No matter how many protestations we make against what we are or for what we would like to be, the truth remains, however much we might wish differently. Wishing for change does little but hold our attention on self-perceived issues. Without action one way or another, we find ourselves in a rut, if not a downward spiral. The longer we allow ourselves to leave them as they are, the worse they become with time and opportunity added to the baggage for which we may punish ourselves for not utilizing. Instead, we can use that focus proactively to either change our view of the issues or put in work to correct them, developing a healthier relationship with ourselves and building a solid foundation for our character rather than throwing up a house of cards for appearances, only to have it collapse with the slightest (justified) challenge to its validity.
Certain titles are frequently demonstrated as generally desirable – wealthy, strong, beautiful, powerful, compassionate, etc. – but there is far less incentive now to actually be these things when it is far easier to simply appear that way. People saturate social media with edited photos tediously lighted and angled, brand names, activities and entertainment, the newest gadgets, and solidarity, attempting to ignore (while all the while agonizing over) their self-perceived flaws, monthly bills, and personal relationships in shambles. As long as they can create the image they would like of themselves in the minds of others, that gives it reality, right? Well, no. Are they really any happier? The lingering internal agony would suggest otherwise (despite likely denial). Therein lies the rub.
Relying on external validation does little for internal satisfaction. The two hold less sway over each other than we may like or assume. How we feel internally does not automatically alter external factors, demonstrated whenever we wish something to be true which ends up being false, when we desire something we do not get, or when we must deal with something we would rather have not. The only way to have a chance of deliberately manifesting our internal in the external is to take some action in its favor. This still does not make the initial intent a given, but either way we get the satisfaction of the work done, avoid the guilt of idleness, and may learn something to inform future actions taken.
The same is true regarding external sway over the internal – whatever ideas or opinions come to us from the outside need not change who we are and how we think unless we allow them to do so. If we truly believe something ourselves, other opinions should not faze us. Those who try the hardest to dictate how others perceive them, then, demonstrate not their belief in what they say but instead an incapacity to trust their own perception, subsequent reliance on external validation, and therefore, fear that someone will say something to dismantle the lie they have carefully crafted to believe about themselves. The fact they expect to succeed in altering the internal convictions of others through external means reveals their own internal experience of vulnerability to external interference. Those secure in their own beliefs need not try to convince others to validate them.
Insecurity must not be a determining factor in our worldview, with its root in perceptive inaccuracy and its shoot bearing lies. If all that we experience is perception, this only further shrouds the hidden truth. Accepting delusions in ourselves or others only further weighs down our self-perceived weaknesses by neglect and concealing adornments. It may make us feel good to experience acceptance for a moment, but it does not rectify the issue, giving us a bandage over a broken bone. Sometimes we need to hurt a little (or a lot) in order to grow. Facing our weaknesses and helping others do the same shows true strength and genuine compassion in pursuing a long-term solution. Otherwise the conflict within will continue to spiral. We need other people, so we try to appeal to the greatest amount of them by cloaking ourselves in generally desirable titles but then must keep those people at a distance so they do not see through the lies, counter-productively separating us from what we truly need. We only need the right people, not everyone, and the way to determine who those right people are is accepting our own core and building around it in a way that truly satisfies us. If we can accept ourselves, we can accept others, and if we can accept each other, distance becomes unnecessary.