“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” — Brené Brown
I am taking a brief departure from my daily writings to offer a few thoughts about my observations regarding the state of people’s emotions and behavior over the last several days.
I’ve watched, discussed, read, and listened to a variety of perspectives and opinions about why people feel the way they do. Almost every client that walked through my door had something to say and digest about the election. Family and friends responded with a plethora of reactions and I had my own. My social media feeds were swarming with comments, memes, articles, and quotes that represented everything from regret, fear, anger, hope, respect, and hate. I witnessed a lot of disrespect and frustration as well as some rationale and integrity. I believe there to be an imbalance in what I personally saw – in terms of empathy, tolerance, and acceptance. Sadly, I thought it was lacking.
I believe in something I call PASSIVE PERMISSION. A google search doesn’t offer a definition but if we consider the word PASSIVE it is “accepting or allowing what happens without active response” and the word PERMISSION is “consent; authorization” we can formulate this:
Passive Permission is authorizing, without conscious acknowledgment, an activity or behavior simply by not doing anything to prevent it or by not standing up against it.
No one can argue that President-elect Trump demonstrated a lack of respect for many segments of our society – whether it was his intent or not, I do not know for I do not know his heart – however it was there and much of it was hurtful.
We have given President-elect Trump passive permission to behave in any manner he deems fit with our vote. We have given him permission to be disrespectful and thereby globally condoned the ‘idea’ that behaving disrespectfully is acceptable.
We did this by saying that how you behave is LESS IMPORTANT than what you can do for us.
The premise of …I don’t care about your heart, or how you treat people… I care about what you can give me, or what you can do for me… is frightening. It’s a divergence away from what I know as Christian values, as LOVE, as honor, or simple human dignities.
Let’s just put the politics aside for a moment and think about respect. I’m not talking about the respect we earn; I am talking about the basic respect we are entitled to because we are human beings. We don’t have to agree with one another to be respectful. Treating someone with compassion and empathy takes much less effort than berating them and judging their choices.
Let President-elect Trump deal with his own conscience and let each of us pay attention to ours! Look deeply into your own heart and think about what you are choosing – not just in the way of a president but in your day to day life.
What is the basis of your personal behavior??
If it is to get something – a better life, a better job, a better anything – great! You deserve the best but it will only be the BEST if it doesn’t sell your heart short… if it is authentically coming from a place of integrity and personal honesty. No one can tell you your heart. Only you know it.
If you feel anxious, depressed, guilty, or ashamed – those feelings are associated with disingenuous behaviors – inauthentic actions. Perhaps passive permission. What are you allowing that does not match what you believe??
We are so very lucky to live in a great country where we have freedom of speech. Some of us get shut down too often and learn that it can be unsafe to vocalize our thoughts. Every single day I am teaching people how to communicate from a place of compassion and respect; from honesty and authenticity; from love and empathy. When we use our voice from those positions it can generally be heard and at least open a discussion. It doesn’t matter if it is a couple learning how to be better communicators with one another, sharing between children and parents, or if it is members of a community, a state, or a nation.
Please spend some time self-reflecting on the values that you want to be remembered for – the values you want your children to experience and learn – the values that honor your heart and make sure that your behavior reflects those values.
If each one of us can do this – because I believe that there is a kind heart in every single soul – then it won’t matter what President-elect Trump does on the world stage – he is only ONE person. The collective consciousness of our kindness will overwhelmingly prevail and repair the pain from what a few inflict.
Pay attention to the passive permissions you distribute through in-action and through missed opportunities of extending kindness, love, and tolerance. BE the values that you believe in.
Let your values / beliefs mold your emotions each time you are challenged to respond to someone or a situation and then behave in accordance!