“Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.” ~ Friedrich “Fritz” Perls. …
Recognizing and accepting our own inherent value and worth is an important and necessary step in our growth and development towards authentic self-hood–for it claims control of our life and assents to self-responsibility. If I allow myself to become a slave to my dependency on the judgment of others, I put my happiness and contentment in life into the hands of others, and my own self-esteem suffers greatly. In addition, I relinquish final control of my journey and purpose in this life to those who are merely observers of it.
During a chapter of my adolescent life, I ended up the recipient of some name calling and bullying that of course hurt tremendously. Throughout this period of my life, I came to realize that I was greatly concerned about what others thought and felt about me. Nevertheless, I did manage to find a silver lining through the whole ordeal: the ridicule I faced eventually helped me to develop a self confidence that lay dormant inside of me, propelled me to excel and it became apparent to me who my true friends were. And as I spent more time in reflection, I grew less concerned about what other people thought and felt about me, and I came to understand that my contentment in life does not depend on others approval of me. Knowing this truth set me free from the cravings and emotional bondage of the approval of others.
Freedom is a beautiful gift bestowed upon us by our Creator. And as long as we do not give it up by our own choice–through embracing an unhealthy dependency–we will always possess it and all the power and potential that it brings into our lives.
Shed any external dependencies in which you have placed your self-esteem.
Questions to consider:
What are some things that might lead us to developing dependencies?
What are some of the ways in which dependencies are valued in our culture? What are some of the ways they are not?
In what ways might you be dependent upon the judgment of others?
For further thought:
“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is its ultimate reward.” ~ Patricia Sampson