Meditating with insecurity

Every single action we take has only but one purpose: to reduce our suffering, to improve the way we felt before that action was taken. We all want to feel better. What each one of us interprets as a better feeling situation is largely affected by experience, education or circumstances and therefore our strategies to get to that better feeling feeling, largely differ. But we all share the same basic relationship to life: to satisfy dissatisfaction.
Meditating with insecurity
For that reason we go to the toilet, we tie our shoes, we drink water or we drink whisky. For that reason we get married, or get divorced, we go to war or give our lives to prevent it. For that reason we survive in impossible circumstances or commit suicide. To satisfy dissatisfaction.

The order of priorities in our private Maslow’s pyramid is entirely up to us (well, and to our parents, teachers, neighbours, wardens, lovers…) but the commitment to live at the tip of it is universal, life’s coding if you will. Even the most spiritual one of us is nothing but trying to refine the content and order of those priorities, and of the strategies to climb to (and stay at) that tip.

To have no priorities, to feel no preference, to not care wether to eat or not, when hungry, wether to take care of our kids or not, ’to live outside the pyramid’, is not enlightenment… or even possible. Spiritual or Materialistic, Tantric or Vedantic, Theravadic or Mahayanic, we are all satisfying dissatisfaction. We have been doing that forever, we’ll continue for always.

Our strategies to achieve satisfaction, generally speaking, are quite inefficient and have a relative short life span. So we keep refining and improving them as we live, using the deeper understanding of life that both years lived and meditation give us. What we lack in efficiency (or wisdom) we make up for in stubbornness, the kind that is required to do something forever. You can call our commitment to achieve satisfaction consciousness, or love, or evolution, but whatever you call it, it’s in your DNA.

Insecurity is the momentary inability to appreciate the honesty of our commitment or the value of our strategies. Tied by the ankles by our insecurity, we drown in the fear that satisfaction is either unattainable or unattainable by me, and withdraw from making choices, from taking risks, from participating fully, or sadly altogether, in the game of life.. We can’t prevent ourselves from trying to satisfy our dissatisfaction, but when riddle with insecurity, our efforts revolve around defending ourselves from the pain that insecurity creates and so we feel both off and out, like a spectator, not quite… alive.

Mind creates a fictitious dialogue that goes on loop: ‘How can I do it right, or become better so that my strategies are successful at the cessation of suffering?’ Or in more acute cases of insecurity, it’ll say ‘I’ll never achieve satisfaction, I am not worthy of it.’ This dialogue does not prevent us from trying to satisfy our dissatisfaction, but it does isolate us from the world around us making our strive for happiness a very solitary one. We and our thoughts. And maybe the fridge or the tele.

With the help of meditation we understand that we are placing most of our eggs in virtual baskets when the real one is empty. The process of refining our strategies for happiness, is not that important. The improvement of skills and personality qualities is not that important. Getting better, or wiser, or leaner or any other ‘-er’ for that matter, is fun, but ultimately not that important. On the other hand, accepting and relaxing on the fact that lasting satisfaction is unattainable and that our endless search for it is the spark that life needs to keep going, is the only source of true peace.

We keep trying at life, not to get better, but to keep it going.

How meditation can help with insecurity

If you are feeling insecure while meditating, identify the physical sensation of that emotion and stay with it.
Find home in your breath and in your body posture. Identify also other bodily sensations that are not directly related to insecurity.
Settle into stillness and let some time pass with no immediate task.
If you find yourself thinking, don’t deny it but ask yourself: ‘how is this thought making me feel’ and stay with the feeling that the thought created.

All these feelings, pleasant and unpleasant, dramatic or dry, are either an expression of dissatisfaction or the result of dissatisfaction being momentarily met.
All these feelings are ever changing and this seems to be their only permanent attribute, the fact that they are always impermanent.

Realise this: these sensations and every other awareness of individuated experience, exist because of dissatisfaction, as experience itself is dissatisfaction made game. Satisfaction is ephemeral, impermanent as everything else. That realisation is the only ever lasting satisfaction.

Stay with that realisation. Like a koan.
Relax into that realisation. Like a mantra.

Use your time in meditation not to explain why you feel insecure or how to stop it, but rather to understand how insecurity expresses itself in you and to research if the grip it has on you has a gap somewhere , a gap you can use to set yourself free from it.

Choice and action, specially if it includes human interaction, can often feel scary and intimidating from a cliff of insecurity. But if you relax in the fact that you’ll never get it right, for such ‘rightness’ does not actually exist, you give yourself the freedom to take chances while still undone, instead of waiting for a day where the ground will be flat and solid. We are nothing but work in progress.


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