Defensiveness

“Defensiveness, insecurity, and comparison not only divide you from others, but from your own brilliant humanity. Ironically, letting others be what they are, while you remain in perfect ease with your imperfections, solidifies connections you thought were once lost.” ~ Amy Larson …

In a sense, defensiveness is a favored quality that is encouraged throughout our societies today. Because we generally place more value on coming out of conflict victorious, we also promote the defensive line of thought–people who win out in battle are stronger, more capable, and more trustworthy. Perhaps it is our own fears and insecurities of not being victorious that tend to keep us in denial of our own imperfections. A negative effect of being defensive, however, is that we ultimately conceal our “own brilliant humanity.”

Being wrong does not lessen our value or our worth; perhaps this is the key to understanding our stubborn and defensive nature. No one wants to feel small or worthless, and so we fight to hide our imperfections away or deny that they even exist. But we are who we are–perfect creations of a loving Father, and we should not have a desire to hide away any part of who we are.

We can learn a great deal from the defensiveness, insecurity, and comparisons of others in life. You see, the defensiveness of those around us is usually their way of trying to tell us they need us to acknowledge their value and show them some respect. And when we look behind some of the reasons they chose conflict, we find pain that needs healing, loneliness that needs befriending, hatred that needs love, sorrow that needs joy.

Defense is a natural reaction to protect ourselves from suffering. It also is the easiest way to respond to conflict in our lives. However, it is usually the worst choice, for isolates us from life, hides away our beauty and brilliance, and offers little to no chance for growth and fulfillment.

Face your mistakes and imperfections instead of denying them.

Questions to consider:

Why does society tend to discourage solving conflict?

What things do you find threatening? Why do they frighten you?

How do you tend to react when you feel threatened? Where do those reactions originate?

For further thought:

“Why should you want to give up a child’s wise not-understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn, since not-understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are a participation in precisely what, by these means, you want to separate yourself from.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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