The Pearls Within.
Insecurity is self-sabotaging. Many of us have it; I do.
I feel very alone in it much of the time, as other people seem to be able to stave it off and still be vibrant beings that attract goodness. That’s only my perception of them, yes, but I don’t feel vibrant.
I feel overlooked and sometimes I feel pushed away.
My insecurity stems back to some ugliness in my past that I’ve worked very hard to get over.
The roots of insecurity are complex. They are attached to traumas that we may not even remember. I’ve been working hard to watch myself very carefully when insecurity comes to the surface for me and have noticed just how strongly I can feel it in my body.
It’s not at all hard to just sit and listen to the thoughts that come up; meditation has helped me with that. The thoughts that surface seem to be in a small, frightened voice that tells me:
“No one really loves you. People are only pretending to be nice to you. You never look pretty enough, you never say the right things. You’re clumsy and people aren’t laughing with you. You’re not good at anything so you might as well give up. If people find out they’ll leave you all alone.”
It’s a voice from the past, and one that seems like it’s coming from another person. These aren’t unique thoughts—most people have them at some time.
There are times I can’t help but show my insecurity. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I can’t keep people from noticing when I’m distressed. Sometimes, I’ve had people react with anger to my insecurity.
Those are the moments when I feel the most alone.
I had a talk with a friend about this. He said that reaction is a primitive axis of emotion and that it’s a form of fear in which people are trying to decide between fight or flight. My friend said it’s a potent anti-love and that repeated requests for validation erode love.
I’ve been faced with other people’s insecurity before too; I had a strong feeling of wanting to run away if I felt like I was being begged for support that I didn’t feel I could give at the time.
You want to comfort the person because you see the pain in their eyes, but they are asking for too much, too often. There’s not really a way to help; our reassurances won’t change their past or heal their pain. In fact, it may only give them a temporary crutch and prevent healing.
My friend once told me to make a pearl.
Find those painful spots on my soul and place a protective coating around them. They’ll still be there, but they won’t irritate me as much—this friend wasn’t the only one to tell me this.
A dear friend who passed away earlier this year said the same thing to me once. When I went to his memorial service, one of his old friends mentioned he’d been a very insecure person for much of his life—that he’d often asked for validation.
Only in the last couple of years before he passed away did he settle into himself; I had never known that about him.
By the time I met him, he had begun a path of doing what he felt he was meant to do and I remember how at peace he seemed. If I’d known, perhaps we would have talked about it more.
I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone in this.
What have I done about insecurity?
I’ve done yoga. When insecurity came up I’ve sat and noticed the feelings that arose and tried to keep breathing. When I’ve failed to quiet the ugly feelings, I’ve let the tears come.
Knowing about the concept of impermanence is the key. The feelings will pass—they always do. It’s also very important to forgive yourself if you can’t be perfect in those moments.
For others who face insecurity, I don’t have the answers. No amount of outside reassurance will end the pain. Identify where it comes from and where it lives in your body—breathe into it and just wait.
Be patient. Find a way to handle insecurity with grace. Let go.
Make a pearl.
Abby Buchold is a web designer, fitness instructor, yogi, and long distance cyclist. She considers herself a font of random information that she picked up throughout her education and while working in libraries. She is enjoying her yoga journey. Yoga and Zen meditation help her bring stillness to her very busy mind. When not working or biking she enjoys acroyoga, playing the harmonium, and sharing the love.
Assistant Ed: Christa Angelo
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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