I am paying attention to how gosh darn often I find my thoughts judging “those people” who are bad and wrong. “They” do not share my perspective, “they” are irrelevant, “they” are a threat. Maybe you know “those other people” too. Othering occurs when I view or treat a person or group of people as intrinsically different than me and attribute negative characteristics to “them.”
Simultaneously, I am aware of my expanding inner experience of the interconnectedness of all people sharing this home we call earth. How can I expand more of this knowing and reframe my othering? Here are a few of my ideas. How are you navigating this time of divisiveness and polarity?
What contributes to othering?
– Feeling separate
Othering happens when we feel endangered, which turns on our fight and flight response and moves us in to protect and defend mode. We are easily triggered and hypervigilant. We feel our life or way of life is threatened. Ugh.
What cultivates interconnection?
– Deep listening
– Honoring diversity
We all count, every person matters. We are on the same team called humanity.
If you find yourself being swept up in the rhetoric (in your own mind or from external sources) that only “certain people” count, and “those other people” do not count, take a deep breath. Bring your attention fully to the present moment. Center yourself. What does othering feel like in your body? Your heart? Your mind? What is contributing to your othering?
Commit yourself to spend time in conversations with those who have a different opinion or point of view from yours. Genuinely open your mind and hear their ideas. Ask questions. Listen deeply. Remain curious. What will you learn? What common ground do you share?
We are moving into (albeit a messy process) a new era. We are exposing and shifting out of oppression, greed, and entitlement. We are expanding into a new level of higher human consciousness. There is a new operating system coming online moving us from me-centric to we-centric. How are you positively contributing to who we are becoming?