Looking for ourselves in the eyes of others throws us behind the walls of a psychic prison. The door slams shut each time we find ourselves feeling good about ourselves simply because someone has given us a needed nod of approval. Let's investigate this strange sequence of psychological events that leaves us in a prison of our own making.
Whenever someone approves of us, it gives us a feeling we like. These silent emotions tell us that we're good, wanted, or in some way important. But the real pleasure in these sensations is that it secretly serves to strengthen the way we want to feel about ourselves, that we're worth being cared about, and that our existence has meaning.
If these positive emotions were the true end of a happy story, there wouldn't be a problem. But they're never the end. At the same satisfying moment of our being unconsciously identified with this feeling of being approved, something else is happening to us deep within our own uninvestigated nature.