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On Unconditional Positive Regard in Service of a Vision

To my activists, artists, creatives: read this once, think over this short piece on unconditional positive regard by my friend Yogi Ostrow and read it again, for good measure. In it they wrote:

Where we invest our energies, how we direct our focus and drive comes into close proximity with our threshold for genuine compassion. It is likely that some people choose to become numbed by their experiences of injustice, pain, struggle and suffering. Becoming numb in this way is a funneling of energy and focus towards aversion. When we open ourselves to the pain of our suffering and realize that all others experience a foundational experience of similar, though perhaps not identical suffering, even for minutes a day, our threshold will increase. With focus and drive we may eventually come to a place of unconditional positive regard.

As it applies to pursuing our visions, we must recognize that choosing social justice or our art over traditional life paths is also a choice to invite: small-mindedness, humiliation, and   the comments of egotistical, self-protective people into our lives.

Ergo, reacting in kind to those people does nothing for our personal evolution.

Instead, we could choose not to numb ourselves to negative experiences and take a few moments to imagine what it would be like to go through the experiences that make someone small minded, stingy and prone to humiliating people and allow ourselves to feel compassion for them. In turn, we would wind up understanding ourselves better and not taking their slights so personally.

Hell, it might even inspire us to create something great, if we let it.

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