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Pondering the universe

Being you

Seek validation within, not from others

For much of the time, we are obsessed with what others think of us. This is a recipe for neurosis and fear.

When we are born, we are dependent upon our parents while we come to grips with the physical body we have. We desire to be close to them, particularly the mother, and seek attention from them for our needs and progressively increasing desires. How they respond to us defines a large part of how secure we feel. The seeds of how much we trust life are planted at this time.

When we go to school, we seek guidance from our teachers and support and company from our peers. However, they also place expectations upon us and so we seek to please them, and depending upon those expectations, we can feel more or less secure about our place in the world. Here the addiction to our stiving for external validation shifts into top gear.

Along the way, we are bombarded by advertising that seeks to make us dependent upon their products for our sense of worth. The ads constantly push us to want to be accepted by others and do what it takes to fit in. By the time we are working, we are hooked into multiple systems of external validation that both make us feel safe, but also leave an underlying sense of impending failure if any of the validation is withdrawn.

But other people cannot truly validate us because they are not us. Their opinion of us is just that, and is very likely to be erroneous in many aspects. It is often defined mostly by their own insecurities and delusions they have about themselves, again mostly as a response to the opinions of others. This chain of dependent insecurities makes it hard for us to really know what it is that is really us, and so know what is really of benefit to us.

The only way to back out of this toxic chain is to find our validation within, but that is easier said than done. It requires a two-pronged approach. One is to back out of buying into others' expectations, and involves us asking ourselves if what people and advertisers ask of us really helps us, or leads us down an addictive rabbit-hole. We have to undo the programming of the propaganda that is blindsiding us. Others, including family, may have some insight as to what might help us, but they are not infallible and certainly do not know what our true needs are.

The other prong is to get in touch with our own sense of self and pursuing this path is what gets us to know what we truly need and what we are actually suited to. Everyone else may provide hints, but they cannot know. One tool for this is mindfulness to help with being in the present, which is the only time decisions can be made. With practice being in the present, rather than in regrets of the past or fears of the future, we can begin to know ourselves and take control of our thoughts and emotions, which are what others have hijacked for their own ends.

Contemplation allows us to think about aspects of our lives with more clarity with our increasing ability to be in the present. Meditation helps us to be open to our higher consciousness which is what will provide us with the direction in which we need to take our lives. However, this process of discovery takes time as we are not used to looking within ourselves for validation. There is also learning to trust the guidance we get from it, as it can often run counter to much of what society pushes us to.

While many in public life seek what is best for us, there are some that do not want us to be in control of our lives, and so undermine us individually and collectively. But as we become more truly independent, we can take control of our power, and in cooperation with others we can make worthwhile changes to society to undo those destructive influencers. We can stand much stronger individually and collectively when we are not hijacked in our beliefs, thoughts and emotions by unhealthy propaganda. Seek truth within and be free.

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