Originally Written: 16-Dec-2019
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Something I have learned about the pressures created around showing up for others in life is the desperation that every person goes through in order to feel like they can be ‘the one’ for someone or something. It is completely unreasonable to ask of each other.
No matter what we are doing, everything is rooted in solving the core problem of surviving.
First we look to survive hunger, thirst, and exhaustion from our day.
Once physiological needs have been met, we graduate to psychological desires around feelings of safety.
Safety is the foundation to which we pour our next thoughts. The wider the feeling of security in a specific context, the taller the building representing our self-expression can be built.
In order to build one’s thoughts around love and belonging, the foundation needs to be free of cracks that would compromise the integrity of our expression. A building built on a cracked foundation is a hazard to everyone around it, including itself. So too are humans when we do not tend to the cracks in our own.
Feelings of love and belongingness are only fleeting for a person who does not feel safe. They are sensations I have gripped onto in the past as they have come and gone as I remark at what I lost, when the reality is they are not yours to have, but to appreciate.
When your life is spent trying to acquire feelings of love and belongingness, then what you are doing is living a life that is dependent on others to actualize your desires. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs stops here as you declare your peaks in feeling as the moments when you feel accepted by others. What you are doing is declaring victory when you have barely started the climb to self-actualization.
In order to acquire feelings of self-esteem, you have to demonstrate self-respect. Self-respect comes in the flavor of protecting boundaries, time, and your character as something you actually represent. You are all the cumulative sum of all your actions and you need to own the coat of paint you are wearing, if we can return to the building metaphor again. What you build your thoughts on has to come from something, you cannot build a building without materials to build with.
When we’re born, the source from which we build our thoughts on becomes the standard we operate by as we go out into the world with what we consider ‘common sense’ and attempt to make a life for ourselves.
The standards you are taught as a child are only as effective as when you learned them. Eventually you need to level up your standards to meet the context you are operating with in the present. Your parents are limited in what they are able to teach you because what they know is limited to the extent of their experiences in life.
Having to change your standards is therefore not a matter of fault but a matter of fact in life. Change is constant.
When we approach the processes in life related to work, family, and relationships, we only have the choice to adjust to new circumstances if we are to move past a moment and step into the present.
Letting life’s hard moments catch you and take root is literally giving yourself permission to take a sledgehammer to the pillars that hold up everything you have built for yourself. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are making a conscious choice to ruin your day, month, year, life when you decide to judge a moment as life ruining or altering.
Our brains are powerful as fuck. But they are purely wired for survival. Surviving life’s hard moments is easy when you look for excuses and justifications that allow you to feel ‘right’ about something or someone. However, over time, new data emerges. New context arrives in the form of perspective. Eventually, the water is under the bridge enough to appreciate the view for what it was, which is beautiful.
In life we will feel all the feels we can feel. We cannot stop the feelings that come up, but we can observe them and learn from what they are trying to tell us. If you aren’t feeling your best, then you are not being your best. If you’re not feeling your best, you should therefore do what satisfies the need to feel at your best. To do anything else is to compromise yourself in a way that is not healthy, regardless of what sentiment you are attaching to a moment or action.
In order to approach the peaks in feeling that allow us to see what self-actualization really looks like, we must shed what holds us back from completing the job. If something does not add value to your existence on this planet, then it isn’t worth pursuing or holding on to.
It is okay to be selfish about one’s time and energy, but how you allocate the time you make for yourself impacts how much you can show up for the people and things you care about in life. If how you spend the limited time you have is not filling your cup, then you are being frivolous with what you have and are creating deficits you will have to finance in the form of lost time.
Time is all we truly have to spend. There will be a ‘last time’ you see everyone you ever encounter in life and, after such a moment passes, all you will have are memories of them. When you choose to let a moment tear you apart from someone, you are truly burning a bridge to a sister city in order to protect your own infrastructure.
But when the dust settles and the borders are drawn, we take our next step in life on a fragmented foundation.
In order to be the most one can be, one has to find a way to heal.
Healing is necessary to the cause of survival and how we return to desires of becoming the most that one can be.
If you do not heal from a wound, you will die.
If you do not heal from the wounds inflicted on you on the level of safety, you will never feel safe and will act in a way that shows you do not feel safe.
If you do not heal from the wounds inflicted on you on the level of love and belonging, you will never feel loved and will act in a way that shows you do not feel loved.
If you do not heal from the wounds inflicted on you on the level of esteem, you will never feel like you matter and will act in a way that shows you do not feel like you matter.
Self-actualizing means you have ascended to a level of thought that seeks to be more of a contribution to others than to oneself. You cannot possibly be a sustainable source of contribution if you are have not adequately contributed to yourself.
Contributing to yourself is necessary to the cause of therefore contributing to the others.
Contributing to yourself entails restoring cracks in our foundations, renovating outdated office spaces, and even applying a new coat of paint when the time permits. Contributing to yourself means doing what it takes to return to the desire of being the most one can be for oneself and others, including those we have burned bridges with. It’s taking responsibility for your own actions and how they have impacted others while maturely communicating how you feel.
Communication is hard and the language we speak is just a common standard we have agreed on how to express ourselves. It isn’t the only way we self express and learning all the ways we need to be approached takes a lifetime of learning on our own parts.
We cannot expect others to understand how we are feeling unless we actually approach the matter ourselves and try to translate.
Feedback is vital to the cause of surviving our ideas about ourselves and others. It is a sword that clashes with others when we speak our truths in attempts to heal from our pain. Swordplay <excerpt>.