Living in a Hostile World

{This week, I asked my JoyRide members if they had any questions or thoughts they would like me to share in my daily posts. My musings this week are based on what they presented & the inspiration they provided.}

“I’ve been pondering of late how much I really dislike the society & culture we have created here in the west. Such a loss of authenticity, of real community, of being congruent with emotions. We’ve made such an individualistic society, people are walled up in their “castles” not brave enough to venture out for real connection with others, although I am sure there are many who want to. We’ve lost the art of being neighbours. I’m grateful for the Joyride group where we find so many of the things that society, in general, has lost. How do I navigate & be the kind of neighbour/person I would like society to be when it feels so uninterested & sometimes hostile out there.”

I’m going to start in a place that may seem unrelated & then we’re going to tie it back into the discussion:

One thing I’m always asking myself is, am I responding to the reality of my moment, or am I responding to a story or belief that I’ve developed?

For instance, if I do something that I would consider to be neighbourly (& probably the examples that I use here are going to be very cliché!); perhaps I invite them to do something together, take them something or reach out in some way. & in response to that interaction, I am met with genuine disinterest or disdain- then I can accurately assess that whatever it was that I offered wasn’t wanted in this particular moment by these particular people.

Conversely, I can sit inside & desire to make those same gestures but not actually do what it is I would like to do. & my inaction at this point is based on the story that what I have to offer is not wanted or will not be reciprocated. & when this is the case, I’m not responding to something in my reality; I’m responding to my perception of what I believe to be the case, which may be very far away from what is actually the case.

In many instances, we have become trapped in that latter because our life & circumstances are such that we aren’t required to get out & about; we don’t need each other, in a community sense, for our survival needs to be met. I can order my food online, I have a roof over my head, I can be warm & even entertained without ever needing to talk or rely on my neighbours. So the physiological necessity from a survival standpoint no longer exists, which makes it easy for me to become trapped in my head & feed the lack of connection; my actions become so limited that I don’t have the chance to prove myself wrong, or to go through the process of trial & error to find those people whom I might consider to be “my people”.

So the practice is taking action in the direction you want & basing your assessments on real-time interactions. Be the neighbour, community member you want & see where it leaves you. No doubt it will not all be roses, but at least what you are responding to is real & not constructed. & you can adjust, change & choose according to the feedback you get.

Onwards.

❤️ Jane

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