It’s not a matter of if you do or don’t do something, it’s a matter of how much.
Most of us believe there are things we shouldn’t think, feel, or believe. We’re supposed to stay inside the lines and so forth. Whether you’re a bad boy/girl/person or a good boy/girl/person, we’ve all been imprinted with societies contracts/laws of how to be. You may rebel against this but you likely know how you’re expected to behave.
This phenomenon creates a line that we keep track of so we know that, when crossed, we’re likely going to be voted off the island and disconnected with. This is how shame and belonging works. One of our earliest desires is for a place in the world.
Because of this, much of our wiring is tied to circumventing exile, discconnection, fear, shame, and that whole bag of tricks. Brene Brown says,”We’re neurobiologically wired to connect.” I say all of this because deep deep down inside (maybe so deep you don’t know it) we need and want connection and we jump through a lot of hoops to create/get it.
The punchline here is that a primary avenues we create this is that we all want to believe that we’re good people. Even when we’re selfish, manipulative, and cruel. One of the most certain ways we can gain connection, or so we believe, is by being a good person. Even the shame, a lot of the time, we feel a disbelief that we could possibly do something that we might very well do. “That’s just not who I am.” “I could never be that way.”
We perform, we become inauthentic, and we do some of the most complex mental and psychic gymnastics to put all these pieces in place to convince ourselves and others that we’re worthy because we’re a “good person”
What I’ve learned to see is that this whole process sets most of us up to be or not be something, to either do or not do something. Binary. And total bullshit.
One of the important exercises in learning about who we are at deeper and deeper levels is learning that it’s not what we do or don’t do but how much because I’m both selfish and selfless, it comes and goes, and life isn’t a snapshot it’s video that’s dynamic, and constantly in motion.
The more I can own that I do all things that are human (because I am human) the more intimacy I can have with myself and the deeper the understanding of when, where, why, and how I’m engaging with these things. Then I can manage and conduct this crazy orchestra that operates inside me.
I think we have everything inside of us. “All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”~Joseph Campbell
We can attempt to deny this all we want but if we’re unwilling to face what is the reality of all humans then we can’t learn about forces that are driving us unconsciously.
On a scale of 1 to 100,
How selfish are you?
How hateful are you?
How greedy are you?
How does it feel to own that deeply?
Just some thoughts, have a great day!