Since writing THRIVE, I’ve become increasingly aware of mindsets and choices.
What drives a person to make the choices they do? Emotion. Maybe logic. But these things are always informed by experience (I.e. identity, education, belief, socialization etc).
This is the classic actor trope, “What’s my motivation in this scene?”
Motivation is complex. One choice leads to another set of choices and so on. A certain experience shifts a person’s perspective and suddenly everyone is a criminal, an angel, or a cheat.
An outside person may be able to guess at the experiences and perspectives that drive a set of choices, but the only person who can truly dig down, ultimately, is the self.
Another person may guess wrongly, HOWEVER they are a foil for our self-reflection. These other people are gifts because even when we think they guessed the wrong motivation, they point to things impossible for us to see on our own.
We’re too close to see it ourselves. We need someone else to see these things. This is why other people are necessary to our self development and personal growth. Other people help us examine our motivations and perspectives. Without them, your work becomes next to impossible.
I say this because in a day in age when it is so easy to isolate oneself, we have a choice. We can choose to surround ourselves with people who make us feel comfortable all the time. We can choose to shame or marginalize those who make us uncomfortable and avoid discomfort. That is a choice.
But let me offer some food for thought: embrace those people who make you uncomfortable. Embrace the shooters. Embrace the rapists. Embrace the bigots. Embrace the homeless and abused. Embrace anyone who makes you the least bit comfortable.
Because those people are the ones who will be your teachers.
When you embrace them, ask yourself:
Why does this person make me uncomfortable?
What is going on inside me that is reacting to this person?
What do I need to change/accept/forgive/love to move past this?
I began this practice in earnest within the last six months and it has transformed the way I approach life. It has transformed my spirit and given me a kind of peace I didn’t realize was possible. Before I came upon contentment and peace in a haphazard way. By adopting the above practice, I was able to assure a consistent sense of contentment and peace no matter what happens in my life or the world around me.
Try it out. Let me know how it goes. I think you’ll be amazed at how your life improves.
- Between Chaos and Order: The Need For A Middle Way - June 18, 2018
- Spiritual Mamas: Intuition, Spirituality, and Motherhood - June 4, 2018
- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018