Sunday, August 27, 2017

We seek sameness but should value differences

I have come to know that when I am feeling insecure about myself and my beliefs and behaviors, I seek out people with the same beliefs and behaviors. If I am having a hard time keeping my house clean, then I love the slob next door. She is my soul sister. When I am down on myself, the woman who has a clean and organized home I automatically want to assume is neurotically OCD. No, not just more on top of things than me, but a psychotic overachiever. We wouldn't have fun together because I assume she is looking down at me all the while I am going to accuse her of neurosis to be able to stay on higher ground myself and feel better about myself.

But when I feel grounded and confident in what I believe and how I am behaving (okay, that rare moment), I am more accepting and can enjoy people who are different and yes, even people who are better than me. In fact, I want to seek them out.

In my pursuit of personal growth, I know how valuable it is for me to be around people who stretch me beyond my current comfort zone. It is comfortable to be with people who are the same as me. I don't see any need for growth.  But it is challenging and fun to be with people who are more adventurous than me. It is inspiring to be with people who are more creative than I am. The list goes on. It is true, however, if I am feeling pretty lousy about myself then I can't appreciate those inspiring examples. I see them as a reminder of how I am lacking. I see them as a threat and assume the people are purposely trying to diminish me thus I want to diminish them first.

It just boils down to whether we choose to see people as a threat or as an inspiration. I think it starts with humility. When I am humble (which begs the question, can you really declare humility and be humble? food for thought). Humility and insecurity are miles apart. One is ready for growth; the other is threatened.

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