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On Letting Others Be

When we feel insecure inside ourselves, there is a compulsion to engage others with our own made-up fears, irrelevant comments, unsolicited advice, and what I could call subtle digs. Psychology calls that last one passive-aggression. It doesn’t resonate with me, and I tend to consciously avoid people who operate from that place.

But sometimes, for different personal or professional reasons, we regularly encounter insecurely attached colleagues, loved ones, and people we meet in our day-to-day lives. We ourselves may even be insecurely attached sometimes, and that is a wonderful observation to begin healing and bring more feelings of peace into our hearts and our relationships.

It is not shameful to notice when we feel insecure. Noticing our tendencies including our insecurities can be an amazing approach towards healing at any age. Healing our own insecurities, as I have witnessed myself, leads to vastly improved relationships in all aspects of life. Before, I used to seek safety and validation from others myself. Then, simply by grace, things changed. I saw myself more clearly, including my own insecure tendencies, and I was able to gently let go of people, places, and things that I was trying to hold on to. Contrary to what I had believed, people enjoyed being around me more when I was less involved. This was the direct result of healing insecure behaviors in myself.

Because the truth is, as I see it, such attempts at grasping and validation don’t really work to keep ourselves feeling secure. I felt no security doing that kind of grasping, and I knew it was creating disharmony, deep down. Letting go was one of the greatest happenings of my life, and it has led to increased self-reliance, peace, and understanding of others’ insecure behaviors in daily life. There is nothing to complain about. People enjoy being around that.

Now, when I encounter insecurity in people, I remember my own journey. I know I can choose to allow them to simply tell their narrative while I maintain a clear mind and no judgment inside myself. But that doesn’t mean I tolerate insecure people’s presence indefinitely. Neither do I internalize others’ unsolicited advice, comments about my appearance, or irrelevant criticisms of my basic choices in daily living. We don’t need to react, respond, or entertain these kinds of interactions.

With compassion as the foundation: we can choose to listen, or not. We can choose to speak, or not. We can choose to stay in the room, or not. Silence can be a great tool when dealing with insecurely attached loved ones. When our energy is turned inwards, peace can radiate through stillness when others see that their insecurities are no longer impactful as a controlling way of relating. Things can change when we don’t force them or use blame or shame. Simply observing in silent presence.

Whatever happens, we can notice ourselves and all others we encounter from a foundation of unconditional warm regard and acceptance inside. Then we may choose for ourselves whether or not to engage.

Humans cannot reach imaginary benchmarks that are not rooted in common sense. We can see the painful non-reality at play for those dancing with insecurity year after year, believing themselves to be stuck in a rut. There can be compassion when observing insecurity in others while maintaining one’s own internal center of being. Nisargadatta Maharaj, not one to circumnavigate the Truth as he knew it , describes insecurely attached people as terrified by monsters that they have created themselves.

In this light, we can see the root of insecurity in ourselves and others without condemning or condoning. Instead, we gently step away from the dance of insecurity and turn inward. We can create space for others to do the same when they are ready for more peace in every facet of their life.