I was talking to a friend the other day about a mutual friend of ours who we have some concerns about. This friend, we’ll call her Tina, seems intent on self-sabotage. She says that she wants certain things out of life – a good relationship, a better job, her own place, etc. – but “for some reason,” she just can’t seem to get there.
Whether it’s smoking weed, which she knows is destructive but continues to do, or it’s “dating” multiple people at one time, because she likes the attention and feelings of love, she continues to do things that go against her professed desires.
But why is that?
One reason that I think is true in her case (and many other people) is the desire for the feeling of validation. Note: I didn’t say actual validation. When I was a kid, I was beloved by the adults in my church family, yet I didn’t have many friends my age. While I was validated often by the adults, the fact that my peers didn’t share their sentiments made me feel that I was not validated.
Unfortunately, most of us spend our lives chasing that feeling. It is a natural human desire to feel loved, and if we aren’t brought up with a nurturing environment that helps us to be self-assured and confident in who we are, we will seek different places, people, and substances to provide substitutes. The problem is, there is no replacement for self-love and acceptance. So, the substitutes can provide some good feelings, but in the end, nothing will be fulfilling, and like a drug addiction, more fixes require more substance, which can be dangerous.
So, back to the title. Feeling fulfilled and loved are inside jobs. This is necessary to live a life that is not based on chasing an elusive feeling of contentment. While you may not have grown up with it, or you may have received countless messages to the contrary, you have the ability to reprogram your thoughts and create the self-love that you need. It will take time and work, but you really do have the power to change your existence and create a full life that isn’t the pursuit of an ever-evaporating sense of completion.
If you are like me and need some help, contact one of our Empowerment Partners to get on track to a better you.
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