Social Ease And Connection, Part 7: Membership
What price do you pay for membership? Do you give up personal independence and freedom to become and remain a member? Why are you willing to do so? When you’re only weakly committed and unaware that you most truly belong to life, you may use the group as a substitute to fulfill your need to belong. Not knowing how exactly to belong to life, you seek and choose an external group to attach yourself to.
You have to belong to something, you think. You look around and join with others who hold views similar to yours. After all, ‘there’s safety in numbers’. You fall in with them, and you have each other’s backs. You begin to defend the notion of ‘my group’, which now takes precedence over following the internally known ‘truth that makes you free’.
Many social problems begin with this shift from loyalty to truth into loyalty to group. If you know the truth that makes you free and stand up for that truth, your group might ostracize you. Then you’d be alone. A lot of people can’t stand being alone. Alone, you go not to life but to anxiety or loneliness. To prevent that, you give up some of your integrity to rules of conduct imposed on you by the groups you join.
Are there groups that do NOT demand that kind of price? They exist, but they’re rare. Most groups live into external agendas. Only rarely is a group’s agenda to empower and encourage the internal experience of each member. Such groups tend to have a policy of openness. Group membership is not a key issue, simply because each member knows that s/he belongs to life. And yet, even though each one of you belongs to life, you live here with 8 billion other people. Accept that, and embrace and contribute to the existence of each one of them.
Your social group and other people can affect your health by their state of being, either in ways that improve, empower and enhance your sexy or in ways that tear it down. You’ve heard the expression, “You make me sick!” Maybe you’ve said it to someone who served as an emotional trigger in the heat of an argument. It confirms that we know how powerful the effect of others can be on us.
Build your own presence, and be comfortable and confident in it. The more strongly you remember to connect with life, the less dramatically others will affect you without your permission or agreement. The less connected you live to life, the more those around you affect your wellbeing. Unless or until you are strong in your self, know who among the people you know empowers and supports your growth. Keep mostly those people in your intimate circle and energy field. Empower and support them back.