When you watch a movie, or read a newspaper article about a “desperate” criminal, you probably find yourself gearing up for an unhappy ending. Of course, that’s because you recognize that someone who is desperate is almost always willing to risk a great deal (perhaps everything) to achieve their desired objective.
When the desperation involves the need for illicit drugs, a large sum of money, or the protection of one’s family the stakes are so high that even loss of life is a common consequence; if not for the perpetrator, then for the law enforcement officers in pursuit.
Fear . . . can also create desperation.
When someone walks into a room full of persons he/she must decide whether or not he/she will allow his/her own emotional neediness to turn him/her into a desperate character. That is, one who will stop at almost nothing in pursuit of his/her objective: acceptance, affection, approval, affirmation, admiration ad nauseam (and we’re not even out of the A’s yet).
For most of us the hunger derives from an early date, our emotional Paleolithic era, where the starvation began. The exact causes are not nearly as important as our acceptance of the fact that we were emotionally disabled, and that the effects of that crippling will continue until we are healed.
My experience tells me that everyone is emotionally crippled in some way, some more than others. But we learn ways to cope with our disability much the same way as someone who is physically disabled learns to cope with his/her impairment. I have watched with amazement as someone adept with a wheelchair maneuvers about so comfortably, almost effortlessly.
But in the same way, we witness persons every day who are experts with various coping mechanisms. And if the mechanism is not too outlandish or obtuse, we may not even suspect that below the surface they are covering for an emotional disability. And so we often admire the workaholic when all-the-while he or she is waging a private war to find value/worth from his/her parents.
Or we have immense affection for the actor who may have no more notion of her own true identity than the proverbial “man in the moon.” The actress I speak of lives in a constant state of confusion, vacillating between the apparent security of professional achievement and the unbearable hell of an unstable private life.
My own personal neediness through the years has caused me to look “for love in all the wrong places” (as the song goes). My need for affirmation is like a stomach that can’t possibly be filled, no matter how much food it takes in. And so even as I write this entry I find myself hoping others will think it is, good, worthy, helpful, insightful.
Is there no escape from this monster?
We must not give in to desperation. For the truth is, it does not produce the results we desire. It does not fill the hole in our hearts; we continue to yearn for more and more affirmation, approval, and affection; we are affirmation addicts.
At No Fear Mesa we begin to learn:
- The true cause of our desperation is the fear we won’t get what we need in order to be secure/happy
- Fear (and desperation) will never give us the security/happiness we truly desire
- Other persons, or things, can only provide us with temporary affirmation, nothing lasting
- To cease diminishing our personal value/worth with desperate actions or motives
We are the desperate criminal who (surprisingly) turns himself in to the authorities; we are the famous actress who is willing to sacrifice her professional career (if need be) in order to find stability in her private world. We are done with coping. We are ready for true healing.
We are no longer going to let fear have the final word in our lives.