Robert Cormack

1 week ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Overcoming Your Insecurities.

Hint: Let go of the rock

 

Insecurity is a waste of time.” Diane von Furstenberg

Alan Watts, philosopher and theologian, asked his audience one time to imagine falling off a cliff while holding a large rock. My mind went straight to Wile E. Coyote. He was always holding on to rock, and usually missing the Roadrunner (quickus agilus bird) by a mile.

Now here’s the point Watts was making: Holding onto a rock while falling at two hundred miles an hour seems rather stupid. Yet we do it every day without considering the consequences. And because we don’t take consequences into account, we suffer the same fate as Wile E. Coyote (stupidus canineus).

We go splat.

Even though we spent our pubescent years yelling at Wile E. Coyote to “Let go of the stupid rock,” we don’t know enough to let go of the rock ourselves.

Here’s the irony, which I suspect you know already. Even though we spent our pubescent years yelling at Wile E. Coyote to “Let go of the stupid rock,” we don’t know enough to let go of the rock ourselves.

What’s worse, we pass along this same rock-holding habit to others like our children (splat begets splat).

The rock, by the way, is our insecurity. As Watts describes it, everything in our lives, our jobs, our marriage, our duties all come with a certain amount of insecurity. We consider these responsibilities, and we pass this responsible thinking along to our children.

Think of the old expression: “My father [or mother] worked like a dog his/her entire life to give us everything we needed.” So we do the same thing and, through the process, we feel satisfied living up to our father’s or mother’s examples and expectations.

On Facebook, we constantly see people thanking their fathers and mothers for their sacrifices. It’s a wonderful and tender moment, but it reveals a pattern of insecurity that becomes like genetic code. It’s inbred into one generation after another.

We don’t realize that by letting go of the rock, we can break this insecurity.

We’re working and living by rote, believing this is the only way we can — and should — live. We don’t realize that by letting go of the rock, we can break this insecurity.

It doesn’t mean we relinquish our responsibilities. It means we look at what they are. Working long hours, for instance, so our families can have lots of stuff is like the rock. It actually adds to the weight of our insecurity because we’re always worried about the debt associated with acquisition.

And like Wile E. Coyote, who keeps falling and going splat, we do the same when we buy more things. We move up to better phones, better televisions, better call rates, better cars.

Have you noticed how your computer slows down each time you add a new operating system or app? This is intentional. Apple works on this instinctively because they know we’re insecure. We’ll increase memory, we’ll buy a new computer, then we’ll go through the process again.

Manufacturers capitalize on this and they win. Every time line-ups form outside Best Buys the morning a new iPhone is introduced, they’re showing us how much they win. It’s great for shareholders—and Apple—but we, my friends, are the Wile E. Coyotes of the consumer cartoon.

He can’t stop his descent (it’s called age) but he can avoid the splat factor by letting go of the rock.

Think of Wile E. Coyote again. He can’t stop his descent (it’s called age) but he can avoid the splat factor by letting go of the rock. In the same way, by concentrating — not on what we give our families materially — but what we give them spiritually — we break the cycle of insecurity.

By spiritually, I mean Wile E. Coyote could have saved all the money he spent on dynamite, anvils and cannons (not to mention medical expenses), and put it into creating an environment that would attract the Roadrunner.

It’s called “Make Friends Not Dinner.” At the end of the day, according to the Dalai Lama, making friends and feeling good about yourself is a lot better than eating a skinny bird.

It also helps to associate with people who aren’t falling into gorges of debt with their rocks. Again, the Dalai Lama suggests finding spiritual relationships—which don’t even have to be spiritual. Just finding people who find more pleasure in simpler lifestyles could reduce your anxiety and insecurity.

More often than not, they’re influenced by other people taking vacations. They want to smile, too, and hold up their cocktail glasses and gnaw on lobster while someone takes their picture.

Right now, for instance, friends keep sending me pictures and videos of themselves in the tropics, enjoying cocktails, taking in the sun. They’re down there because they feel it’s necessary, it’s a habit, they’re releasing stress.

More often than not, they’re influenced by other people taking vacations. They want to smile, too, and hold up their cocktail glasses and gnaw on lobster while someone takes their picture.

But can they even afford that vacation? According to a study by American Express, they can’t. Over 40 percent of participants had “unmanageable debt.”

In other words, they’ve traded one rock for an even bigger rock.

That’s not to say we can’t take vacations, or live a comfortable lifestyle. What it does mean is we have to understand what we need, as opposed to what society, friends and Apple—say we need.

Or maybe we should listen to our own advice, especially what we screamed at Wile E. Coyote as he careened down another chasm.

Maybe it’s simply making more reasonable choices. Or maybe we should listen to our own advice. Like what we screamed at Wile E. Coyote as he careened down another chasm.

Maybe it’s time we let go of the stupid rock.

Robert Cormack is a journalist, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major book retailers. You can read other articles and stories by Robert (absolutely free) at robertcormack.net

group_work in Café beBee

thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments

Robert Cormack

1 week ago #2

Ken Boddie

1 week ago #1

I guess the choices in life are to live on higher ground near steep unstable rock slopes, or live life on low lying flat terrain. I guess it depends whether you’d rather be wiped out by a landslide or a tsunami. ☠️

More articles from Robert Cormack

View blog
1 month ago · 4 min. reading time

Do Your Words Taste Good?

You'd have to be a synesthete to know (which most ...

2 months ago · 7 min. reading time

The Visitor.

A short story by Robert Cormack. · “Acting isn’t i ...

2 months ago · 5 min. reading time

Heads Up, America.

Some crazy historical facts about pandemics you sh ...