I read an article today on “insecurity” that was written from a psychological perspective. The focus was on an individual feeling insecure due to, often, child hood events including the way we may have been treated as children. If we received lots of ‘put downs’ as children reflecting that our parents or caregivers did not think highly of us, we can carry this into adulthood and feel insecure at times, particularly when we are challenged or have to rise to the occasion.

The article then went on to describe how we can ‘overcome’ insecurity. Some of the feedback from readers of the article included “This article is helping me tremendously. Understanding why I am insecure, I can now focus on how to transition my ways of thinking. Thank you”.

What does not sit comfortably with me about this approach is that much of this type of information is individually based, it’s as though if the person fixes themselves, then life will be better. The emphasis is on the individual. There are of course merits to trying to fix unwanted thoughts such as “I’m useless”. I just don’t think that is where the emphasis should be.

Whether it’s put downs from childhood, life events such as the death of a loved one, tragic events such as tsunami, losing your job, getting divorced, the list is often quite long – life can be and often is difficult. Life brings suffering. We learn through suffering. We don’t necessarily fix the suffering. We can manage the effects of the suffering and learn and grow from it.

Overcoming implies fixing and control. It takes a lot of energy and can work but only until the next set back comes along. Sometimes the effects of the next set back can be worse than the first, particularly if we thought we had ‘overcome’ the suffering. Hence the term managing. If we can accept that life can be difficult and these bits of suffering in all their various forms are here to strengthen us, then managing them and growing from the event will lead us to be wiser and stronger and dare I say more joyful individuals. Food for thought.

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