One big issue that I often have with society is the tendency to treat personality traits as if they are good and bad. I think it’s very important for our own mental health and well being as well as for our relationships and our ability to treat others with compassion and respect that we all adopt the idea that, “All personality traits are neutral. Context is everything. Everything that can be twisted by fear and made dysfunctional can also serve a beautiful, compassionate and loving purpose if we think a little bit and commit ourselves to leading loving lives.”
Let’s take the idea of specialness. To some extent or another, we all have a desire to be unique, distinctive, to set ourselves apart from others. Fundamentally, this is ego, because it separates instead of unifying; but, the desire to develop and share our skills and talents allows us to connect with others. Our unique perspective can often serve to illuminate some aspect of life that others overlook and bless and uplift those that we interact with. When we are in tune with our authentic thoughts and feelings; those feelings are often more honest than socially conditioned ideas and by sharing our unique perspective we can connect with others in love and truth for the good of all. Our unique needs and challenges also provide others with the opportunity to connect with love and light inside themselves by offering help when we need it.
So, no matter how many people criticize people for just wanting to be special, that’s not a wise thing to criticize. Scrutinize, perhaps; but, there is beauty in authenticity and it’s very difficult for people to be happy if they become disconnected from their own unique perspective.
Another example is competitiveness. There are absolutely people who are overcompetitive; but, people have a remarkable tendency towards overcompensating. Black and white thinking, labeling traits as good and bad, tends to make people miss the beauty and the value that is there. A friendly rivalry does in fact tend to promote excellence. So long as the competitiveness is mellowed out and the individuals exercise good sportsmanship, having compassion for one another and the humility and good grace to handle loss, then competitiveness becomes something beautiful.
There is an instinct that longs for power which is often soundly criticized by many religions; but, even power seeking can be repurposed. It’s very difficult to DO anything if someone doesn’t have SOME power; and, the more power a person can amass, the more that they can accomplish. So long as power seeking is mellowed out by love, by compassion and humility, it too can be good. So long as ethical standards of behavior are honored, building businesses DOES provide a service to the community. Wealthy people CAN give more to charitable causes than those with less income.
I generally recommend that we think less of “fighting evil” than of “making sure that we are integrating love, compassion and humility.” Our societies often reflect some deep imbalances born of “fighting evil.” There are countless compassionate people, self included, who struggle with the idea of charging for their services and, in large part, this is due to trying to avoid being greedy.
Fear and avoidance do NOT serve balance and harmony. Labeling personality traits as good and bad leads to imbalance. Love and compassion heal us as individuals and help us to create balanced societies.
Thank you for reading and God Bless,
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