We worry about our standing with others, creating insecurities. We protect against the feelings through blind spots where we overlook reality and miss opportunities to grow.
Oh, those darn insecurities. Many emerge from childhood blind to essential realities to operate smoothly in this chaotic world. It’s not that we had terrible childhoods (too many do). Many struggling adults grew up in loving homes with caring, concerned parents, but for whatever reason, emerge into adulthood with a collection of life-narrowing insecurities. Perhaps insecurities naturally flow from the dependence of childhood—we all began as an organism incapable of survival without parental protection. During our most formable years, our health, survival and well-being was in the hands of others.
Here we are adults, making a living, starting families, and still reacting to silly fears of insufficiency, whacked by shame that is triggered by the simplest interactions. Childhood insecurities are not fixed in intensity, they vary over time. They grow and diminish; some fears may even be discarded. Yet, for the most part, we must constructively live with the little monsters. In our society, confidence and strength signify power and health; admitting insecurity almost is repulsive, inviting scorn from others who likely hide their own stash of insecurities. Insecurities are the ultimate “elephant in the room.” If we believe insecurities signal weakness, we don’t easily accept them—we bury, deny and justify, rather than accept the reality of our frailties.
Buried insecurities still survive, orchestrating powerful yanks to emotional strings. We feel strong emotional pulls during interactions—embarrassment, fear, anger and shame. Lack of awareness disjoints interpretations of these feelings, instead of seeing the self-imposed fears, we point blame, avoid openness, and seek escapes to avoid culpability. There’s no magic pill to courageously accept the self. The modern pseudo psychology over-simplifies the answers, often encouraging burying rather than working through emotional deficits. These denied aspects of self—insecurities—become blind spots that drag us further from reality.
Encounters that trigger pain—inciting fear—are graspable events when understood from a secure standing, that allows a less tainted perspective, compassionately identifying accompanying insecurities that magnify the feelings. With vision, we effectively navigate and respond to experience. But when insecurities thrive unnoticed, they permeate our being, charging interactions with heavy doses of energy; but the power is misdirected with blinding and protecting biases. We adopt creative explanations, protecting our ego, and relieving the strain while overlooking the need to engage in personal work. We act on our blind spots. We see wrongs that don’t exist.
"The modern pseudo psychology over-simplifies the answers, often encouraging burying rather than working through emotional deficits."
Self-justification protects tender egos. When we widen our comprehension of emotions—a biological given of living—we are less inclined to demand others to appease our sensitivities. Knowing we experience emotional peaks and valleys helps mediate the emotion, creating space to work through vulnerabilities and accept support. Our walls of protection disguise the tender vulnerabilities (they still exist and motivate action). We wince at self-revelations that give glimpses into our souls. We don’t want to see so we justify and deny the obvious. Without self-justification, we stand emotionally naked, exposed to the cold storms of regret and loss. We pacify our egos, ignoring the evidence of broken relationships, wayward children, and lost employment by projecting the failures on others; we weep at our misfortunes, and boldly claim innocents. Self-righteousness is very lonely.
These ego protections stymie growth. By facing the reality—including responsibility for past hurts—we discover important truths. Insecurities don’t diminish value. We can accept personal responsibility with dignity. Clearer vision creates healthier responses. Current relationship struggles can be constructively addressed. The acceptance of failures teaches wisdom. Most failures are not serious character flaws, but common mistakes made by ordinary people living in a complex world. We are weak, but also, we strong. We are blind but visionary. The weakness and limitations of our dynamic existence are part of the complexity puzzle. We live with the incompleteness of knowledge but still survive. We feel, we love, we work. Some days are happy others are sad. Our failures impart wisdom, building the foundation for future success.