I want to take a moment and think aloud (okay, so I’m thinking in public through typing, same difference).  I’ve been thinking about the things that hold us back and thinking especially about the need to impress.  I also recently listened to some talks by Dave Blanchard and the History channel’s Seven Deadly sins.  Somewhere among the two videos the comment was made that the biggest issue with “pride/vainglory/the need to impress” is it delegates those around us from real people to objects.

When we have a need to impress, the people around us become no more than the audience. They are no longer human or eternal beings, they are sycophants to our stage show.  Getting to know them and their needs is non-existent, it’s all about us.

But wait, isn’t the need to impress about insecurity most of the time?  (Here is where I go off the rails)  What is insecurity but the focus on self instead of focus on others?  When we are focused on ourselves and our wants, we cannot see others.  We cannot see ourselves clearly, we are looking through a mirrored lens. In that mirrored lens, others become a reflection of what we want them to be to enforce our beliefs about either the world or ourselves.  When we force others to be a reflection instead of allowing them to be themselves, we impose ourselves and our beliefs on them.  How cruel is that?

How do we stop? We listen. Not just to hear but to understand and not just understand through the mirrored lens which confirms what we already believe but we listen to learn.  We set aside our emotions and listen for the emotion from others.  We listen for their passion.  We sift through the subjective to find the facts.  Facts are not clouded by emotion, they just are.  It’s the human interaction which colors them in order to impose our understanding.

We open our hearts and allow others to be.  And in doing so, we allow ourselves to be as well.