In times of difficulty sometimes things take on new meaning. In my Spiritual Practices class I was struck by a new understanding of hospitality. When things get difficult and scary, when things don’t seem to be going my way the need for hospitality just increases. In times of strife hospitality can be expressed by giving people, (the ‘other’ side), the benefit of the doubt.
Nothing can be harder when I cannot imagine how ‘they’ can think that. Nothing can be harder when I know ‘they’ have got it all wrong. Nothing can be harder when I have to wonder ‘how dare they.’ But I’m sure that if I bring curiosity into the situation and wonder, instead of declaring, then perhaps I can be more hospitable to those who seem to think differently.
We are all such unique individuals. The process of individuation by which we learn and understand what makes us not only special but valuable to others can get lost in the individualism that sees ‘me’ as the only important being. In truth, the interconnectedness that this time has made so clear, offers up the importance of the uniqueness of each of us that is manifested in the interdependence that makes our lives.
Sometimes that very interdependence, that being needed, can be felt as restrictive, because interconnection requires small ‘sacrifices’ of self in order to work together. When that feeling of being restricted prompts people to distance themselves from others instead of reaching out in curiosity, then the circle of interdependence gets broken.
Now is the time for me to practice genuine hospitality, to give others the benefit of the doubt. I need to trust they have the same goals even if they approach the situation differently. I need to appreciate being needed and not run from the demands that makes on me. I need to make strengthening that interconnectedness my service. I need to open myself and extend that hospitality to others.
Fear is old school, but you wouldn't know it the way its being thrown around today. The reality is fear is a tool used by uncreative folks who are fearful themselves. They use fear as:
Fear is a form of control as the need for safety limits creativity and experimentation. thus severely limiting the number of possibilities seemingly available. This ties in nicely with the next use - manipulation. When the range of options narrows it is easy to make suggestions that will be easily and quickly accepted, thus ensuring a desired outcome. The Amygdala does like anything new.
Generating fear in others means that people are too focused on their own safety to really see the limitations and weakness in those creating the fear. When people are afraid of you they are less likely to actually see who you are and only see the projected image that creates the fear. It is the old illusionists trick of creating a distraction so that you don't see what the other hand is doing. And so we come full circle.
Fear is old school because it never goes forward, but strives to take things backward into old patterns and old experiences. New requires the freedom to experiment and explore and yes, even fail. Innovation, growth and discovery require too much energy to be distracted by fear. Fear only results in old habits and old patterns, fear is not able to create, only the prefrontal cortex creates.