How many of us live life, looking into the mirrors of other people’s eyes, perceptions and opinions, trying to find the definition of our own selves within those constructs? I do this sometimes.
It’s challenging, defining yourself on your own terms. I think a lot of us live, wanting other people’s acceptance and approval. We want their applause, their smiles, and their compliments.
Some people are like shattered mirrors. You’ll see no reflection of yourself in their eyes. This can be frustrating, especially if you have expectations of them, however unfounded they may be.
Some people reflect something good back to you and you feel happy and content. This emotion is ephemeral though. And it speaks mostly to one’s own ego.
How might we live a life based on our own definition of self when it’s ever changing? I’ve learned that basing a sense of self on accomplishments is a feeble foundation on which to create the self. Once you accomplish one thing, it’s on to the next thing. It’s like you always have something to prove to yourself.
What if we were all human beings, not human doings?
That’s a challenging task. How do we love ourselves without input from the external world?
That’s one of my goals – being fully actualized without the need for the world’s approval or input.
I’ll let you know when I reach this goal!
Cindy La Ferle said:
Food for thought, that’s for sure! It’s twice hard to live an original, authentic life these days — especially since we, as a culture, have come to rely on Facebook and Twitter for “likes” and comments … another form of seeking approval. Before social media, we had more time and opportunity for quiet reflection — which led to original thought and creativity and less “copycat” behavior. It’s a challenge to be strong and stand up for what you believe … thanks for the reminder! Great post.
Thanks for your comments, Cindy. Before I launched this blog and began promoting it via social media, I was rarely on Facebook. Social media is great fun and a nice way to connect with people, but it is an arena where you open yourself up to being judged by others. And when you seek outside approval, that’s when things can get dicey. I so appreciate my readers but first and foremost, I write for myself as a way to examine my own life and how I live it. As Shakespeare once wrote: ‘To thine own self be true.’ I try to live by this manta. Again, I appreciate your thoughtful feedback, Cindy!