A client recently reminded me how retributionally satisfying it can feel to express self-righteous anger. Maybe that’s because all living souls share prior life experiences of being murdered, tortured, persecuted, or suffering some form of gross injustice. Doesn’t having unconscious memories of unavenged conflicts, and/or unreconciled debt-obligation-based relationships, compel us to want our wrongs righted?
Consider all of our immigrant forefathers and mothers who fled their homes of origin, to escape repression, to seek freedom and equal opportunity, in America. Yet today, this collective and passionate motivation is being irrationally contradicted by so many former immigrant descendants who are waging war on their own democracy and government-championed philosophy of equality. Has their narcissist hubris and hunger for revenge deluded them into feeling godlike, and at times, incapable of verbal, emotional or physical, impulse control?
The world looks on, as these American home-grown domestic terrorists destroy many of their own relationships and reputations, along with our national credibility. While arrogantly insisting THEIR truths must become everyone else’s, they have forsaken any responsibility to their fellow Americans’ identical freedoms, for which THEY or their ancestors, once fought and died.
So how is this vengeful cycle of defiant self-righteousness broken?
I believe, HOW we approach settling our personal and collective differences, must first change, whether sitting at a breakfast table or in the United Nations. Continuing to use unproductive negotiating styles (competing, accommodating, avoiding/obstructing, and compromising) produce a few winners but mostly losers and conceders, none of whom really get their long-awaited needs met. But working together to achieve a common purpose, with mutually shared benefits (a collaborative negotiating style) could begin to heal historical injustices and create the potential for long-term trust and sustained peace. Researchers also identify gender influences which trigger situational cues, prompting differences in preferences, expectations, and behaviors. Women have a distinct advantage in collaborative negotiations because their Feminine instincts are to prioritize developing and sustaining relationships of all participating parties, while finding a mutually agreed upon outcome. Additionally, women are more sensitive to non-verbal signals, making them more likely to pick up on subtle messages conveyed during bargaining encounters. These win-win collaborative, versus win-lose competitive, gender differences often guide women’s motives and actions, to achieve a jointly shared maximum return. This style does not signify one’s success over another’s failure, which can also distract from what tactics are most beneficial for creating a mutually beneficial deal.
This idea, of ‘doing unto others as we would have them do unto us’, is excellent karmic advice. For it’s our prior (positive and negative) intentions and actions that can snap back at us like karmic boomerangs, from one lifetime into the next. They can either come back TO us (as Unconditional Love), or AT us (as Conflict or Debt/Obligation) depending on one’s individual state of evolution.
Meanwhile, the soul will continue to present us with the same dilemmas until they’re made conscious and resolved. That will require courage, integrity and collaboratively negotiated solutions, to eliminate these self-defeating, self-righteous, cycles of hypocrisy.
Read Janey’s article in the August issue of Sybil Magazine.