Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pervasive Insecurity and a Cure

It occurred to me today that there's a lot of insecurity out there--and in here, if you know what I mean.  Many people in their 20s and 30s, especially, are trying on new identities and trying to make certain things fit. I see it in lots of ways.  One way is through hesitance to voice opinion, or to be warm, for instance.  Or conversely, to be overly warm.  To, further, act like you've got it all figured out, or that "it" is so big and complex that any figuring out is completely worthless.  So a false self-esteem occurs, a sense of jockeying for status, and other excessive kevetching, or withdrawal.

There are definitely people that buck the trend.  I'm not really one of them, but I can recognize them.  They're plain spoken.  They don't see complexity; they seek answers.  They care about answers to questions they ask, and they are not afraid of stating an opinion that belies their position.  In short, they don't seek approval everywhere they turn.  Honestly, I think you've gotta live quite a long time and through a lot of different circumstances to become this person.  There are many dangers out there lurking to transform us, especially those, like me, who are weak to temptation, and eager to please. I sort of fall apart without a base to rely on.  I like stable personalities.  I like people, to some extent, to tell me what to do.  At least when I'm feeling insecure and weak.  It helps me resolve my lack of direction, and at times, my severe apathy.  I'm working on this facet of my personality--that is, letting go of seeking goals to stabilize myself.

I talk to my mom some times, and try to be open to the words she expresses, and especially, the hard places she's found herself in throughout her life.  I haven't been open to her too much in the  past.  Most of the time she was lame.  What she is, though, is a tireless, and mostly ego-less hard worker.  A lot of people are this way.  Thankless hard workers, without the desire to become famous, or think of themselves as really special, or much else, beyond the act of helping others exist.  That's all we've got, really.  What I'm also saying, I suppose, is that a lot of the insecurity we all exhibit is demonstrated because we're sons and daughters of a generation that believed anything and everything was possible--that they were a bit more special--they had a greater emphasis on individuality and creativity.  That's good, of course, in the right balance.  It can be highly insidious too.  Of the abusive men and women I've known, each one felt very, very special, and exceptional, and better than those around them.  I think that, because I'm partially a victim of that personality, I developed a defense mechanism against this type of special thinking, and, simultaneously, was comforted by the approval I've received and sought for my behaviors and actions.  I know, I can hear you out there: that's only natural, and normal.

Well, you're right.  And so I am.  That's why our emotional selves are truly a delicate balance.  I wish I could increase my own empathy--and I mean, in the moment, the day to day moments, really, of everyday life.  And I wish I could increase other people's empathy for each other too.  I wish that all could be nice and easy.  It isn't.  We have limitations.  We have great potential, but also, great limitation.  I don't have much of a conclusion.  The cure, though, you're wondering about?  Simply the realization that everyone else is situated similarly.  Most people, in other words, struggle much like you or I, and most of them could use a helping hand every now and then.  I'm not telling you that helping people should be your only mission in life, or mine.  I think we do have to look out for ourselves first and foremost.  Still, we are, whether we like it or not, engaged with the world around us, and we're here together.  We share much more than what separates us.

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