To be part of something larger than ourselves is an innate human drive. In our current dualistic paradigm, separation means being vulnerable, and vulnerability brings up survival issues.
When our efforts to be included are thwarted, or we simply give up on being included, one outgrowth of that can be cancer. The cancer can actually be cellular, as described in the prior blog Synchronicity and the importance of community, or it can take the form of “damaged” social systems and ways of relating that keep replicating, bringing about imbalance and decline.
I want to be radically transparent here, to offer my experience in a way that others can relate to, to create connections across what might seem to be vast differences.
I’ve been a loner on a quest for community. The longing for community didn’t arise from a lack of self-love or dissatisfaction with my own company, but rather because my internal wiring knows that all things are in relationship and nothing thrives in isolation.
However, from the time I was a child I learned to be self-reliant and not to need anyone emotionally—part of the training for being a “rugged individual.” I come from a family of good people—an average dysfunctional family—with limited skillsets for being emotionally present and able to express love without co-dependent hooks.
Being an empath didn’t help matters any. I was often confused when what I was being told wasn’t what I was picking up at a feeling level. For example, being told, “I love you,” from a parent who didn’t have time for me, or knowing that the love depended on meeting certain expectations. As an adult my course consistently veered from what my family or society deemed the best ways to fit in and have a good life. I know they wanted the best for me, although somewhere along the way the idea of having a good life turned into keeping one’s suffering to a minimum. It was sort of the “life is hard and then you die” perspective under a façade of “everything is fine.” I wanted to be included in social groups, but I just wasn’t finding the option that felt right and I knew that the consequences of living a lie were more painful than not fitting in.
I envied those who seemed to have found inclusion, although I also saw the price tag that often went with it. In my teens I vowed that I would never use any substance to avoid being uncomfortable, either in a social setting or alone. I pretty much managed to hold true to that, with the exception of food, which I justified as a necessity. It’s not a necessity, however, when you eat six donuts and then black out driving a car because of a blood sugar crash. Hence, I too was hooked into numbing, to some extent.
Getting back to the idea of inclusion envy, there are various ways such envy plays out. Here are a few examples:
- Back-biting, small-talk, bullying and gangs when we derive our way of finding inclusion from pack-mentality power.
- Unbridled consumerism in an attempt to have what the “in-group” has.
- Negative thoughts or judgements about those we feel excluded by or less than.
- Angry disconnection and deep pain that leads to lashing out at general populations, i.e., mass shooters.
- Self-destructive behaviors or numbing when we don’t feel we can measure up, sometimes combined with resentment that one should have to measure up to empty standards.
I got tired of non-optimal options for social inclusion, preferring the richness of an inner spiritual journey. Yet, the bottom line was that I was still seeking inclusion. In this case it was a merging with the Divine, which I now see I never left. The beauty is that I am placed right back here, in the world of unique form, to help re-weave the web of inclusion at a higher octave.
Here are a few relevant quotes from Carl Jung:
“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you.”
“What usually has the strongest psychic effect on the child is the life the parent has not lived.”
“A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way, and is, in addition, fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbor.”