Self expression needs no audience, it is for the individual to release feelings and do things that they feel is relevant to their identity. Self expression is beautiful and fulfilling and cathartic and it is good for us.
We need to know the difference between self expression and performing for others in hopes of winning their affections, praise, or validation.
It is ok to want validation, praise and affection. We should be able to openly and honestly ask for it when we need it, rather than try to surmise what we think others will be interested in, and then attempt to reproduce that in an effort to engineer a desired response.
Other people are not puppets that we direct to feel or think a certain way, but when we try to manipulate how they feel about us, that’s what we’re doing – using them as puppets.
The people around us were not put here to make sure we feel secure or good enough. When they do it, we should appreciate it and acknowledge it is a gift of their heart.
Should we feel insecure or inadequate, let us be aware of self enough to own our humanity and by extension its necessities. Let us recognize that we do generally get the support we need, and that we do have the fortitude to meet life’s challenges without it.
Let us also recognize that the people we seek support from need support as well. They have the same worries and fears and struggles we have, and the grace to help others as they go on in their own life too. They are not fundamentally different – they have access to the same tools and resources as the rest of us. When others choose to help us they are giving of themselves and if we like that and want it, then we must also do that for others.
Let us not confuse ourselves about meeting needs vs expressing individuality. Praise is good, and getting it is good too. Let us give our thanks and praises freely, that they may flow over all of us in unity. Let us ask for and receive these good things in good time and in a good way. Let us express ourselves for the joy of existence and share that joy for its own sake.