Who's running my life?
Where did I get this idea from?
I "know" it isn't real, but it still seems real
Where I am now
But how do I provide my own scale now?
WHO'S RUNNING MY LIFE?
I noticed that I seem to have a message in my head that says I should run my life based on what "THEY" might think of it. As if there is a ghost there, smiling and approving or potentially disapproving. While I I now know better and that it is not real, at times it sure seems real in my world, as it pops into my head fairly frequently. Another of those outdated circuits still firing off, in just the way we are designed (to repeat until overridden).
WHERE DID I GET THIS IDEA FROM?
It seems to be an imprint left over from when I was a child having to get the approval of the big people in order to know I was "loved" and therefore safe from starving to death.
And then it seems that I just generalized that as I went out into the world of other people, somehow believing I also needed their approval. I just built me a more numerous "they", as a larger version of the "big people" that have power over my life. I took what the culture approves of, what the movies told me, what I surmised was admired and liked and built all that into the "they".
I "KNOW" IT ISN'T REAL, BUT IT STILL SEEMS REAL
At this stage in life and with some enlightenment or perspective, I "see" that this is false, but I still haven't "shaken" that image on my brain. As I look back, I see that it used to be a source of unhappiness for me, as I could never possibly live up to all those (imaginary) standards and images.
I couldn't be as debonair as James Bond, as able to take pain as Arnold, as able to go without sleep as Werner Erhard, as good a lover as some theoretical stud, as good an athlete as Michael Jordan, and on and on and on. I was like a child trying to be perfect and admired so that I'd be loved.
I now catch myself in that, realizing and affirming that I am an adult. I also am building a life where I am totally taking care of myself, totally self-sufficient, with no left over dependence as if I were a child. I am getting that totally clear in my mind! I am very close to no longer seeking Approval and I definitely know that I do not "need" approval (see Needs). I am now an adult and leave behind my allowing my old brain circuits to have me be thinking like a child, no longer being dependent on anyone for filling my needs.
WHERE I AM NOW
I am now clear that "they" are a figment of my imagination, a generality from childhood of needing approval since I was so dependent on others. Like in A Beautiful Mind, I know there is no "they" even if it is served up on a record from the past that is played currently. I know it is not a reality. And now I know I need not think of whether so and so will approve of what I do. And, like in the movie, I need to tell myself in a conversation that is repeated every time "that is not real. There is no They."
And, besides that, most people are mostly concerned about themselves. There is no way they could give me worth. Yes, I could meet a picture or two of theirs, but that would not give me worth.
BUT HOW DO I PROVIDE MY OWN SCALE NOW?
But now, in a way, I am stuck without a means of "getting worth", not that I ever got it before, from "out there".
Now I need to assess what I do on a different scale than before - and I need to invent that scale.
How about just what makes me feel good, including feeling I've contributed, feeling fulfilled, enjoying my mind and enjoying creating things but this time for myself and for my life.
Yes, I will now journal and use those as my criteria for living, giving up the false criteria of trying to prove myself to someone else or to be loved and approved of. (If love comes, then I accept it as a bonus in terms of experience, but not proving anything at all, and certainly never making me now good enough to win over "they".)
Bless those people out there. I'll contribute what I can to them, but I am now independent of and no longer using "they" as my yardstick for me. I am now just living life as well as I can, for myself.
I am happy to give up the "no-win" game of constantly trying to plug the dike of having "they" approve of me. There no longer is a "they" even if it comes up in a record - as a record of something doesn't prove the existence of that thing.
I am free, just to be me, as I am, and to live as I wish to live, without concern of what others think. I am at peace...