Most of us are raised to be polite, socially acceptable and politically correct.
We learn how to fit it, be liked and accepted. Our addiction to this incessant need to be liked is as common as our issues with unworthiness. Both are epidemic mental and emotional diseases wreaking havoc on our health and happiness - our very ability to enjoy this gift of life. Perhaps worst is the fact this 'need to be liked' issue impacts so many. How does this happen?
In addition, we learn by observing and mimicking. Purposely, passively and unconsciously, we are absorbing how the people around us behave. Many psychology experts tells us most of our sub-conscious conditioning results by the age of seven and shapes how we navigate the rest of our life.
A big part of our conditioning centers on fitting in, being accepted and liked. It's been potently capitalized on with social media platforms. Post 'like's' are not only tethered to our egos for popularity, they can also connect to monetary success. As a result, "Influencers further condition and domesticate society (that's us) with their agendas.
This domesticating interferes with our ability to stay authentic to ourselves and our very integrity can be severely compromised or skewed for fear of recriminating judgements. We may not speak our truth and express our true self due to fears of compromising our perceived 'preferable' socially acceptable persona.
Not all of us - in fact often, far too few of us are taught be truly authentic, transparently honest, real and true to ourselves. Authenticity takes great courage which partners with vulnerability. It takes self-confidence, self-acceptance, a sense of self-worthiness and actualized self-honoring. It also calls for integrity and open-mindedness to refrain from preconceived opinions and judgements. The irony is, it's so rewarding when we are comfortable in our own skin and speak our truth, even when it's hard to do so.
When we are comfortable in our own skin, its easier to come from a place of love and compassion, even in the face of adversity. This way of being graces us all for in the absence of judgment, we see both ourselves and others more clearly. This can help us lean into the perfectly, imperfect aspects we all have. Our strengths and weaknesses along with what I like to call our 'perks and quirks.' We humans are drawn to those who are authentic, with no agenda and no intended malice. There is a magnetic pull to one another when we are ok with our human-ness. With each others human-ness.
Kind and 'authentic' souls are those who have the capacity to speak their truth from a place of kindness, compassion, sincerity and love. That's it. They have a good foundation beneath them and less tendency to stir controversary.
These are the souls who can say to your face, all they say when you aren't present. The souls who may strongly disagree with another's doings, beliefs and behaviors, yet not wish ill upon them or need to diminish them in any way. In fact, they send wishes for their well-being.
One of the most deadly diseases we have here on planet earth - in my view - is our capacity to hate with more conviction than we love. (Thank you for that insight Marianne Williamson). To find fault with those we differ with, critique their point of view and box them up in a category of being stupid, selfish, narcissistic, and even evil. Our harsh and dismissing treatment; the 'them" versus "us" view is what wars are built on. My way or the highway doesn't serve the greater good. If we aim to be truly good to the core and authentic in our claim to want world peace for all. then there needs to an an assessment of how peaceful we are in our own every day life.
Is a dismissive and judgmental behavior the result of our needing to be liked so deeply ingrained within, that rather than risk this status, we simply abandon our morals?
My question to us all:
Are we congruent with our thoughts, words, and actions? Do we come from a place of honoring and express who we are, while still allowing space for others to do this? Can we listen to another's point of view and invite discussion instead of immediately dismissing or rebutting their point of view?
In my world of lifestyle wellness, with a niche in mindfulness and self-care, I witness most struggling with self honoring. What they say they want of their life experience and what they actually do are often contradictory. This inner polarity is common and we see this pattern perpetuate in most every area of life. Its a micro scenario in the macro of life and its a festering disease far more potent than any other. Just take a moment and reflect on the current world state. The judgements, the conflicts, intolerance, polarity, divide and wars. In so many ways, it's a reflection of what is going on inside of many of us.
When taking time to address and heal our own wounds, our own vulnerabilities, insecurities and fears, we begin to heal this planetary dis-ease. In a more grounded state of being, we are enabled to find comfort in being authentic without being disagreeable, confrontational or dismissive. Let's all stop, truly listen, ponder our own views and beliefs, access where they came from and if they are true. Let's look for resolutions within ourselves and all around us.
Sound impossible? Likely it seems this way when we look at the big picture and the massive amount of disrupt in our world with people, politics, religions, cultural and corporate practices. Yet, like any other challenge, we don't take on the whole of it at once, We start with one thing at a time and move methodically, bit by bit, word by word, deed by deed. We move ahead one heartbeat, one breath, one step at a time.
"When you are a child, the humans who take care of you teach you what they know, and more than 90 percent of that knowledge isn’t the truth. The truth leads you to your authenticity, to happiness. Believing in lies (or a distortion of the truth) leads you to limitations in your life, to needless suffering and drama. In human domestication, you don’t have the opportunity to choose your beliefs. All the rules and values of your family and society are imposed on you. Just like a computer, all that information is downloaded into your head."
Can we find compassion within and diplomatic willingness to listen, truly seeking to find resolutions? The only way we can discover the answer to this is to go ahead and do it and bear witness to what happens. I am hopeful a collective greater consciousness will help us all heal the massive turmoil around us.
In my view, it all starts within each one of us. We need one another to make this happen for we truly are stronger united than divided. Yes, even stronger than evil. My everyday prayer: "May we love with conviction, together."
I leave you today a mention of a poem I have loved for decades called
THE INVITATION by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Below is a short quote that sums up the guts it takes to be authentic and just how imperative it is to do so. If you aren't familiar with it, check it out. There is so much provocative wisdom in her reflections as you will read in the quote below. May we all aspire to be this authentic.
"I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul."
PS - Years later she wrote a book based on the poem also called The Invitation. Its been by my bedside since my sister gifted me with a copy ages ago. Thank you Diane
Teri Gentes - a hopeful soul seeking to enable each and every soul I encounter to take better care of themselves and in turn, inspire the world to do so for the benefit of us all. www.terigentes.com