head over heels down that dark path of self destruction where self-loathing and insecurity will overwhelm me, and I’ll be nothing but a lump of flesh and bones that simply exists but does not live, waiting for something good to happen to me by someone else’s terms. So instead I make more movies in my head, and surround myself with reminders of what a morbid existence I led before the moment of truth hit me. And I pray that this will suffice to keep me well grounded in the present moment so that the past ceases to hold any appeal or attraction for me.
Note to self: These posts are getting too long and smug…keep it short and simple stupid!