A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Posts tagged ‘people’

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:

Undeserved Superiority

Here is an important message from Spirit.

Superiority is a strange phenomenon. All people are similar, and yet, there are some who consider themselves superior. These people believe that race membership, financial position, gender affiliation, nationality, and/or education entitle them to raised social status. Physical attractiveness, athletic prowess, and fashion taste are other factors in people acting superior.

Religious superiority is the most destructive belief of all. No religious group has closer connection to God than any other. No group!

The sense of superiority is distancing and it clouds judgment when interacting with others. The sense of superiority tarnishes dialogue and creates contempt. As people distance, misjudge, and condescend, they define a society that is uncaring and disconnected. Such a society cannot nurture its member or provide empathy.

Spirit is clear that a sense of superiority is wrong thinking about oneself and others.

There are a few exceptions when the superiority comes from care for the environment. Everyone who puts their own needs below their care for the environment deserves to feel good about their actions. Focusing on care for the environment has no connection to race, religion, gender, nationality, financial position, physical attractiveness, athletic prowess, or fashion taste.

Respect for the environment unites us all!

What People Want

Post 13-screen beans supporting

  • To be acknowledged
  • To have someone that gives love
  • To give love in return
  • To feel needed
  • To belong
  • To be recognized for abilities and efforts
  • To invest efforts in living

Security is also wanted, but not by all. Fame inspires some, but its call is quiet for most. Challenge beyond abilities appeals to a few, and it provides satisfaction and regrets. Camaraderie in experiences and memories appeals to most.

Long life is thought to be wanted by all, but many prefer significance to long existence. Significance can come from dedication to a cause or achievement that brings a feeling of completion.

Besides long life, money is thought to be wanted by all. Ownership, a result of money spent, invites those who want it, but not those who seek freedom from things. The feelings of power that come from money are appealing to many, but not to all. Money is important, yet it is less important than other desires.

Connection!
Connection to others and connection to the world around hold the real wants of all people. Being part of and being needed.

Connection offers true satisfaction in life!

Connection, 3 of 3

caring

People are suffering from flooding in one country. People are suffering from restrictive governmental policies in another country. Drought and food shortages create suffering in a different country. Armed conflict devastates people in other countries.

People are suffering throughout the world in different ways and in different circumstances. The suffering is connected in that the world reverberates with cries of the desperate and weak. Their cries might not be heard, but the tears swim in an ocean of anguish that flows into the lives of those who are not suffering.

The suffering alternates: sometimes these people and sometimes those people. The people who suffer less have joyful respite from difficulties, but their joy can be lessened by self-inflicted anguish.

When one person suffers, those around can uplift when possible. When whole groups of people suffer, the uplifting activities are harder to do because they require investment of resources and interest.

Connected anguish may be invisible, but it winds its way through the lives of all. Taking time to see the anguish is humanity bettered. Helping those nearby and those afar gives back to empathetic souls, because the ocean of anguish quiets. Connecting through empathy and awareness eases the times that are hard.

“Connection, 3 of 3” is the reminder to care.

See also “Connection, 1 of 3” and “Connection, 2 of 3

Connection, 1 of 3

Muslim and Jewish women

Last week, there was a gathering of women—Jewish women, Muslim women, and Christian women. This gathering took place in the north of Israel in an Arab village. The gathering was an opportunity to hear an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) speak about her work for women’s rights.

I attended this gathering, together with friends from my community. There were women from cities and villages, some in traditional dress and some in tight jeans. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and I felt welcomed.

The first speaker, a woman from the village, told us about her meaningful life advocating for women. She described her struggles in a patriarchal community—within her family and within the society—to reject a traditional role, and instead, build a place in society that gives her challenge and satisfaction. Her determination felt contagious and her words were inspirational.

Sharing a sense of sisterhood, we received her words. Some in the room face the same struggles, giving up or pushing forward. Some, like me, have freedom to choose our paths, held back only by self-imposed barriers. Connection was built that night through the shared space and receiving of emotions and inspiration.

Each opportunity to connect with unfamiliar is an opportunity to experience sameness and surprise. I received warmth from women who seem different from me and I returned it in kind. We experienced connection for a short time, and that connection can lead to familiarity, understanding, and acceptance.

Opening to others can open ourselves: opening through shared experiences and determination to connect.

“Connection, 1 of 3” is the first look at connection possibilities.

See also “Connection, 2 of 3” and “Connection, 3 of 3“.

Animal Awareness: Recognition and Conflict in People

Oblio-post3Dogs recognize dogs that are from their lineage. They recognize them through scent and corresponding stimulation of taste sensors. Dogs from the same lineage will form packs if they are allowed freedom. The pack will provide protection and sustenance to its members. The pack will fight dogs from other lineages and animals that threaten the pack. The pack is “family”.

buffalo

Buffaloes group by blood ties. They recognize connection through scent and corresponding stimulation of nerve receptors in the nasal cavity. A herd of buffaloes will contain grandparents, parents, and children, if they are allowed to live in freedom. The herd will link to other buffalo herds to search for food together, but they huddle in their family groups when natural disasters prevent escape.

friendships

People differ from other animals because their brains allow them to defy natural inclination to protect and group within the biological family. Like buffaloes, people naturally group by blood ties. Like dogs, people recognize lineage. Unlike buffaloes and dogs, people can adapt to live with very different people.

People can overlook the natural tendency to choose sameness and can choose “other” instead. The ability to adapt to general human behaviors enables adaptation to different cultures, traditions, and views. The ability to adapt to other people’s customs and ideas should enable understanding and acceptance of all people, rather than racism and fear.

The desire for ownership is the cause of human conflict. Wanting someone else’s land or possessions or abilities leads to arguments and ruthlessness and wars. Wanting someone else’s partner leads to manipulation and to regrets. Wanting someone else’s reality leads to wrong choices and conflicts.

The desire for ownership will be explored in the seventh book in the Existence-Me Elevated Living book series: Descending into War, Descending into Contempt.

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:

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