Breaking Free of the Social Shackles

I’m still thinking about how we overall as a society keep each other (and ourselves) retarded and held back in our immaturity, and that insidious social pressure that happens in some family relationships and individual friendships. There are unspoken rules about not being too fabulous. To successful. Too wise. Too confident. Too happy.

It keeps people ‘in their place’, within their family and friendship groups, in their social class of upbringing, and not daring to step outside the social norm of what is expected. The terror of not being accepted by our group is considerable.

I’m examining my part in this. There is a ‘rule for living’ that I identify I have been applying to myself. It is

Don’t shine too brightly.

Why not?

Because it might make others jealous or insecure.

And if that were true what would that mean?

It would mean that I’m causing them pain.

And if that were true what would that mean?

Then they might judge me, and reject me.

And if that were true what would that mean?

In the past I might have answered ‘and I would find myself all alone and feel unlovable’

and now. Well the answer would perhaps be….since I have a choice in how I respond now.

I would just notice and feel their pain. Let it be. No rescue necessary. And I’d feel also compassion for myself and them.

After watching how I do that to myself in order to make sure others feel okay, I see that it amounts to self harm and that is now at odds with my new relationship with myself that is characterised by the love and compassion I used to only extend to others.

Now my values demand that I shine whatever the response of others and stop hiding. And I know that whatever the response I get, it does not come from malice, it comes from a sense of deficiency and fear. Many people are insecure about themselves and so they compare themselves to each other.

I have had that experience. I remember when I was feeling unattractive one day a friend dropped by looking gorgeous and I was so insecure and threatened by it that I couldn’t tell her, ‘wow, you look beautiful’. I was consumed by my own self consciousness sense of inadequacy, so my love wasn’t able to come out and be expressed. I know how it feels, it was painful comparing myself negatively.

Part of awakening is navigating around and often with those around us in a way that serves all of our evolution. As I step up and go deeper it could be that not everyone will understand me as I change, or have a positive experience from being around me, I could even be a harmful influence if it makes others reflect negatively on themselves.

And this is alongside our own fear of expansion and moving into new territory which is a part of the process. I suspect that compassion for ourselves and others is the tool to use for this.

To be continued. This subject is under major pondering at the moment. I don’t have the answers and I will rest with it for a while and see what else pops up about it. I’m glad I recognise that we shackle ourselves and each other, and so we can do something about it.


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