Looking in the Wrong Place

I used to hate praise.

Nobody ever meant it, permanently.  Whenever someone spoke highly of me, it would always fade away, eventually.  I would become bitter, deciding that no one could deal with me being human.

Oh, I liked the good when it was being said.  It seemed to fill some need that I had.  I felt worth something, important, when others sang my praises.  And that made the crash all the worse, when the singing stopped.

The problem wasn’t that other people were flaky.  The problem wasn’t that people stopped liking me.  The problem was that I was a praise junkie.  I needed that pat on the back, to believe that I was worthy.  But, we don’t constantly praise even our closest friends. 

And we need a constant, positive soundtrack, running in the background throughout our daily lives.  The problem is, nobody is going to follow us around, encouraging us and doing a running commentary on how awesome we are.  There is only one place that the dialogue can come from.

We need to stop looking on the outside, for what can only come from within.

Praise feels good, but it’s fleeting.  We need to give ourselves the gift of a positive inner dialogue.

You’re resisting that notion.  You think that there are enough people who think they are all that and a bag of potato chips.  The world is full of arrogant people, and you don’t want to be one of them. 

But look at the “arrogant” people you know.  Is it possible that they are compensating, for a very low self-worth?  Are they needing to put others down, in order to feel valid?

Do we really need to be so afraid of being arrogant, that we can’t place ourselves on even terms with the rest of the world?  Do we need to view ourselves as being separate, as being less?  Wouldn’t we be able to give more to others, if we saw ourselves as being worthy?

Try it for a day.  Treat yourself as you treat others.  Disregard those negative voices, and give a microphone to the positive. 

You just might be surprised.

Single_flower : single yellow rose on a white background Stock Photo

13 thoughts on “Looking in the Wrong Place

  1. All emotions are linked to thoughts. Thoughts come from within. Though the external world can trigger thoughts, we have the power to empower or diminish each thought. Thoughts + energy = your experienced reality. Choose wisely when deciding which thoughts to empower.

    Dan @ Zen Presence – Ideas for Meaningful Living

    • I heard a quote (on NPR) from a lady who was helping the kidnapping victims in Ohio. She said: “This isn’t you; this is just something that happened to you.” I’ve translated this to my thoughts: “This isn’t you; it’s just something I thought.” That has been quite helpful. 🙂

  2. So insightful. I found that those most insecure are the ones hiding it by picking on someone else. An extreme case would be my sons father. I had never met a more arrogant individual in my life, that arrogance turned to abuse of anyone close to him. Years later he committed suicide. It took me a very long time to be able to accept the outer persona he showed the world and what he had hid from the world, his insecurities deeply buried from all of us.

    • Hurt people, hurt people. Yet it is their responsibility to reach out, rather than continuing to hurt themselves and others. Suicide is a tragedy, first and foremost, because it halts the healing process.

  3. Talk about timing, I needed this today. I woke up grumpy, and I let the day devolve into a “Who cares?” state. It was certainly one of those days where it felt everything I did did not matter, and it was emphasized in the evening when DH came home. Some days, it’s all about maintaining. And recognizing that it is an accomplishment.

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