To Inspire Courage, Compassion, and a Sense of Worth, for the Freedom to be Authentic,
Belonging, and Creative
As I reflect on what I perceive is my purpose in moving through the world, I notice the
positive energy this creates. Would I want it any other way? Would I find meaning in
what I think, feel, and do in a negative way? The fact that I even ask these questions
has me wondering about the possibilities that my view of human responsibility may be
biased. Metaphorically, the light created by a positive focus seems more evident when the
negative options of the dark are considered. Might there be times, as well, when the intent
is to search for the dark as a reprieve from the light?
Let’s consider this topic in the context of what I wrote in my last newsletter about
striving for significance, for the sense of feeling good enough, worthy, valuable. What
might be viewed as negative thinking, feeling, or behavior expressed by others, could
be what they experience as usual, as familiar, as what is referred to as a conditioned
way of being. When this way of being no longer satisfies the need for significance, then
options for change will be considered. The wisdom message is that healthy movement
to the light, to more positive ways of viewing self, others and the world comes when an
understanding of the dark is explored. New learning is the invitation eager to be accepted.
One invitation was presented by those creating the dark energy evident in the street riots
following the final hockey game for the Stanley Cup. As I have written, one of the ways
that people experience belonging and gain a sense of significance is in destructive, or
what I will frame in this article, dark behavior. The causes of the mayhem that evening
are now in the media and public conversation and the viewpoints communicated of the
consequences strongly to be delivered are many. Even the experts in neuroscience will
have their interpretations.
I am thinking that one of these experts could be Dr. Daniel J. Siegel who reminds us
about the possibilities to master emotion and heal relationships in order to develop the
fullness of human potential. The darkness can be devastating AND the energy created
by the healing that follows can enhance the experience of value and worth. An aspect of
this healing is the anger; the primary emotion of sorrow is also expressed. Fear as another
primary emotion needs to be recognized and brought out from the darkness into the light.
My invitation to you is to consider the freedom of authenticity, belonging, and creativity
in the perspective of BOTH/AND rather than EITHER/OR. The latter perspective
suggests the need to choose one instead of the other thus creating an aspect of exclusion
and a restriction of possibility. The former, BOTH the light AND the darkness, depicts
balance, inclusion, and ultimate possibility. To acknowledge that the human need for a
sense of worth is the journey means to fully embrace the light along the way, knowing
the dark is a courageous and compassionate travel companion.