Which of your relationships can you bump up against during times of high anxiety?

Enter the void

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Rollo’s research on identity was way ahead of its time.

First published in the early fifties, during a postwar age of overwhelming anxiety, he found several interesting commonalities among his psychotherapy patients that still hold true today.

Namely, that every man needs relationships with other people in order to orient himself. After all, he’s a social animal. The human being gets his original experiences of being a unique self out of his relatedness to other person.

And so, the loss of the other leaves an inner yawning void. A terrifying combination of loneliness and emptiness. Because without other people, we have nothing to bump up against. Without other people, we have no way to orient ourselves. And that’s when we start to lose the sense of our own existence.

No wonder we hate being alone. It’s the terror of losing awareness of ourselves. The fear of not being able to fulfill our own potentialities.

But the good news is, we can reverse engineer these feelings. We can nip anxiety in the bud by asking ourselves the following honest question.

Right now, in this moment, what essential value, that I identify with my existence, is being threatened?

That simple act of naming our source of anxiety will help us recognize where meaning has leaked out of our lives, which action we need to take to refill the inner yawning void, and with whom we need to orient ourselves while we do it.

Remember, it is through the eyes of another that we receive a greater sense of our own personhood. And that sense is the best medication around.

Which of your relationships can you bump up against during times of high anxiety?

For the list called, “49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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