Isn’t it funny how much we want other people to agree with us? I see it everywhere, especially now. When we believe strongly in something, we try to convince other people we are right. It is the only way.
When we can’t accept an opposite opinion than our own, it’s often because we are afraid it makes us wrong.
It’s not usually conscious, but there’s a belief hardwired into us that in order to belong and feel safe, the entire group has to believe and think and act the same way. It stems from days long ago when we traveled in tribes and survival needs took over individual pursuits. Those who disagreed were cast out and punished, or left behind.
Collectively, we’re facing deep survival fears once again. When the nervous system gets activated, we often react from the reptilian brain and automatically go on alert. Unless we become conscious of what is happening inside of our body, it can affect our behavior and lead to either dominating or submitting.
Those who choose to dominate refuse to accept any sort of disagreement. Everyone has to think and feel the same way for the safety of the group.
Those who choose to submit usually do so because their own survival is at risk if they don’t adhere to the group mentality.
It comes up in abusive or unhealthy relationships too. I started to notice a pattern in a previous relationship. Any time I disagreed with my partner, or didn’t validate his feelings, he became upset and tried to control me by forcing me to submit to his will. At first, I resisted. “It’s okay if I disagree,” I pleaded. “I’m entitled to my own opinion.”
But my disagreement with him was, in his mind, in opposition to him.
Our brains often assume this is the case. “If you don’t agree with me,” it says, “it’s because you’re opposing me, and therefore I must exert my will over yours in order to ensure my safety.”
It’s the survival mechanism at play in its simplest form. The beautiful part about being human is we’re not limited to animalistic “me or you” reactions. We have the capacity to override the reptilian brain and stop reacting impulsively out of fear by developing the prefrontal cortex located at the front of the brain. Scientific studies have shown that meditating, spending time learning, and sitting in focused attention develops the prefrontal cortex.
Once we become aware of our own impulses, we can choose how to respond rather than being slave to fear.
In order to respond to any situation with love – no matter how dire it may seem – we must develop our consciousness to step out of fear and go into the heart.
It’s a practice. And it’s a choice we make in every moment.
I never would have risen out of an abusive relationship if I stayed stuck in fear. It would have kept me there – submitting, serving, and silencing myself – forever. Fear is a human response based on survival needs that has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s familiar. It’s an easy trap to fall into. It’s so “justifiable.” The mind can always find a million reasons to stay in fear.
But if you’re like me, and you know there is more to the world than meets the eye, you cannot allow yourself to say in fear. Because you’re willing to touch the light of your soul in order overcome the darkness that tries to overtake you. The soul exists beyond time and space. It laughs at fear because it knows it simply isn’t real. It’s based on a misperception of who we really are.
There is a greater reality available to us if we tune into our hearts.
When we touch the infinite love available to us, we can’t help but recognize it in everyone and everything else. To exert our will over another becomes blasphemy.
The heart always see both. It is able to hold opposition and difference and disagreement while recognizing the choice, capacity, and divinity of each person.
It doesn’t say, “either you or me.” The heart says, “we each get to be true to ourselves, and I don’t have to dominate or control you in order to feel safe.”
Because the heart never places one above the other. It knows no such thing. Each person is valuable. Each person matters. Each person is worthy of love and compassion.
In the myth of Adam & Eve in Genesis, the god of the garden became upset when they took the fruit he forbade them to touch. He went to his companions and said, “Now they have become like one of us.” This god feared the recognition of their newfound power to choose for themselves. It meant he could no longer rule over them.
In order to stop them from fully realizing this, he cast them out of the garden and resorted to punishment so he could remain the only one in control. He did not want to share his power. Fear is exactly what he used to maintain authority over them.
To refuse fear is to remember our own inner authority. This sovereignty is recognition of our own god nature, our own soul, our own divinity. To refuse to submit to the will of another is to place ourselves equal with them, not underneath. The choice is always ours to access the power within us or to give it away and forget.
What will you choose?
For those who are interested in exploring the difference between True Love and the false forms of love we have been conditioned to accept – especially in relationship to others – I offer you this free gift:
Is it True Love? 5 Powerful Questions to ask Yourself
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