Pat Yourself On The Back
“Mom, look at me!”
Kids constantly want approval, and if they don’t get it they’ll scream and cry until they do.
But have we really changed as adults?
Society simply pushes it further. We go to school where we either get approved or disapproved.
Then we get a job where you either get approved or disapproved.
Everyone is walking around hoping someone will pick them and change their life around or pat them on the back and say they did a good job.
Until one day you wake up in your forties realizing you’ve never done anything you’ve wanted in your life.
You’ve always did everything for everyone else for short term rewards.
Traditionally we had rituals to help move us from a place of dependancy to autonomy.
But today our need for approval has become an addiction.
But it’s not just in the workplace, it’s the same with relationships. We cry when we’re not getting enough approval from our partner and we feel insecure on our own. It controls our mood. Hitting the lows when you get ignored and highs when you get attention.
At work the game becomes to kiss ass and manipulate your way up the company. And as much as people know it and hate it, they feel paralyzed and helpless. They march to the beat of others demands. Which means they act inauthentically fearing every mistake, every failure and every critique from others.
They become dependent on others and in the process (often unknowingly) lose themselves. Often feeling ignored, abandoned and unloved begging for others to fill in the gaps.
Being alone becomes an uncomfortable place. But alone is where you find yourself. It’s where you are free to be yourself. It’s where you learn to love yourself. In solitude you build roots in the ground so you can stand strong like a tree by yourself. That’s where freedom lies.
In solitude dependency dies and love is born. That’s meditation, that the life of the renegade. That’s freedom.
Originally published at Jean-Luc Boissonneault.