Sunday, February 23, 2014

emotional independence

Let's face it.

We all have emotional needs and desires.

Many of us need to be loved, and thus expect love from others.  From parents, from friends, from partners.  When we do not receive the love we expect, we feel alone, depressed, or maybe even stressed.  We have all been there.

In addition to expecting love, many of us seek approval from others.  We do not want take worthwhile emotional risks until we have the counsel of others.  If the opinion is not coming from our beloved friends and family, we seek it from the larger society.  And when we eventually make up our minds to put ourselves in a position of vulnerability because we know that it promotes our emotional development, we rely on others to reassure us that we are on the right path.  If we receive too many strange looks, hear too many dissuasive comments, or feel more isolated than before, we might give up the risk by settling into something more comfortable.

But what if we found ways to satisfy our need for love that did not depend on others loving us?

But what if we found ways to satisfy our desire for approval that does not depend on others responding favorably to our ideas and actions?

More than a hobby that allows us to express our personality, more than a job that allows us to use our preferred skills, more than a relationship that allows us to live out our fantasies, I believe that we can satisfy our deepest desires by practicing a lifestyle of emotional independence.  In doing so, we provide the love we need and we grant the approval we seek.

I want to be heard.  That is as simple as a desire can get.  And that is a good thing, because anyone can easily identify with that.  While many people may have difficulty understanding the unusual things that I do, they are much more capable of relating to why I do them.

My desire to be heard has always been there, though for the longest time I neglected it.  I was not even aware of it, until a few years ago.  Yet I have regularly satisfied this desire through hobbies, jobs, and relationships.  Maybe that was what helped me this far in life.  By catering to my desire, I experienced love.  But I often gave more importance to the love received from others than to the efforts to obtain it, up until the point where I depended on it for my emotional well-being.  In the end, I got burned.  When the pain had become too much to bear for an nth time, I discovered the concept of emotional dependence.  Thankfully so.

If I have a desire to be heard, then I have the responsibility to speak.  Or to express myself in general.  After all, how can one be heard if he does not speak?  Now the great thing about the act of speaking is that it depends on no one but myself.  In other words, I am in control of my voice; it resides within me.  If I can exercise this control by practicing a lifestyle where I express myself freely, with purpose, and especially from an deeply emotional place, the chances of me feeling heard will be great.

That would be wonderful, except that I am not going to depend on others to give me that feeling.

I love sharing my sketches online once they are done, but I primarily sketch for my own satisfaction and happiness.  If someone else also likes them, then it's an additional bonus for me.

Sanjeev Joshi

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