Saturday, July 24, 2010

All the places we can hide and stopping one-up-manship

We live in a very competitive world. It's it's in you; it's in me, and it divides all of us. Yeah, the stupid thing is competition. We've been bred on it; it's partner is comparison, and they are both bent on creating isolation. They are truly ways to hide from real friendship and authenticity, though covertly so. Some will think, "oh, well if my place is all up to date and put together I will be more accepted, I will belong, or if I appear that way..." But this is often not a conscious thought, though, but rather a compulsion that most have been trained by- to keep up appearances.... even exhaust themselves to that extent.
The other whammy that interferes with genuine relationship is one-up-manship. The thought or feeling that one has it "better" than another; it's partner is also comparison. Through this lense you only see people's "needs" or "weaknesses" and not their beauty or strengths. It is another way to hide from one's own vulnerable places.  Many people in "helping" professions, like counselors or pastors can very easily hide behind this lense. The lie is- they just need to help everyone else because they are doing "great" (when really they are not). Helping others becomes a way or compulsion to hide from their own issues. But of course it's not just people in helping professions that think or act that way. We are really, all of us, very complex...
We can't really be friends when we think we are better than someone, on any level. We can't really be friends if even a subtle competition is allowed to be in the back drop. It has to be identified and dealt with.
But what creates competition is insecurity. Relationship is replaced by achievement points, and the points are never enough to satisfy the one caught in the trenches of achievement (performance).
Being one-up from anybody (if there is such a thing!) never helped anyone, not even that someone up in their little pedestal. And that pedestal is a lonely place.
What I'm learning over and over is that it is painful and sacrificial to love, as we've been shown by Yashua, because we reveal our vulnerability- that we can be hurt, or even killed; that we are indeed fragile. He was naked, bleeding and dying on that cross. Love requires a death to self, the yucky carrier of competition, hiding and comparison. And real connection happens when all that armor is down.
What keeps it up is fear, not love.
I am thankful perfect love casts out fear. We need this perfect love, and it's been freely given. It will consume all our fears.

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