Beverly Clark: We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”
– “Shall we Dance” (2004)
Saw this movie back in 2005. And the quote stuck in my head since.
To have someone witness your life. The ups and downs of everyday.
To share a history with someone.
To have someone know you.
To have someone witness your life.
Maybe that’s why we love the digital world, facebook, twitter and blogs. It’s the easiest way to leave a trace. A timestamp, that I’m here, and this is what I think, what I feel, who I am. The one click “like” button – instant approval.
Maybe it’s not just about a witness, but an approver. To be acknowledged. To be told – You’re worthwhile. You’re worth my while.
We seek approval. Especially from those closest to us.
I know I do. Constantly. Each time I get ready to go out. Each time I cook, or make something. At work, each time I put out a fire, or figure out a tricky problem. Or juggle a hectic schedule.
And when it’s not forthcoming, due to whatever reasons… I feel bad.
It pulls me down. Messes up my day. I get mad at the other person.
For no real fault of theirs.. well.. other than the failure to pep me up, the way I want.
It’s my need.
It’s my problem if they dont meet it.
So …. I’m trying an experiment. Can I give up this need?
The need for external acknowledgement, approval, acceptance.
Can I take back control of my life, my moods, from the rest of the world?
Can I love and accept myself enough, to not seek it from the external world?