What Connects and Disconnects Us
Nurturing the inner journey
I often reflect on the different qualities of friendships because these channels of connection have played such an evolutionary role in my life. In many ways I feel I have been profoundly lucky – I’ve always had the good fortune to lock lives with incredible souls. No matter their origin and present station in life, the recurring sentiment of treasured friendships are people who are connected to their inner journey and who find growth in nurturing both themselves and their loved ones. A substantial part of it orbits around a sense of spirituality in whatever name that spirituality entails – that we are here not only to fulfil our current appetites but rather for a destiny more complex than that. As such, friendships cultivated within this philosophy are an extension of fulfilling life’s bigger purpose beyond the meta world.
It’ easy to wax lyrical about the lessons that these connections has rewarded me with. The tales of their turning points have become vicariously mine, and I share their vulnerabilities, weep alongside their sorrows and celebrate their glories as though mine. The love is based on a real exchange of our true selves, and every exchange leaves you inspired to be a more noble, more compassionate, more kind and more empowered version of yourself.
Disruptors of the Inner Journey
But what about the lessons we can learn when in the company of those whose inner journeys are inherently not in sync with ours? In the past few years, I notice that narcissists are not as rare as initially thought. I was reminded of this again when in the company of someone who, possibly without meaning to, constantly found a way to slip it into conversation that he or she was somehow more connected, more affluent, more powerful than most. Sometimes it was done with a little subtlety, camouflaged behind some self-depreciation or dressed underneath a humorous anecdote. Sometimes it was done more openly – there was no purpose to it but to aggrandise one’s self. Throughout it all, the message was clear – I am special, adulate me.
It left an impression on me because it made me consider the various reactions to this display of posturing. The higher self lets it go. You understand, intellectually, that the issue lies within the other party (or parties) and you emotionally embrace them with love and compassion, accepting them for their imperfections. The lower self participates in their petty games and find ways to insert the same message of self-specialness as a retaliation. This would be operating on a cruder, more instinctual rhythm and is corrosive to your own journey. But by and large, most people, including myself, hover in the middle. We observe, we take note, and we find it a little uncomfortable. Too low in spirit to magnanimously embrace their imperfections, yet too high in self aspirations to engage in a similar narrative. Ultimately, though the most important question remains – why should show-offs even make us feel uncomfortable?
Finding growth in your own truth
It’s armchair psychology to submit that those who seek to assert their perceived superiority to others are those who are hungry to feel worthy, valued, or recognised. There is something inside them that they do not quite feel is enough and they are trying to heal from this wound by courting for the admiration of others. When someone brings these insecurities of theirs onto the table in a dishonest way, it mainly irks the people who are themselves suffering from a host of their own set of insecurities but who do not manifest it through such dominating means. It’s a case of one atom of openly negative energy entering the room and causing havoc to other atoms who are concealing theirs. Eventually I understood that these feelings of discomfort was a wonderful lesson in bringing me closer to my truth. What are my own insecurities, and what can I do to resolve them? Because the harder we work to love ourselves, the easier we find it is to find love and compassion for others. Ah… to get to the higher self…