It seems nearly impossible to go through a day without hearing about major social and political injustices throughout the United States and the world. It’s clear that people and groups in power have a lot to do with the exploitation, and abuse, with a goal of self-preservation. There doesn’t appear to be any interest in transformation, or change, just self-protection. These worldly adversities are an added weight creating deeper cracks in the foundation and jeopardizing our structural integrity - with a need for extensive repairs made of Truth, the only real sustainable and secured reinforcement.
“Each of us is born with two contradictory sets of instructions - a conservative tendency, made up of instincts for self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, and saving energy. The other is an expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring, for enjoying novelty and risk - the curiosity that leads to creativity belongs to this set. We need both of these programs. But whereas the first tendency requires little encouragement or support from outside to motivate behavior, the second can wilt if it is not cultivated. If too few opportunities for curiosity are available, if too many obstacles are placed in the way of risk and exploration, the motivation to engage in creative behavior is easily extinguished.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mihaly’s quote makes me think about the process of ongoing spiritual transformation. The self-preservation makes sense in our early years, children to young adults, with those closest to us supporting and helping define a healthy identity and purpose. Yet, many did not have the safe attachments that require consistency and reliability - as a result spend a lot of life trying to sustain a certain level of safety and self-preservation, while living a life that is not compatible with one’s true self. I sense that the self-preserving ends up creating the self-doubt, insufficient relationships, and overcompensation to protect from inadequacies and vulnerabilities.
To live life fully, as adults, it requires the hard work, and discomfort, of moving away from extreme self-focus, looking at the bigger picture, and opening up to the search outside of ourself and transforming towards truth and relationship.