This post resonated. I know that feeling. Constantly. To overcome my self inflicted injuries is my greatest challenge. Recent events have helped me grow. I’ve learned to accept that I’m not responsible for how my colleagues act or what they say. That I’m not responsible for what my clients do. That, having satisfied myself that I have done my best, there is nothing I can do as to whether other people find that acceptable, desirable or correct.
These lessons have been bitterly earned. They were slow, burning, lessons. Taught with gnawing self-doubt, anxiety, worry, re-examination and second guessing.
I’ve slowly learned to recalibrate my sense of empathy and understanding towards all of those who undertake the great journey of birth-life-death. I’ve learned that this prisoner complex of the inner mind looking at the outer world was our common shared heritage. That ultimately, we’re all trying to do the best we can with what we think is right.
So when I say I admire this post, you will see where it comes from. It was about everything that I aspire to achieve at this stage in my life.
Despite that I couldn’t shake a sense of disquiet. There was something wrong about this post at its heart. Shortly afterwards, I came across this quote:
“To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth… is potentially to have everything…”
– Joan Didion
It clicked with that sense of disquiet. Ryan is right that we need to overcome our need for social validation. We need to overcome the self-injury we do to ourselves by grounding our sense of self-worth extrinsically.
He is wrong however, to imply that it is easy. The battle with the self is the most challenging struggle that anyone will encounter in their lives. He makes this difficult struggle over the inner nature of ourselves – ground in a thinking feeling social brain locked in a clumsy callous body- sound like an easy easy victory. A matter of re-wiring. A process of mitigation through therapy. I think that’s wrong. How can anyone else (extrinsically) tell you what your intrinsic self-worth is? How can you let them taint that value assessment?
The truth is that this challenge is a sufficient and noble challenge for any life to achieve. However, it is a struggle that we have to take alone. Others can help us struggle, against impulse, instinct and social programming but they will never have a true understanding of that battle.