I believe the relentless search for external approval and validation is a reason why so many religious institutions, life coaches, and spiritual advisors exist. I mean, it's one thing to plug into a "power source" to be charged or recharged, but it's an entirely different thing to stay plugged in as if one doesn't have their own internal power cell to thrive on. We were fully charged at birth. All we need to do is power on and stay on.
I realize that it’s easier said than done, though. Many of us are contending with thought patterns that we have subconsciously followed for years and as such will take years to unfollow.
To begin, here are some questions to ask yourself: Why do you follow whom you follow? Who told you that you are lacking? Who told you that you were blemished? Who told to take the advice of someone else before your own? Why do you pay a tariff to the supernatural while neglecting your own natural responsibilities? Why does an entity that is tax-exempt suggest its tax-paying members to pay 10% of their monthly gross pay in order to somehow be blessed in the by and by? That money when invested bears interest of which you and I see no dividends. So why are these even socialized concepts? How and why have so many fallen for the okey doke?
I feel that many in power or in possession of what they claim to be exclusive access to enlightenment prey on the vulnerable as if they have access to something that is unattainable by us lay people. Who or what gives them that power? I don’t know everything, but I do know this: No one has exclusive access to power. We are all imbued with a measure of it. No one can take my power; I have to willingly give it away. The baffling thing is, that’s exactly what happens and then we, collectively speaking, get upset with the outcome as if we have no agency.
What makes the without so much appealing than the within? We live with ourselves 24-7-365. No one can be better to me than I can be to myself. I believe that we must shed our savior complex in order to save ourselves from ultimate ruin. Much of the suffering that exists in the world today is man-made. So if man created it can man not undo it?
There must be certain aspects of human psychology in tandem with the human experience that cause us to seek purpose in the grandiose, though. Unworthiness? Fear? Loneliness? Powerlessness? Why, though? How is it that one can believe that they are unworthy or powerless by default? This past weekend, I spent time with family to include a host of kids. Children are the most fun human beings to be around. They’re fearless. They’re loving. They’re simple. They live in the moment. They love life and life loves them back. Adults not so much.
Many adults are miserable and so they want others to be miserable, too. The saying that misery LOVES company isn’t true. Misery NEEDS company. It cannot persist alone. It needs an entourage.
Let’s take religion, for example. It seems to me that religion orchestrates an elaborate approval process that is sadistic at minimum to one’s personal development. It creates robots programmed to do specific tasks without deviation. Some jailbreak themselves and write their own code, but others stay put subject to the toxic bloatware.
Not enough people believe in themselves, man. Now, I’m not suggesting to you that you idolize yourself but I am recommending that you consider yourself first.
Let’s examine one of the most salient aspects of communication to God as is expressed in most Evangelic Christian churches or at least the ones that I have attended, anyway: Praise and Worship. Why does an unconditional-loving, all-powerful God need our praise? I’ve seen a variety of responses during praise and worship; reserved clapping and thigh-tapping to concert-grade energy and behavior worthy to go viral. To what end, though? Does God really care about all of that? Do we have to turn up to get on his calendar? And what if God doesn’t respond to our liking? Do we up the ante next time? And what about those whose personality doesn’t afford them such a hyperactive worship experience? Should their “favor” be downgraded to coach instead of first-class?
Can I not show my gratitude, appreciation or reverence to the Creator through the way I take care of my physical body or through other means such as the way I love the people around me and how I respond to nature, even? Is it wrong to believe in myself and direct my own path? Can’t I declare my own purpose based on my talents and passions and dispense with the ever-elusive search for destiny? Or is there only one way in the entire universe?
My love language is “words of affirmation”. I like my ego stroked at times. I like compliments and “likes”, “shares”, “friends”, and “followers”. However, I can’t bank on those things because I don’t have control of them. If I were to base my self-esteem and self-image on the whimsical and petty attitudes of others, I would be one miserable man.