Books, Covers, Judgement, and Treasure Boxes

Come on, let’s be honest. We’ve all got some insecurities. Some of us have more than others. Some of us work at healing them so they don’t bite us in the backside too badly. But we’ve all got ’em, whether we want to admit it or not. They’re part of the human condition.
It’s also very normal for us to want to be accepted, to want approval, to want to fit in, and to belong to a group. It’s innate; we need it for our survival. Even the most spiritually evolved or emotionally healthy people need it.

Taken to the extreme, in order to make my point, they might say they do not in any way, shape or form require the acceptance of another. But they would struggle if there were absolutely no people at all in their lives, if they had to live a life of complete isolation, or if there was not one other person on the planet who liked them, accepted them, or would speak to them.
Those people might be able to lift themselves out of their fearful, anxious or insecure moments a lot quicker than some other people, but they’ve all got them – because they are human, which means they can never be perfect.

Part of being an imperfect human means that we can tend to judge. Sometimes we do it without even noticing, and this is because to some extent, we have to judge in order to survive. Is this situation safe? Will this person cause me harm? Is that situation good for me?

So there is a natural judging that goes on in ours heads without us even noticing. I like this person. I hate that colour. I don’t like her dress. He is so irritating. That’s a stupid TV show. This movie sucks. That person is boring. This book is exciting. I would never do that! What a flake! I love how he plays the piano. And on and on and on.

Sometimes Life throws situations and events at us that are really awful, or that cause us embarrassment. Sometimes we do it to ourselves because of the choices we’ve made – and we didn’t think them through or they didn’t go as planned, but the bottom line is, we end up in some kind of mess that we think makes us look bad.

In part, it’s because we know we can make judgements about others – even when we try not to do it – and we know, or expect, or fear that others are making judgements about us, too.

Maybe we’ve done things that are “outside the box,” unconventional, that go against the grain, that will raise eyebrows, that will shock, that will offend, or that will make us look like fools. The list goes on and on.

And boy, do I ever know that stuff well… There’s so much about my life that just begs people to judge me in a very negative way, or to think I’m a complete flake. They can look at situations in which I found myself, or events that have happened to me and decide that I’m crazy.

They can look at what I’ve done in my life. They can look at how many times I’ve been married, how many times I’ve moved, changed jobs, changed religions or continents and immediately they think I’m a scatterbrain, I’m flighty, or I’m just a big mess.
But they don’t know far more than they do know about me. And if they want to judge, I don’t give a rat’s @$$. Besides, just because most people do things a certain way, why does that have to be the only way? Why is it seen as the “right” way? Why does it automatically mean that another way is wrong, bad, faulty, flawed, or just plain nuts?

On paper, I look really unstable. I look like someone you wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot-pole. In reality, there is an awful lot more to the picture. I am an extremely complicated woman, not that I try to be, but I just am. Perhaps complex is a better word. At least it sounds nicer than “complicated.”

But whatever we call it, there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye or than appears on paper.
Some people are uncomplicated. What you see is what you get. Like a good book with a clear and unambiguous title. Open it up and the pages give you just exactly what you expected.

But sometimes, that book isn’t really a book. Sometimes, you take it off the shelf, lift the cover and discover that it’s one of those pretend books that’s really a secret hiding place for all kinds of treasures or trinkets, a collection of weird stuff, little odds and ends, and you had no idea what would be inside.

What’s happened or happening on the outside, the situations in which you have found yourself do not define who you are. Only you can do that by the thoughts you think, the beliefs you hold, the intentions you have and what’s important to you. All of those are of your own choosing.

Never mind what has happened to you, what situations life has thrown at you. Whether you chose them or not is irrelevant. What anyone else thinks about them – or about you because of them – is irrelevant because those situations are not YOU and they do not define you.

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Liberty Forrest is an award-winning author, an editor, and a contributor on Huffington Post and Thrive Global. She is also a columnist in various online magazines, and her articles have appeared in nearly 100 publications around the world. Liberty has written more than a dozen books, several of which are non-fiction on healing and personal development topics, and she has also created The Montgomery Chronicles, a four-part paranormal thriller / family saga series. As the owner of First Line Fiction, currently her main focus is supporting fiction writers and publishing anthologies with a unique twist! 

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