Faith and relief from the desperate desire for validation

Faith (Faith Hill album)

Faith (Faith Hill album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Faith and relief from the desperate desire for reassurance


At times, I have been concerned about other people’s opinions of me. In fact, I have been so concerned about other people’s opinions that I have “gone out of my way” to present evidence to promote the perception that I do NOT care about other people’s opinions and experience. I have presented myself as a rebel and a recluse and, of course, a spiritual elitist.

Well, sometimes I do care about other people and their opinions- and concern and compassion could break out at any moment…. or even anxiety. One momentary interest shifts to another. Attention moves.

By the way, I really am a spiritual elitist. But I do not really need for other people to think of that as important or to even agree about what I am or not. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t. Maybe they are jealous of me and maybe so jealous that they are critical… or maybe not.

I have desperately sought to be accepted by others. I have also passionately paraded what I rejected and who I rejected.

Now, what if I just accept everything… including all forms of rejection?

Some people accept me in various ways or ignore me, some experience attraction and some experience repulsion. I also experience both attraction and repulsion in regard to really most anything.

At times, a certain issue is a priority for me, but then another priority arises. I am hungry, so I eat, but then I am no longer hungry, so I stop eating. It’s no big deal.

So, I notice when people are attracted or repulsed or both- in their relating to me or anything else. I notice the same general range of variations from me toward individuals and groups. Maybe I used to be more paranoid and defensive and argumentative, and now I can appreciate all experiences and all behaviors.

I notice contrasts. If there is no experience of contrast, like when I can barely see some thin yellow letters on a white background, then I do not experience perception. Perception involves contrasts.

Have a Little Faith (Joe Cocker album)

Have a Little Faith (Joe Cocker album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Without contrast, interest does not arise. With sufficient contrast, interest must arise!

So, there can be the experience of frightened clinging to particular ideals and familiar models of reality. There can be

Triumph of Faith over Idolatry, by Jean-Baptis...

Triumph of Faith over Idolatry, by Jean-Baptiste Théodon (French, 1646–1713). Church of the Gesù, Rome, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

paranoia about anything new or unfamiliar. Life can seem to be a series of threats to avoid or survive.

I call that hell, which is rooted in the clinging of frightened idolatry. I am not condemning it, but simply noticing it.

In contrast to frightened idolatries and the argumentativeness and even rage that I associate with idolatry, there is something I call faith. Maybe someone has an unfamiliar model of reality to share with me. How do I relate to the unfamiliar?

In faith, I am not terrified of the unfamiliar.

Xenophobia contrasts with faith, with open-mindedness. When I am confident in my experience, then contrasting perspectives are either irrelevant or welcome, though I also reserve the right to reject anything not as a threat, but as a distraction from whatever is a priority for me in a particular instance.

I of course may still occasionally experience threat or fear. I can be startled by an unexpected loud noise. I can be surprised or disappointed or angry.

However none of those experiences PREVENTS faith. Faith is simply distinct from various contrasting experiences. When I experience faith, then offers of “sympathetic” reassurance from others may be actually rather annoying.

I wonder things like “Why are these liberals trying to earn my gratitude and affinity? Why are those conservatives trying to offer solutions to problems that are not problems for me?” Maybe I withdraw and maybe I inquire and maybe I simply remain however attentive and available.

So, I may wish for the validation of others toward me. Agree with me. Show interest in me. Congratulate me. Ally with me. Shower me with compliments and gifts. Or, I may wish for privacy and solitude.

Contrasting priorities come and go.

A man praying at a Japanese Shintō shrine.

A man praying at a Japanese Shintō shrine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leave me alone. Hi there stranger, why haven’t you called me for so long? Hey, I’m hungry. Okay, now that I’ve eaten, I’m tired. We are out of water. We need some firewood. Is the ax sharp enough for some chopping? Hey, will you let the dog out real quick?

Anyway, what’s on facebook? Did I already check the mail today or not?

Where have you been? Oh, were you really here all along… because I did not even notice???

You know, I used to be paranoid and anxious. Whatever happened to all of that?

Well, who really cares anyway? I could say that it simply disappeared while I was not paying attention because of the Grace of God.

Aha, right! I just remembered.

No, I definitely have not checked the mail yet today. Today is a Sunday, so there’s no mail delivery today. That’s why I have not checked. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it, Sensei?

Remember back when life just did not make sense?

We Care a Lot

We Care a Lot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other people would make sense for a while and then suddenly did not make sense anymore. Some of the different perspectives were so confusing and threatening, right? That was really weird. That was confusion. That was the desperate desire for clarity and faith.

This, in contrast, is clarity and faith. So what?

Oh look, the dog wants back in again already. Come here, girl. Oh yes, you are just such a good girl. Yes you are! Look at that tail going back and forth. You deserve a treat, don’t you?

So, when did I go from desperately seeking reassurance and validation to selectively offering validation? Well, huh, I really do not know exactly….

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One Response to “Faith and relief from the desperate desire for validation”

  1. Melanie Says:

    Great post! Thanks for the ping back!

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