Important note: TRIGGER WARNING
I am not sure how long YouTube will allow the following video to be on their server, but please thread forward cautiously. It is Robin Williams’ documentary entitled “Come Inside My Mind”.
At some point, this documentary brought me back to a particular moment in my childhood. It must have been the darkest moment of my life as a kid. It was such an awful experience that I could actually hear that voice telling myself that “you do not matter, you are nothing”. From that moment, I actually gave up and lost myself.
As a result of that and since then, my mind has been conditioned that pleasing others and seeing them happy is my life’s top priority. I kept yearning that acceptance and always ensuring that I did my best to please those around me. On the flip side, it was very hard for me to trust people and I was always suspicious of people’s intention. I started to not only keeping scores with myself but with others as well. There seemed to be a built-in gauging system and I beat myself up for someone else’ unhappiness.
When it comes to people who made positive impact on me as a person, I have found myself to be dependent on their thought process and ideals. I also yearn for their affirmation and acceptance all the time. Thus, I often find myself motivated to appease them by acceding to their demands, delivering my best, and be the best that I can be for them.
But it gets tired sometimes and I’ll be lying to myself if I say that I didn’t feel like giving up.
I have been trying to figure out the sadness that I have been experiencing every now and then for the past few months. It wasn’t until I heard the words of Robin’s son Zak in the documentary that it began to hit home.
He said and I quote:
“His pathos was seeking to entertain and please. And he felt when he wasn’t doing that, he was not succeeding as a person. And that was always hard to see because in so many senses, he is the most successful person I know. And yet he didn’t always feel that.”
What he said applies to most of us who have become too dependent on the approval of others that we have totally lost ourselves. In the fast paced world, I felt it most when I immersed and poured myself entirely and completely into my job. I found it hard to adjust whenever there were some downtime. I felt that I wasn’t valuable, contributing or being productive.
Through that, I have learned to be generous with my praises when people do well and always make it a point to acknowledge people so that they know that at least someone took notice and they matter.
I am slowly learning to come to terms and forgive myself. It is not easy and I am definitely a work in progress like everyone else. The best place to start is knowing that we are not alone.
Even though people do not usually say it out loud, each and every one of us matters to at least someone out there.
It is like looking out the window to see the moon thinking that we are all living under the same stars, moon, and sun. And if you grew up in the 80s, you will be reminded of the song that goes…
Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight,
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer,
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there…
~Somewhere Out There (An American Tail, 1986)~