It is interesting that this blog post idea arose. I am working on a book with one of my former instructors, and I had to do a lengthy bit of research on the gay community. I know that many men would possibly be offset with that emotionally, and I’m sure quite a few reading this might be thinking of scrolling down. So, from that vantage point, I’d like to discuss self-security.
What does it mean to be secure?
Security is being able to be objective with yourself.
Security is being able to trust yourself
Security is being able to accept the choices of others
Security is being able to defend your position without needing to be offensive
To understand security better, it might be helpful if we visit its opposite.
Insecurity is a feeling of inadequacy. It is a blight on the soul that begs to diminish any action or person that stands a chance of revealing it. When we are insecure we are doubtful of ourselves to the point of malicious behavior. Insecurity needs to be bolstered by tangible signs of adequacy.
We see insecurity in the beatings and the murder of gay teenagers. Although I beg for caution in the blanket use of the term, the argument for homophobia is pretty strong. The idea is that there are people who are not secure with their sexuality, and in an effort to prove to themselves that they are “straight”, or “normal”, they may take extreme actions in an effort to prove to themselves and others that they are not gay. It is as if they have to kill the gay person outside of themselves, in order to kill the one inside of themselves.
We see this same insecurity in the world of religion. Religious beliefs can be very difficult to defend due to either the lack of knowledge on the part of the practitioner, or the sheer degree of faith based following that is asked of the practitioners. When any of our cherished beliefs are questioned it can create a uneasy feeling that pop psychology refers to as cognitive dissonance. If we aren’t able to defend our beliefs based on knowledge and proper argumentation, then we may have to resort to violence. Religious intolerance from a rank and file perspective, often stems from the need to protect ones beliefs by physically removing those who oppose them.
Security can be developed with honest reflection and self-knowledge. Unfortunately, due to our natural inclination to conform, social pressures can create conditions where we simply act in the manner of least resistance. The dichotomy is not so much our beliefs, but our fear of ridicule and social ostracizing. Speaking your opposing beliefs to your family can be a daunting thing. Often, we harbor beliefs that are contrary to what we present in public. There are times when our knowledge conflicts so greatly with publicly held opinions and beliefs as to cause violent reactions.
Part of the danger of insecurity is this lack of authenticity. When we are insecure we don’t want others to know that we are insecure, or the depth of the insecurity. As touched upon earlier, the development of a whole self-concept is necessary to augment our feelings of worth. Those with a great degree of self-knowledge are better equipped to handle the confusion of chaotic vicissitudes that occur. They are more able to understand their shortcomings, and are less afraid to admit to their differences when in public circles. The more one is aware of one’s self, the less likely one is susceptible to the ever present pressures to conform to the beliefs and standards of others without good judgment.
We can all use more self-awareness. Our beliefs can all be buttressed by further truth-seeking and asking ourselves better questions to strengthen our arguments. The true test of the secure person is being able to challenge their own beliefs, as well as unsubscribing to beliefs that hold no merit. The insecure person fears being wishy-washy, the secure person accepts the reality that we all have been given our belief systems and is willing to give up myths and illogical fancy for factual objective thinking.
As I wrote in the book, “The Better You”, we all need to take time to meditate on our selves. We all need to develop a routine of analyzing our most cherished beliefs. We all need to consider the beliefs we hold about ourselves. Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Why? How do these feelings reveal themselves in the public sphere? Do you get enraged when your beliefs are challenged? Do you feel inadequate when defending them in a well reasoned fashion? Are you able to reason well? Do you believe your beliefs to be above challenge? Do you honestly believe that any thing is above logical challenge? Can you emotional handle being proven wrong?
These are only a few question that I leave you with as you begin your journey from insecurity, into a more secure approach to dealing with yourself.