Mental Health, Social Science

What is the price of love?

Every so often I like to take a trip into good old NYC. Nothing like NYC to help you gain motivation in your life. The speed of this big city is very quick. Walking around, even the most accomplishment person can wonder if they are achieving enough in their life. Sometimes I like to sit down at a cafe with a drink and write. Recently I decided it was time for a NYC adventure again. Took my seat at a Starbucks and began to focus. I was deep and focused, when a pack of dogs walked by. A dog walker was walking them. The expressions on the faces of some of the dogs were intense and distracting as they rushed by. So intent on what they were trying to accomplish. They had a job to do and they were going to do it. It was interesting to see these dogs work so well in a group. Each one was no longer an individual. They were now functioning group members.

Group Mentality is such an interesting subject to me. I find it interesting because my whole life’s goal has been to find strength within my developed individuality. But how well did I work in the group? We are trained throughout life to stay within the confines of the group. A view that dates back to the beginning of time. We go to school and follow a schedule that resembles closely what are lives should look like as functional and productive¬†group members in society. We follow a religion in order to be part of a group, in order to be loved and accepted and to indulge in the social constructs of belonging as a member of society. Because after all, our ultimate goal in life is to be loved.

But to me this price is just way too steep. Must I sacrifice myself in order for you to love me? Or can I be a whole person and find your acceptance? So many of us with so many holes. We were trained to seek solace in others. Why are we trained to seek validation from others and not ourselves?

Not that it bothers me too much but leaving the confines of the group usually leads to criticism. Criticism because the person choosing individuality puts the security of the group in jeopardy. Another view that dates back to the beginning of time and most likely rooted in the reptile brain (the lower part of the brain that responds to fear). We were conditioned to function this way but in a healthy way, just like the pack of dogs. It just seems like we have lost that balance. So many people giving their power away instead of claiming the power of their own individuality. Do you struggle with the fine balance of individuality vs. group?

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