In the last few months of working with clients I have noticed an increasing need to declare how they are special. Yes it sounds enticing; however this leads to giving away one’s personal power.
In a special relationship we single out a person, object or ideology to be the source of our happiness. The current belief expressed is alone, empty, needy or deficient in some way. Expressions shared are that life is dull, meaningless, painful, stressful, unfulfilling and filled with drama.
This often results in my clients looking to some person or external object to complete them. So you complete me is an new maxim.
This idea that anyone can complete you implies that you are incomplete as yourself and this is the root cause of all emotional pain since it is totally untrue.
MY Personal realization is that we are complete, eternally whole and looking outside ourselves to create this “special feeling” results in you giving up your power The worst is that someone or something now has dominance over you and can award or withdraw their support by withdrawing the very behaviour that validates you .
I have noticed this occurring in the areas of politics, religion and lately in the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, where friends and families are being set aside as one determines their specialness of being aligned to one or the other.
The dangerous idea of needing to be aligned to a special ideology, leads to giving up one’s personal power and creates a feeling of not enough-ness or not complete.
I was hiking high in the mountains of Nepal 1985 and I arrived at the Tengboche monastery at 14,000 feet. Here a story was told of 2 monks who had travelled to the monastery where we were encamped to achieve enlightenment and had renounced all else. The story went that the two became agitated over the cushion they were using to sit on while mediating and they began to fight over who had the right to what was believed by each to be a special pillow that would enhance their enlightenment and ultimate happiness.
We all have a need to feel special. It is not the need that is dysfunctional; it is how we go about getting the need met that can be either dysfunctional or healthy. It is dysfunctional when we make others responsible for making us feel special. You will stop pulling on others to make you feel special only when you accept the full responsibility of “owning your own experience”. You must love yourself and create your own personal feeling of being special. This means learning to give yourself all that you may be trying to get from others – treating yourself in the loving ways you desire from others.
“We all have a need to feel special, but it’s how we go about getting the need met that can be either dysfunctional or healthy.”
The needs I have come across that limit our ability to experience happiness naturally are :
Need for uniqueness aka “To feel Special “
Need for control
Need for love
Need for approval
Need for oneness
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these basic human needs. To have them makes us human. Where most people run into trouble is when a human being puts one or more of these needs above everyone/everything in their lives. This is how addiction and compulsive behaviors can happen and happiness ends.
Often, distorted needs can happen as a result of a particular need not being met when we are young, but that’s not always the case.
The first step in changing any behavior, such as acknowledgement seeking, is to be aware of it, and you’ve done that. GO YOU!!
When it comes to changing behaviors there are a lot of different tools.
I often Awareness, Acceptance, and Action. (There is also use Tara Brach’s RAIN process – Recognize, Allow Investigate, Nurture)
Allow life to be as it is, Investigate Inner Experience with kindness, Non-Identification.
It’s a different way of saying, be aware of behavior, don’t judge for what is, and practice a different behavior.
Doing different behavior is scary. Most people do a lot of things out of habit and changing a habit can be scary but it’s worth it if you want to experience the natural state of happiness and joy leading to peace of mind as a leader.
Notes to self: Assume responsibility in these areas of your life:
Emotional: Attend to your feelings throughout the day and explore what you may be doing that is causing painful feelings, rather than making others responsible for your feelings. Value your intrinsic worth rather than just your looks or performance – your kindness, compassion, creativity, caring..Behave in ways that you value – being loving, kind, compassionate, understanding, caring.
Physical: Feed yourself well to maintain health and get enough rest and exercise. Create balance between work and play and creative time. Make sure you are physically safe such as when riding a motorcycle.
Financial: Make sure you are financially independent rather than dependent upon another, if physical able to do so.Spend within your means!
Relationship in life and work and spirit: Stand up for yourself and speak your truth rather than complying, defending or resisting in the face of others’ demands or criticism. Don’t be a victim. Refrain from blaming others, with anger and criticism, for your feelings and behavior. Don’t be a victim. Do what you say you are going to do regarding time and chores.
Make sure your living space and work environment are clean and tidy, and esthetically pleasing. Take the time to connect with the happiness and truth of God/Higher Power.
Take time throughout the day to bring the happiness down to the level of your feeling self – your Inner Child.
Treating yourself in these loving ways will eventually result in feeling internally special rather than needing others to make you feel special.