A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Archive for the ‘Striving’ Category

Superiority: negative sense of self

The last group of blog posts has focused on the negative aspects of the sense of superiority. Personally I have found these posts to be challenging, because I have had to confront my own prejudices and ingrained sense of superiority.

My actions have been influenced by my society’s treatment of me, but I had chosen to accept preferential treatment without questioning the justice of it. Preferential treatment has been habit-forming and I now have to choose to break the habit. Not so easy!

With superiority comes a sense of deservedness, and with the sense of deservedness comes the sense of expectation that others will serve, and with the sense of expectation that others will serve comes the expectation that authority will be recognized, and with the expectation that authority will be recognized comes the insecurity that undeservedness underpins authority, and this sense of insecurity pushes the drive for feeling superior. The core of superior sense of self is inferiority, a negative sense of self.

Looking over the possible reasons for feeling “superior”: nationality, financial security, gender, race, religion, social status, physical attributes, intellectual gifts, athletic prowess, and celebrity—the sense of superiority can feel inevitable. In actuality, it is a choice that can be rejected or embraced.

The sense of superiority is a negative sense of self that requires eradication. Letting go of the sense of superiority should be a societal priority that each person can pursue individually and as members of a just and caring society.

The various causes of superior sense of self are presented in these blog posts:

Compassion vs. Hostility

 

Screen bean-power

The previous post presented the compassionate approach. Today’s post presents approaching with hostility. Each approach has its supporters. Each approach has its repercussions.

See which approach suits your viewpoint and your actions.

Meeting Hostilely

Scenario

A couple (man and woman) are sitting in an outdoor café when a homeless woman approaches them asking for money. The man and woman had been deep in a conversation, and the interruption is jarring. The homeless woman wears tattered and slightly stained clothing and speaks with a stutter.

Reaction

The couple is determined to continue their important conversation and initially, ignores the homeless woman. When she again requests money, the man looks at her, raises his eyebrows, and says “You are a nuisance. Leave us alone. We are entitled to eat here without being bothered by people like you.” His partner says “Yes, leave us alone. There are laws about people like you, and you cannot come here and beg. Go away.”

The homeless woman, who is inured to reactions such as these, raises her voice and stutteringly requests money. The man, angered, calls to the host, and the host walks out of the entrance to the homeless woman and authoritatively says “In 10 seconds I am calling a policeman to escort you from here. Now go!” The homeless woman replies “Just g-g-g-give me a bit of food and I w-w-won’t come b-b-b-back.” The host, tired of dealing with panhandlers, raises his voice and says “G-g-g-get the f___ out of here—NOW!” The homeless woman, feeling neither hurt nor sad—rather accepting and deserving of this outburst—turns and moves on. The host apologizes to the couple, who resolve to sit inside next time, and the interaction is done.

Meeting Hostilely

Anger, raised voice, clenched fists, contracted shoulders, shallow breaths. Hostility causes rifts, causes hurt, causes movement away from, causes reactions, causes loss of support. Hostility is no-good, no-help, no-build, no-support, no-way, no-answer, no-solution, no-model, no-comfort. Hostility breeds contempt and withdrawal. Hostility devastates. Hostility leads to resistance and to intransigence or desertion. To meet another with anger in the voice, with anger in the heart, with agitation in the gut—UNWISE, UNSOLVABLE, UNADVOCATED.

The Choice

To choose negativity over positivity is often easier. To find fault, to bring down, to ridicule, to deride: these actions are lazier, are foolish, are belittling—belittling to the deliverer of the negativity even more than to the receiver. Using strength, either physical or mental, to downtrod others is repaid without the deliverer’s awareness—through dreams and other intangible ways. Woe to the one who kills with pleasure. The repayment will be delivered.

Living ho-s-t-i-l-e-is-to-be-discouraged.

 

Cover-Oneself-Living

This approach is from the book Oneself -Living–Possibilities, Quiet Treasures, Ways in the chapter “Part 1:  Meeting Hostilely”. The book can be purchased through amazon.com stores:

Compassion vs. Hostility

Support

The next two blog posts will present these two different approaches:  compassion and hostility. Each approach has its supporters. Each approach has its repercussions.

See which approach suits your viewpoint and your actions.

Meeting Compassionately

Scenario

A couple (man and woman) are sitting in an outdoor café when a homeless woman approaches them asking for money. The man and woman had been deep in a conversation, and the interruption is jarring. The homeless woman wears tattered and slightly stained clothing and speaks with a stutter.

