Robert Augustus Masters

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Secured Through Embracing Our Insecurity

  • June 5, 2016
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Once Life’s inherent insecurity has become inescapably obvious to us, regardless of the myriad ways we have of securing and comforting ourselves, we find ourselves at a precipice of realization, with one hand on our fear and the other on our longing to be truly free.

That edge, that psychospiritual dropzone, asks not for negotiation, recoil, or premature leaps, but for steps leading — however haltingly — to a radical reevaluation and eventual embracing of insecurity.

Such an embrace is no small thing, requiring as it does that we — right to our marrow — turn toward what we ordinarily would be strongly motivated to turn away from or spurn, without any guarantee that doing so will make us feel better. Such movement, such radical redirection, is a matter of existential courage and acceptance. It is a huge step, even if we’re barely millimetering along.

Through aligning ourselves with this, we learn to more and more fully adopt a nonproblematic orientation to insecurity and not-knowing, so that we are affirming rather than trying to explain the unfathomable Mystery in and through which we — and everything else — are making an appearance.

Be careful not to turn the potential for such embrace into a spiritual should. And do not just hang out with the concept of insecurity, but dive deeper, going into the openly felt reality of it, allowing yourself to face, illuminate, and explore its constituent elements, including its preconceptual roots.

Take, for example, the characteristic sensations and feelings of your insecurity, which are probably not so pleasant. If there’s some fear — and there very likely will be — name it (saying “fear” to yourself) and turn toward it and enter it, however slightly, with consciously focused, well-embodied attentiveness. Cultivate intimacy with it. Don’t worry about embracing your insecurity at this point; it’s enough to simply be present with it.

There’s a groundlessness in insecurity. Instead of trying to distract yourself this, anchor yourself as much as possible in Being (which means, in part, ceasing to identify with your ego and fearfulness), and then notice what has become of what you were calling “insecurity.” You may still not feel very good, but now you don’t mind nearly as much.

With regard to its characteristic sensations, your insecurity then will probably not have gone — but as a conceptual entity, it may be close to giving up the ghost, simply because you are no longer buying into its viewpoint, and therefore are no longer significantly showing up as the “I” that is busy being insecure. The context has changed, and not just intellectually! The feeling of insecurity may still be there to varying degrees, but insecurity itself cannot be said to be there.

Don’t confuse the feelings associated with insecurity with insecurity itself.

To further clarify: We can cease being angry, and yet still feel the very same feelings that a moment ago we identified as anger. For example, I am angry at you, really angry, for breaking something precious of mine, and suddenly I find out from someone whom I totally respect that you are completely innocent of such breakage, and I am now no longer angry at you. My evaluation of the situation has radically and almost instantaneously changed, yet the feelings I was experiencing just a moment ago are still significantly present. Can I now call these angry feelings? No, because their evaluative framework has changed.

Life is inherently insecure. But this doesn’t have to be a problem if we will face and, at the right pace and time, approach and go into our insecurity, exploring it from the inside, not letting the feeling of it run the show or sidetrack us.

Do this deeply enough, and you will eventually be embracing/holding your insecurity as if nothing could be more natural, without in any way avoiding the securing of what needs to be secured. (If intentionally embracing insecurity makes you feel insecure, however, then you are probably not really embracing it, but rather only trying to embrace it.)

In the meantime, do whatever you can to examine, investigate, and spelunk your insecurity and its roots, without expecting that doing so will somehow erase the feelings which you associate with insecurity.

Sooner or later you will start experiencing the security of embracing your insecurity, of being okay with not being okay, of being comfortable with your discomfort, of letting the omnipresence of impermanence and death enliven, deepen, and further awaken you.