Today I watched as a spectator a live performance of a destructive insecurity. An acquaintance of mine decided to create an argument, invent feeling to validate their own place within the social group. A test of the waters, if you will. It felt entirely irritating and quite sad but I could recognize that deep insecurity as an aspect of myself. This acquaintance demanded an apology for a weird fictitious slight to be able ensure the structural integrity of the friendships they have, to see how far they could push before the roof would collapse in. Who else can say they’ve not done this? We all have, as children when we push the limits of our parents love with cries for more and more attention.
Yet it is in our nature to evolve, isn’t it? We should be seeking validation from within to confirm our own standing in this world, yet that’s easier said than done. Somewhere along the way, our brains evolved to keep us safe by running simulations of possibility to risk assess our lives. Sometimes, these simulations spill into our actions and before we know it we have our performance. A live production of shit to see if our audience is still there or if they left in the interval, distracted by a better show.
“So if you have a true perception of how things lie, abandon any concern for reputation, be satisfied if you can just live the rest of your life, whatever remains, in the way your nature wishes. You must consider, then, what those wishes are, and then let nothing else distract you. You know from experience that in all your wanderings you have nowhere found the good life – not in logic, not in wealth, not in glory, not in indulgence: nowhere. Where then is it to be found? In doing what man’s nature requires. And how is he to do this? By having principles to govern his impulses and actions. What are these principles? Those are good and evil – the belief that nothing is good for a human being which does not make him just, self-controlled, brave, and free: and nothing evil which does not make him the opposite of these.” – Meditations 8.1
Need clarity on a circumstance? Seek it out. Abandon the performance because the show shouldn’t go on so step from the stage. Get a closer look at your audience you will see an ocean of faces: your face.