Hats Off to the Secure!

I''m insecure. Of course, just to say so, I think, requires feeling fairly secure. Maybe it’s a paradox, yet a person can be secure and insecure at the same time.

We human beings, I believe, tend to be inherently insecure. And even if we weren''t, with all its comparing and measuring, Western society could easily beat us down into insecurity. 
Often, we can, however, overcome insecurity. Depending on the situation, almost anyone can feel secure, and as a matter of symmetry, the reverse seems to hold true, too. The most secure person can have insecure flashes or find themselves doing things that they’re not good at, which in its turn breeds insecurity. 
We all have days -- or at least moments -- when we drift toward insecurity. To deal with my insecure moments -- or days -- I try first to recognize that they’re happening and to be aware of what’s going on.  Then I try to take some type of timeout or do something to restore my balance.  
Next time you feel yourself slipping into insecurity, you might try that formula.  To boost your spirits, consider doing something that you know you''re good at. Or maybe just relaxing -- reading, playing or listening to music, or meditating -- might restore self-confidence. If you think about how you respond to various activities, you probably can figure out what’s best for you to do to regain your footing. 
Or you might embark on a gradual progression, fostering security by becoming more comfortable with your own weaknesses and doubts.  It might sound counter-intuitive, yet it’s worth pursuing. In my case, writing this blog has done wonders for my self-confidence. I’ve had opportunities to reveal some of my weaknesses, which has led me to work through them.  I''ve written, too, about situations where competitiveness or insensitivity to others has gotten the better of me, and I’ve elaborated on questionable, even downright poor choices on my part.  It seems that, in the course of blogging, a private person – in this case, me – is highly likely to become more transparent than they envision at the start.  And I have a feeling that there’s even more transparency here to come!   
I’ve even begun, I think, to welcome opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone or to be nudged by others to places where I don''t have emotional equilibrium. It may appear illogical to invite uncertainty, but it does seem that underlying “disorder” can trigger growth spurts.  In most biological systems, that’s true. So in the spirit of this “52” blog, we might all do a little experimenting with actions and experiences that lie a bit beyond our comfort zones.
For example, during the past few weeks here, as I awaited results from my skin biopsy, I revealed more of myself through my health problems and fears. Now, in order to reveal less of myself to ultraviolet radiation, I resolve to wear a hat when in the sun. Yes, as I’ve mentioned, my hat-wearing embarrasses my daughters, but I know they want the best for my health, so I won’t let their chiding remarks upend my equilibrium.
Wearing a hat does, I think, require some self-confidence. Don''t believe me? Next time you''re outside, look around. About 90% of people will be texting with, talking on or just admiring their smartphones. Another 30% will be shopping. Maybe 20% will be eating. And just about 0% will be wearing hats. 
Experience can change perspective. Because hat-wearing is such an infrequent event, my hats act like a lightning rod for comments, but in perspective, having flirted with melanoma, I now see hat-wearing not as a fashion statement but as an important way to minimize risk of being diagnosed with "the Big M."   
In fact, my empathy is reserved for the person who makes the sardonic comment ("nice hat") or asks the self-evident question ("so, you''re wearing a hat?"). My worry is how to answer without becoming exasperated or somehow making them feel silly for asking. (Got a tactful suggestion, please, send it to my inbox!)  Of course, I don’t doubt that the proselytizer and health caretaker within me wants to persuade dissenters and critics to wear hats, but I’ll relegate that to my professional responsibility instead of preaching to all my friends.  
So, all in all, I’ve stopped feeling insecure about wearing a hat.  In fact, right now, I feel a new, greater level of security. The elevation has come, I think, from  the overwhelming spiritual support that friends, co-workers, even blog-readers whom I’ve never met  have channeled towards me as I soldiered on in a -- thankfully -- aborted battle with a cancer that didn''t materialize.  Unexpectedly, I''m surrounded by more love than I ever thought I’d ever experience.  And that’s a secure feeling!  
In general though, I tend to be insecure. Of course, just to say so, I do think, requires being relatively secure.  And how about you?  Does the paradox prevail?  Are you feeling, like me, insecurely secure? 
Until next Monday, Shalom.
Thanks for reading the 29th of 52 posts to this blog. To book workshops, speaking gigs or concerts with me, please visit our website (www.lifesdoor.org) or send an email directly to [email protected]