Reaction

The couple, who are intently engaged in conversation, initially ignore the homeless woman. When she again requests money in her stuttering voice, the woman thinks of her brother who stutters, and quietly asks her partner if he has any spare change. He has none, and says to the homeless woman “I’m sorry. I don’t carry change.” The woman opens her purse to check, takes out a few coins, and hands them to the homeless woman, who receives the money without reaction. The homeless woman continues on her way; the couple returns to their conversion; the woman quietly reminds herself to call her brother; the man looks intently at his partner, marveling at her kindness.

Meeting Compassionately

Compassionately approaching, the preferred approach, relieves tension, balances health, is a sustaining activity. Compassion brings closeness, healing, movement towards, and loving relationships. Compassion is preferred, is beckoning, is solution-centric, is catalytic, is generally better. To meet another with compassionate feelings—WISE, NOURISHING, ADVOCATED. COMFORTING.

The Choice

To choose positivity over negativity is usually more of an effort. To choose to pick up and not walk by is a greater effort. To lend a hand and not relinquish assistance is more work. To volunteer and not accept mediocrity is the responsibility that is often left for others. The rewards for pitching in, helping out, lifting up are sometimes tangible, most often not. The true nature of people requires being part and being available.

Living with compassion and with understanding lends color to life, adds substance and texture to being, grants glimpses into beyond—even when negativity is in the fore. Sometimes, the forces that govern are overbearing and abusive; during these times, compassion and understanding are all the more.

 

Cover-Oneself-Living

This approach is from the book Oneself -Living–Possibilities, Quiet Treasures, Ways in the chapter “Part 2:  Meeting Compassionately”. The book can be purchased through amazon.com stores:

Sometimes the Least Boisterous Person is the True Star—The Dos & Dont’s of Notice

Attention

(taken from my article of the same title on HealingAnswers.com and reposted from 5-27-14)

In a gathering, there usually are the people who stand out. They generate more buzz, they attract attention. There are the people who mill around the buzz-makers and there are the people who make the buzz in the background.

The background buzz-makers are the real ones to follow, but they often don’t make the fuss that generates the action. These people do acts of kindness, make others comfortable, fulfill the role of support provider, and consider the needs of society. These people understand that they are obligated: obligated to care for their families and their community and obligated to remember the needs of the environment and of the creatures that inhabit the Earth.

There are stand-out individuals who not only generate buzz in the limelight, but also fulfill their obligations in much-larger-than-self ways. They, and the less visible obligation-fulfillers, receive notice in the spiritual realm where one’s actions really matter.

This blog post provides the Dos and Dont’s of getting noticed for behavior deserving of notice.

DO:  Fill your time with sustaining activities

Here are a few examples of sustaining activities from Pond a Connected Existence:

Spending time with loved ones! Playing with babies! Teaching children in the customs and traditions of one’s forebears! Singing! Dancing! Singing well! Singing flat! Artistic expression! Preparing healthful meals! Picnics!  Family gatherings! Gatherings of friends! Gatherings of people for life events—sad ones and happy ones!… Working with gusto! Working with integrity! Working in unison and working alone! Group activities that have a higher purpose! Group activities that bring enjoyment! Walking! Running! Jumping! Riding a bike! Riding a wave! Swimming! Moving for fun and moving for health! …

DO: Take care of the environment

Taking care of the environment includes planting plants, trees, and flowers. It also includes not littering and not being wasteful with the Earth’s resources.

DO: Take part in activities that bring betterment to the community and to the less fortunate

No matter how busy you think you are, you are not too busy to help out with a volunteer organization in your area (unless you are attending to a terminally ill family member which is consuming all of your time).

DO: Smile, even when smiling feels forced

A smile lifts the spirits of those who see the smile and the one who wears the smile. As an experiment, sing a song while not smiling and then sing the song again while smiling. Smiling simply changes one’s mood and one’s influence on others.

DON’T: Smile at a person if you are thinking bad thoughts about them

A fake smile cannot necessarily be detected by others, but it is recorded in the spiritual realm. Pretending to be happy when someone makes you unhappy is the incorrect approach. If someone really affects you in a negative way, either try to limit exposure to this person or try to change the dynamic.

DON’T: Fill your time with non-sustaining activities

Non-sustaining activities include small things like watching too much TV, playing too many computer games, eating junk food, complaining about inconveniences. Larger non-sustaining activities include things like participating in aggressive behavior towards other people, other creatures, or the environment; eating too much food; focusing on the lives of people who have no true relevance in one’s life (for instance, following the movements of a celebrity or keeping tabs on old love interests); pretending to like one’s job or partner or pastimes or this or that, when one is unhappy… – “Pond a Connected Existence”.

DON’T: Say no when asked to help just because you want more free time

Obligation to one’s community is much larger than many people think. Taking part in elections, taking part in cleaning up, taking part in communal rituals—these are the basic obligations on all. Beyond those acts, one should participate in bettering the community.  – “Pond a Connected Existence”

Saying no when help is needed does not earn notice where it matters. If you are feeling too tired, rather than lessening your sustaining activities, examine your less sustaining activities and consider lessening them.

