You are helpless, not self-sufficient (there’s a way out)
What’s the one thing you’re mind fights to prevent you from having to deal with? Information overload. Why? Because you’re made to specialize, and you’re made to need people who specialize in things that aren’t your specialty. So, we listen to those that we think will: keep us alive, form our belief systems, and make us feel loved. But, what ends up happening, if we don’t choose wisely, is that we collect friends and experts around us that tell us what we like instead of the truth. Unless you’re careful, you might accidentally miss something that might: kill you, give you false beliefs, and make you feel loved when you’re just being manipulated.
Manipulation is the easiest way to get around, but it makes you think you’re self-sufficient, and ends up being more difficult in the long run. It self-perpetuates pushing away wise/helpful people that would otherwise add a pool of information that you need to make good decisions. Feeling self-sufficient, we also self-aggrandize, and we begin worshiping only those that give us good feelings, rather than anyone who would challenge our thinking.
Helplessness is not a good feeling. So, our brain constantly works to keep you from being overwhelmed. It purposefully ejects information it thinks is useless, while exaggerating the danger in things it thinks are dangerous. But, what if it starts thinking truth is dangerous? This is the trap a mind falls into when it is taught that manipulation brings safety. Manipulation only exacerbates isolation, creating a feedback loop of fear. And, we worship what we fear.
These brain behaviors are consistent between all humans. But, your brain, even now, might be resisting feelings of helplessness just to make you feel safe. This is a necessary function to go on living, but becomes detrimental when all you live for is comfort. All challenge then gets marked by your brain as dangerous. But, we have another natural defense against becoming prideful. Shame.
Shame works when the mind experiences cognitive dissonance, or the feeling when something you have been doing doesn’t produce the results you thought it would. After using manipulation, and seeing that it didn’t always work, you then have two choices. You can either believe it still works, because it works on some people, sometimes. Or, you can start asking yourself why it makes certain people leave your life. What are those people thinking? Should I challenge my thinking and try to see things their way? The more you do this, the more information, and help, that you gain for your life.
But this only happens if you get brave and try to analyze this feedback loop you’re in… the one that makes you comfortable, the one that keeps you self-assured, the one that tells you that you are trusting the right people, that the people that you’ve manipulated love you. As your brain continually tries to keep you in a feeling of safety, you must attempt to meta-cognate over whether the safety measures you’ve chosen are blocking out information, information that may include whether you’re hurting people, or blocking out shame.
Shame is all that leads us to change. If we then tell our brain that shame is dangerous rather than natural, we cut off our natural path to change. Notice the areas of culture around you that have marginalized shame. These have also become intense feedback loops of control and manipulation, and exhibit high levels of fear in the form of shaming others, and closing of dialogue that might challenge their ways of thinking. Now, be careful here. We tend to assign this type of closed-mindedness to those that are not in our particular feedback loop, so the only way to challenge this is to then be open to dialogue that challenges your thinking.
How do you know you’re being challenged? First, remember, your brain isn’t going to help you out here. Truly, your sense of shame — shame you’ve felt and either dismissed, or dealt with — in the areas you’ve noticed that tend to drive people away, these are the only places you can find growth and change. If you are dismissing people, information, and challenge from your life, it’s probably because you are trying to avoid shame in an unhealthy way. If, however, you’ve taught your brain to face shame head on, and deal with it not by staying in your feedback loop of self-reassurance, but instead by welcoming HELP for your HELPLESSNESS in these areas, then you can begin to realize true change, and then, believe it or not, TRUE SELF ASSURANCE.
Embrace your shame, and you will then embrace the truth. No one ever continues to live in shame, but there are only two pathways out, denial and reflection. The truth is that we are weak creatures, prone to failure and self-congratulations. To deny this is not only the most dangerous way to live, to both you AND those around you, but also the most popular choice being made and sold as self-empowerment today! True peace only comes through true self-reflection. I’d reiterate the word true here, because sometimes it’s false reflection, otherwise known as confirmation bias — listening only to information that helps your case — that traps us in our feedback loops. Self reflection that brings change will naturally include a healthy relationship with your shame, and failure. Then, you can look back at every time you chose to investigate your weaknesses, instead of choosing comfort, and sought help. It may be embarrassing, self-deprecating, and painful, but it’s the only way to live in the truth that we’re weak, helpless creatures who need each other.
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