Mirror Mirror On The Wall
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" was repeatedly asked by the Evil Queen, even though she in her heart of heart knew she was the fairest of them all, obviously, until Snow White came along. Still, why did she time after time keep asking the mirror for an answer she saw forthcoming anyway?
Remember the ageless never-ending debate...what came first, the chicken or the egg? Much like it, I ask, what came first, feeling appreciated, or being appreciated?
Essentially, you should appreciate yourself before you are being appreciated...but can you truly appreciate yourself unless you haven't been appreciated by intrinsic, or extrinsic agents, which circles back to how do you appreciate yourself without being appreciated?
To acknowledge, or to have been acknowledged...that is the question.
I'm sure you notice, we have been cemented in a series of entanglements; seeking validation, whether it was via our parents, friends, or professors, back as children, or now, with those initial factors added on along with colleagues, mentors, and obviously, social media. In essence, we, as species, harvest opinions of ourselves, based on the verdicts of the people that we are surrounded by, the most. In the current time we live in, we are relentlessly influenced by the achievements of the ones that surround us in our social feeds, constantly updated with whereabouts and doings of our social circle, we are far more superiorly connected than we ever have been...yet, are we really connected?
Have we really been communicated to? Have we really been communicating with?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok (and the list goes on) have managed to successfully rebrand branding mechanisms by its very core thanks to our relentless unquenchable thirst to be validated, over likes, shares, comments, retweets, and all of that. Don't read me wrong, I am not a believer that the concept of validation has only surfaced because of our current digital society...absolutely not; in fact, this has always been a part of numerous generations since the very inception of the mankind; these visionaries have merely tapped into it now, like never before.
Digging deeper, what peaks the dopamine trigger about being appreciated, thanked, patted on the back, 'liked,' acknowledged, positively reinforced, that makes us feel surer/prouder/happier with ourselves?
Why do we constantly seek reassurance?
We are programmed to function a certain way, to extract the acknowledgment we are looking for, and so thoroughly need...unless of course, you are from the lot that doesn't care enough, and often find validation from within. How does this distinct programming operate? You perform/say/are in a specific manner that generates the reaction you were seeking, and right there begins your loop - it's similar to classical conditioning; your happy hormones are being conditioned to soar at an endorsement of your action.
Disclaimer: more often than not, repeating this process might not make you entirely happy, because you're more involved in the reaction, instead of the very action. Repetition of the action would also plausibly make you predictable, and hence offer you a lesser reaction i.e. taken granted for, and would economically be termed under The Law of the Diminishing Marginal Utility.
Which makes me wonder...are we really prisoners of our own device, like the Eagles had suggested, or have we fumbled too far away from the tree, i.e. drifting from what makes you feel the most you? Have we paused manifesting affirmations internally, or do we just have a flawed feedback mechanism?
Unreservedly speaking, how much power over our emotions have we handed out, to only be left with very little or none at all?
What if we were to reprogram our mechanism, and not only look for kinder self-validation by appreciating the valiance in our actions, but also shed judgment, and begin seeing ourselves in the same frequency we wish to be seen in?
Look around you, physically, and recognize who do you encompass your everyday with? Who are you the most you around? With the exception of the very few that can read right through your soul, you are the truest most unfiltered you, around you, with no versions to live up to.
In the most you-filled moments, do you realize that even without an appreciative applause, or reassurance, you've found your sense of direction to be driven towards? You'll fumble, you might dwindle and fall, but you'll be thanking yourself in the process of it all. In the end, isn't that what validation really is...just being appreciated, thanked and content.
Maybe, just maybe, we have been muting the voice that mattered the most, all along, and relying on inaccurate mediums of mirrors (much like the Evil Queen)? Shouldn't that voice be the only review to be looking for, and the others just an added perk?
I'll leave you with, this final bauble of mine; do you ever wonder, when a lion succeeds in making a kill, does he wait around for the others from the pack to hi-paw-five him, on his strategy?
Be kinder to yourself. Unmute your intuition. Go for the kill.
Stories By Giggles