Affirmation Turned 180 Degrees

I’ve discovered about myself that I crave attention more than I’d generally be able to admit to myself. When I’m depressed, it generally has some basis in the fact that I believe myself to be uninteresting, unworthy of attention, or generally alone. These feelings stem from an innate belief that to be happy I must be worth liking, and to be worth liking I must be noticed as demonstrating skill, wit, intelligence or other beneficial traits. So, despite my desire to claim selflessness and a lack of dependence on trivial gains, here I am, superficial.

The thing that troubles me, though, is the lack of reason to this whole idea. I shouldn’t need anything more than a clear mind to experience happiness. Frankly, the most true and sincere joy I’ve felt, has come in the clarity after tossing away all thoughts of body or self and delving into experience.

I’m not sure when today, but for a few small moments, I was pondering this particular obstacle to happiness and it occurred to me that in times such as these when I fall into the trap of so desperately needing affirmation, there might be a better alternative. Maybe what I need to remember is that, given the time to think about it, there is no greater joy than at the thought of touching someone else in a powerful way.

I guess the lesson to myself is this: in times of self-doubt, loneliness and hardship, solace comes from the knowledge that I’ve given someone else the self-assurance they need to carry on in a difficult world. If I can’t come up with recent experiences fitting this description, then I have some work to do, and a clear and definite purpose to fulfill. And what could be more joyful than the knowledge of a clear and definite purpose.

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