As a country, we're losing our sense of value. And in the other half of what is now a fatal and destructive cycle, we are losing our value as individuals as well. In place of religion and family tradition for much of the new generations who thought they had emancipated themselves, and in the wake of what appeared to be the new revolution, reigns a new god: media. And it has happened because we have yet to identify our self as a worthy enough power to follow.
Until we approach the complete awareness of ourselves, we will not know the peace; the beauty that is our truth. We are unable to claim the possibility of our strength.
We give out our power anywhere else. We immerse ourself in need, we let success say no one loves us if we're not successful, models tell us we're not thin enough, celebrities tell us we're not funny or enjoying life, sports teams tell us if we're losing; our children tell us we're failing, romantic interests determine if we're valuable or not, schools dictate if you have the right answers, magazines inform us we don't look good because don't have the clothing they recommend, news coverage announces that we should be scared at night, books tell us what products our babies need for survival, the government says we have one vote for one of two candidates, and the winner will or will not save our humanity.
It is all an illusion. It all takes advantage of our vulnerability. And it all tells us what we're worth -- is nothing.
These things inevitably take part in our lives, but we are in charge of them letting ourselves feel like we've fallen short or not. Each individual is responsible for drawing that boundary. And if we don't, we're left as victims -- powerless over the enormous anxiety our nation provides. And we abandon ourself again, over and over. Avoiding our shame and repressed anger by drinking. By eating. And dieting, and purchasing merchandise, by depressing, by revaluing our sex -- by the vicious search for something we're in control of. Including our own children, our husbands and wives, our families, and employees, and our dearest friends.
The last place we look is ourselves. The last place we look for strength is within our own integrity, our honesty and patience. Our kindness. The last thing we value in each other is character. And the last place we search is within our own vulnerability and capacity to connect, and find joy in what we already have.
Left behind in the distance is simplicity; our imagination; our presence, and the innocence of youth. And in its place: the useless comparison of ourselves to others, the devaluation of our natural given gifts. Every move we make becomes another weighted source of disappointment. And good dissolves in the hands of resentment and in the image of fear. We continue the path of oppression.
All our choices, where we put our energy, the way we interact with others -- practice awareness of why, trace behavior to its root. Do you interact with the world from a place of fear, from a place of doubt? I used to approach the world as though there would be terrible pain and disappointment everywhere. In place of my presence to life was constant prediction of how it might hurt me, or how I might not meet its expectations -- I let the underestimation of myself safely lead my life for me because I let others' standards tell me I was not good enough. All along, my valuable qualities were there, waiting for me to acknowledge them. Waiting to be nourished.
When you feel anxiety, dig deep and identify where it is placed. Don't avoid it. It is the key to your potential, it is your body telling you there is something you need to reconcile. When used properly, anxiety is your talent, it is your energy, it represents the possibility of how bright you're capable of shining. But if it gets smothered, it will only amount to a pit in your stomach, and the hold around your neck.
Dive into the uncertainty and trust yourself. And with the boundaries in place of respect for yourself, trust others. It's OK if you're disappointed -- you will survive. Trust is peace. Let anxious energy release as its divine intention -- as positivity -- as your purpose in life. Listen to yourself and know that purpose is there. Live with truth and it will never empty. Through calmness and presence to what surrounds us, presence to our challenges, we discover meaning. We grow. Discovering how to trust is exactly what informs the limitlessness of our whole life.
For 13 years I avoided my life, my anger and disappointment, my uncertainty and apparent shortcomings with control over what I ate. It was nearly my sole reward and punishment system, and it was all a harmful delusion. A practice based in approval and disapproval from others, at the expense of myself.
The energy we put into obsessing over food, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, and money is the same abundant energy available for us to engage in a life that is truly fulfilling and unattached to societal validation and the crippling worry of outcome. All those other things give us a sense of control -- they mean nothing, they are void of connection and only continue our pain. The one different ingredient between living within the superficial and illusory world of our escapes and what is our actual potential, is trust. Trust in our courage to face life, to breathe through our frustration, to let others see who we are, to accept our circumstances, and then, if necessary, trust that we can handle the discomfort it takes to change them.
In the misinformed guidelines of achievement and virtue, we depend on approval. We've forgotten how to listen to the only accurate compass of worth there is -- which is ourselves.
For more by Dana Clark, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.