Growing Up #4

So why bother growing any further?  If we have got this far, we have figured out how to survive at least reasonably well in our culture and society.  To get this far is both a blessing and a curse.  It is important to figure out how to survive reasonably well.  Without our basic survival needs being met, we can’t even think about going further.

The curse part comes about because surviving reasonably well is a source of great comfort.  Comfortable people do not, as a rule, change and grow.  They don’t see any reason to change and grow.  So what motivates a person to grow when they are comfortable.  The answer, unfortunately, is usually PAIN!  And, survival existence, sooner or later, generates pain.  Fortunately, it is the kind of pain that the application of more survival skills usually won’t cure.

Having a stronger ego or personality won’t cure the pain of the lack of intimacy in a relationship.  Survival skills were designed to “get the threat away from me”, not to foster intimacy.  When I act defensively towards my partner, what we often call, “Turtling or Hailing, ” these survival skills will drive my partner further away from me and will thus make intimacy impossible.

When I act out of fear or greed towards other people, I will tend to incur their hardened attitudes and reaction toward me.  When I claim to have the “one true religion” and brand all others as false  or “from the devil,” I increase exponentially the likelihood of religious wars that, ultimately, no one can win.

When I care only about my own country’s survival and fail to become “world-centric”, I increase the likelihood of economic and political struggles that devolve into wars between nations.

All these are examples of what happens when we operate primarily from an Adapted Child survival-oriented ego state.  In our next post, we will describe some important aspects of this way of functioning to help you begin to understand how one can grow beyond it.

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