B1 Intermediate Other 204 Folder Collection
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"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone."
"It's not."
"The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone."
Robin Williams.
Codependency is a potentially destructive state to be in.
At its core, it means that you cannot be alone.
And the consequence of this is an ongoing clinging to other people; no matter how bad they treat you.
But it's an illusion to think that we need someone else to make us feel complete.
We don't.
When we let our contentment depend on external things we have given our power away.
As humans, we aren't islands.
We need at least some form of social interaction to reproduce, and, in many cases, to survive.
But, it's not necessary to have a relationship or a large social circle to be content.
In many ways, social interaction can be harmful.
Aside from bullying, manipulation, and exploitation by so-called "toxic individuals," being part of a group with a certain ideology can be detrimental to your identity as an individual.
You'll sacrifice your authenticity just to be part of something.
The question is: why do we do this?
One of our greatest fears seems to be the fear of "ending up alone."
That's why we stay friends with people that don't treat us well or stay in relationships tainted by domestic abuse, cheating, lying, and other destructive behaviors.
People can be very abusive.
And, nonetheless, we feel a need to be liked by those that aren't good for us.
We can have hundreds of friends and feel terribly alone.
So, we try to find more friends, become more outgoing, do our very best to impress our environment, hoping that social acceptance eventually leads to the fulfillment we're looking for.
We can have thousands of followers on Instagram and as many likes on the things we post.
We try to find that perfect relationship, hoping that this person makes us feel complete, which means asking our partners the impossible.
But at the end of the day, we lay in our beds, awake, asking ourselves why we feel so unfulfilled.
Well, the reason is two-fold.
Firstly, it's because what we're looking for is already within us and because of our pursuit to find it, we cannot see it.
Secondly, our ongoing pursuits are wearing us out, and the constant people-pleasing obstructs the development of our authentic selves.
Contentment is not to be achieved outside.
It's achieved within.
We spend a lifetime trying to extract from the world, only to conclude that we still feel empty.
No amount of money, friends, or material possessions will do the job if our contentment isn't already internalized.
Paradoxically, this contentment only reveals itself when we stop looking for it.
It appears spontaneously when we're completely immersed in the present moment, consumed by what is, without the need for anything to change, without straining ourselves to be anywhere but in the here and now.
It's effortless and conformable to the flow of life.
So, when we catch ourselves in the experience of complete contentment, we might want to ask ourselves if external validation is truly necessary to experience it, or, that our ongoing pursuit for “likes” is actually counterproductive.
We're empty because we want to be filled.
But by embracing our emptiness, we eradicate this need to be filled, and, therefore, become full.
If you're alone right now, I'd say: embrace it.
Realize that you don't need other people to feel content.
In fact, their presence may even prevent you from manifesting what you really are.
There's no doubt in my mind that socializing can lead to a lot of joy, and that there's much happiness in sharing, helping, connecting, supporting.
But there's a difference between the dependence on social interaction for the sake of one's search for completeness, and voluntary engagement with other people, without needing them to feel complete.
You are enough.
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You Are Enough

204 Folder Collection
lauren.huang published on July 22, 2020    lauren.huang translated    Eunice Lin reviewed
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