Look at me! Look at me! We all want to be noticed. We all want to be heard. We all want to have our writings read. From those days of infancy when we called to our mother’s to show how we were doing something clever we continue to long for recognition; to be praised for being good. Oh, we might become more sophisticated and go about this in more indirect and less obvious ways as the years go by, but by and large this desire to have people regard us in a positive light goes on.
Why is this? Why do we want to be noticed; applauded? Is it because we feel we’re lacking something if we don’t get this approval? I’m of the opinion that it is based on fear. Yes, fear. Not only this, the fear is quite real though largely unrecognized. It is a fear of not knowing what we are. To use the biblical analogy, our opinions of ourselves are much like the proverbial “house built on sand.” For our opinion of what we are is based on our imagined concepts, the labels of what we are, rather than what we really are.
I flatter myself with such titles as Distinguished Toastmaster and Master Storyteller but I am not these. These are labels. They are no more valid than saying, “I am a plumber,” or “I am an accountant.” If I lose the titles, the labels, do I cease to be? Of course not. Yet we strive for many labels – or alternatively, feel very proud when someone else ascribes or presents them to us. We feel proud. We laud the occasion. Nothing wrong with that.
These things might make up our identity. But we need to remember that we are not the concepts we have in our mind. We are not our image of ourselves; we are not our self-image. We are something far greater, far more profound. We truly are ‘The Giant Within.’ But being told about it is not the same as knowing it. And knowing it can only be experienced by “going within.” If we don’t go within we go without.
Are you going without?
Look at me! Look at me! This craving can never be fully satisfied until we gain the realization that the me in this case is an ego-desire and not the real us.
How to find out what is the real us? Searching for it outside will not help – except eventually to convince us that such external searches never result in a lasting peace and self-understanding. As so many advanced persons, masters, have told us. “The Kingdom of Heaven lies within.” So we have to go within. If we don’t go within, we go without.