DON’T: Be wasteful

Appreciate what you have. Don’t be greedy with your desires. In general, people want more than they need so try to be reasonable in your usage of resources that are not easily replenishable.

Conclusion

The notice being discussed here is not notice by the people seeking excitement. It is notice in the spiritual realm that considers the actions of people and provides spiritual connection or not.

The more a person strives to bring balance to himself or herself and to the family, community, and neighboring environment, the more possibility of spiritual connection and guidance. Balance within and with all lead to life lived purposefully and with spiritual connection.

The world according to ATTITUDE

Attitude

ATTITUDE influences when opportunity presents possibilities or barriers.

Possibilities or barriers? These words reflect the attitude.  Possibilities are attitude contributing. Barriers are attitude constricting. Society does not always present possibilities to its residents; however, when actual barriers are not in the way, attitude can prevail.

ATTITUDE is subjective. One person lies in bed all day because of a sprained toe. Another person is out and about even when unable to move both legs because of paralysis. Others pity themselves because of difficult relationships. Someone else forges ahead with friendships after having outlived most friends and family. People strive or don’t strive when presented with the same situations. Subjective ATTITUDE.

ATTITUDE is the attribute that interprets and influences responses, behavior, and subsequent decisions and actions. It interprets the daily happenings and it creates the subsequent reality.

ATTITUDE truly is a choice.

To see the world with eyes of gratitude is to see the small and large contributions of nature’s creatures (including people). To experience the world with appreciative intention is to experience majesty. To move through the day with vibrant life force is to feel the full offering that living presents. The world according to ATTITUDE!

The world according to SUFFERING

Suffering-no

SUFFERING appears when expectations are unrealistic.

Expectations of life lived with ease and conveniences are expectations of life for china dolls in a display case. Ease and convenience are available, but they are subjective components of life. Ease is not real life. Ease is obtained after much investment in tasks and trials. Convenience has become Want number 1, with a focus on as little investment in energy as possible. Ease and convenience are possible, but when they are expectations of daily life, the appearance of SUFFERING is increased.

SUFFERING is subjective. One person suffers when  social  engagements are erratic. Another person suffers when a sneeze interrupts the train of thought. Another suffers when a meal is too boring. Someone else suffers because sleep is disturbed by the urge to urinate. Another suffers through inability to move parts of the body. Someone else suffers from other peoples’ successes.  Others suffer from too much air conditioning. Subjective SUFFERING.

SUFFERING is no choice but to give up. That is true suffering. Pain in the body hurts, but it usually does not lead to no choice. Pain in the body means “Hey person, notice me! Take care of me! Change something!”

Pain in the body is meant to be a conversation between physical and thought:  “My _____ (fill in the blank) hurts. I feel it and I need to invest in thought, attempts, and changes to help the pain recede. If I keep doing what I’m doing, the pain might become a permanent part of my existence. If that happens, I must adjust my expectations of life and create living that includes the pain.  Adjustment of habits and lifestyle or adjustment of life expectations? I decide and I choose.”

SUFFERING can be removed from the realm of daily life by choosing to see life as an interesting challenge, whatever happens. Choosing to leave SUFFERING for the very final moment of life and living all the life that comes before that moment with gratitude, appreciation, and vibrancy.

To see the world with eyes of gratitude is to see the small and large contributions of nature’s creatures (including people). To experience the world with appreciative intention is to experience majesty. To move through the day with vibrant life force is to feel the full offering that living presents. The world according to ATTITUDE!

Buffet of personalities

Many

Last night I was very privileged to attend a gathering of like-minded people. People who are open to spiritual possibilities, people who are conscious of connection to the earth and to its inhabitants. My heart felt open and expansive.

As I connected with them, I sensed the commonality among us and the nuances of each very different individual. Each person with his or her own struggles and talents, each person striving for meaning and relevance. I felt their combined empowerment and individual contributions. Personal achievements feeding on the achievements of the assembled.

The gathering was not for a cause or a spiritual meeting. The gathering was a birthday party of one of the like-minded people. A cause for celebration and a reason to connect. Food was bountiful, but considerate of the environment (organic and humanely obtained). Disposable dishes were nowhere to be seen—only real plates and glasses and cutlery. We took turns washing and drying after the meal, which offered more opportunity to connect around the kitchen sink. The gathering was all the more joyous because its impact on world resources was minimal.

So many people in the world and so many personalities. If only we could all feel our place in the whole that is our environment, and strive to sustain it rather than abuse it. Each person, with his or her own struggles and talents, feeling responsible for the world in which we live.

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