The Safety Of The Good

The Natural Good

Marroni — Castagne, quelle buone, — Chestnuts, the good ones — Kastanien, die guten © by pizzodisevo

Creative Commons License photo credit: catnapping

The safety of the good,  it is a natural attraction.

Do you seek harmony – or the good – especially in your relationships?

Many of us, especially HSP’s do.

If I examine my experience, I notice how often I feel an inner pull towards the good and working with others.

Working with seems natural. Working against does not.

Working with feels good; working against does not.

Our Early Need For The Good

As children we need to harmonize with our social group –  in particular our parents and family  - because it is a matter of life and death. We also have an instinctive awareness and need for the goodness in ourselves and in others to be real.

We are all born with a naturally open and trusting attitude toward the world . Our trust is our psychological safety.  Therefore, when we are treated poorly, we maintain the “trust”  by assuming, often with encouragement from our caretakers, that the defect lies with us.  When our need for a caring, encouraging and  supportive environment is challenged in childhood, a young person is often made to believe that their expectation and values are problematic or wrong.  I certainly was.

Too often we are taught that the good in the world and ourselves is a scarce commodity which sets up the power over others dynamic that creates the struggle and misery called reality.  It turns the “bad” into something abundant and dependable and the good into something that cannot be trusted and something scarce. Even worse, the abundant good becomes something we are expected to earn. Reality becomes a form of misery and our wires get crossed.

The Frame Of Reality

Perceptions about reality are passed from one generation to the next. In good faith we often take our attitudinal “gift” as gospel. It is, however, our job as alive, aware beings to continually challenge our assumptions. We are, after all, stewards of our lives and the world we live in.  And the world is continually changing.

I suspect that the negativity that we are born into was in fact valid at one point in human history.  The ancient memory system in our brain, however, does not get updated.  Once it has received the imprint of “reality” it becomes a kind of know-it-all about life, our point of reference and our frame of reference.  The same was also true of our ancestors, near and far.

And we see our caretakers struggling for the good and we assume they can’t be wrong. We are rewarded for our struggles and even learn that not to struggle means there is something wrong with us. Unnaturally easy becomes uncomfortable.

A Pat On The Back

So what happens when as children we need to align with our caretakers and we need to align with the prevailing view that the good in the world is undependable?  Doesn’t that teach us not to trust ourselves and each other?  For the sake of our psychological safety and maintaining our necessary dependency do we give up on ourselves? When we reach for the good in ourselves do we consider it a fluke?  Do we have the courage to disagree and refuse to go along?  By the time we are adults have we forgotten how?

There is no question that the history of human life has been a challenging one.  To make human life possible, to survive as a species has required a huge effort.  So when I see so much negativity around me I can’t help but wonder if we are aware of how far we have come, and how maybe it is about time that we give ourselves and each other some credit.  Perhaps we can then let go of some of the struggle and find the cooperation and harmony that we yearn for.

So, fellow humans, here’s a pat on the back! We have done well to get this far.

Who knows, maybe in recognizing the good more, we can relax a little bit and feel safer as well.

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Comments

  1. Tina Tarbox says

    Maria, I agree with you that we have so much to be proud of as human beings. Sure, there is so much negativity out there. But there are so many positive things individuals and groups so. Unfortunately, many people do focus primarily on the negative, and it can skew our perceptions accordingly. It’s up to us to seek out the good, communicate it to others and to tip the balance. Great article. Thank you.

    • Maria says

      Thanks, Tina. I always like to meet a kindred spirit.

      I have been meditating for more than 15 years, which helps for stepping back and trying to get perspective. Negativity has always been a challenge for me, but I notice how much it gets pushed at me as well. I am concerned sometimes that this negativity is our cultural “zeitgeist” because anything that controls the agenda can be considered our common ground. It can be very brave to surrender the negativity because there are all sorts of implications in relationships, etc.

      Congratulations to you for being on that path. All the best.

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