News and Views

In Security

Apparently the hackers don't care that you've finally just learned the magic word that lets you in to all of your online accounts.  They are intent to utilize any vulnerabilities available to them in the wake of this Heartbleed bug.
    But that's not what I'm going to talk about now.  What bothers me more is a whole different kind of insecurity, one that plagues even those who don't use the internet.  
    At some point in all of our lives, I have come to realize that all of us - except perhaps the most delusional - suffer from insecurity.  We all think that some one else is greater, smarter, taller, thinner, funnier, braver, richer or better than us in some way. We think security comes from physical beauty, financial security, or our value in comparison with others.  
    But that assessment is actually quite ridiculous.  Take, for instance, the actual, true story of how I used to assess the value of guys.  Back when I was a teen, I thought guys with really nice hair were supremely confident.  After all, the guys I had known who had the nicest hair were also the most popular. The leap in my brain was really quite natural.  But now that I look back, I see how ridiculous an assessment that was. We have only to look to Donald Trump to debunk my myth.
    We all know that Donald isn't hiding anything with that thin layer of hair, trying to pass as a combover, but truthfully, we all use this technique, albeit a little differently.  We try to hide the insecurities we have, the weak spots.  But everyone can see straight through the thinly-veiled disguise.

So why do we pretend?

There are two reasons I've identified:

1 - We have this illusion that other people are perfect, or truly are at least better than we are.  We legitimately think our value is less than the value of others.
2 - We think, whether or not others are perfect, that they judge us, and we invest a lot of weight into that judgement. We've allowed others to be our source of security.
    Both of these sound ridiculous once we break them down.  
    Nobody is perfect.  And if you think someone appears perfect, just talk to them.  Those who seem to have it all most likely are the first to admit how messy their lives truly are.  The trick to these people, I've found, is that they've just gotten really good at managing the mess.  And that has only come from experience.  We can all get better and better at dealing with messes.  And what happens when you get better at a skill?  You gain confidence!  
    Secondly, when we get our value from anything impermanent, anything that can change its mind, or leave, or be destroyed, then we're totally at its mercy.  Security, in this case, is an illusion.  People are fickle.  People will change their minds.  You can never control that.  People will leave you.  People will die.  
        What if your value is 100% found in your relationship with your spouse, for instance?  What happens if they are tragically taken away?  Does that mean that you suddenly have no value?  That's absurd.  
        You had value before you met your spouse.  You have value independent of them.  You can have value even if they leave you.  
        The truth is that security - your inherent value - is defined by you - entirely.  No body can give you security.  No one can ever make you secure.  It's not a gift that can be given.  It's not an assessment that can be made by anyone else.  
    It's a revelation you need to have.  It's a revelation that there is no one like you.  There is no one with your exact skills, qualifications, and placement in this world.  No body else has the relationship you have with the people in your life.  Nobody else has had the history you have.  No one on Earth could fill your role if you left.  And that is true no matter how forgotten, unimportant, weak, or insecure you may feel.
    When you fully grasp this, then you can work to become better at fully being an awesome, incredible you, a you that you can be proud of, a you that keeps their commitments, and does what you say you'll do, a you that works to become the best version of you that you are capable of being, then you will begin to know security.
    Don't hide, because you're also hiding all of the good stuff that other people need and want, all of the strength, beauty, endurance, tenacity, joy, creativity, all of it. 
    The truth is that there is always someone who is greater, smarter, taller, thinner, funnier, braver, richer or better.  Always.  The trick is to accept that truth and still realize that we are all yet valuable.  

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