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Butterfly Phoenix

Balancing the Social Dimension of Being

By: Donna R. Wood 

In the Social Dimension of Being, we consider the relations and connections we have developed and cultivated with others: our families, friends, co-workers, professional networks, and those who share our spiritual beliefs.

The Social Dimension includes our response to the communities and cultures that we belong to, and even those we do not belong to. Here is where we enter the realms of acceptance vs. rejection, and belonging vs. isolation. It is also where we decide our goals and attitudes in life. The attitudes range from love to hate, and from cooperation to competition.

Our Social Dimension is a direct reflection of our inner-world (personal and spiritual dimensions). In our Social Dimension we derive our place in the world based on our self-esteem, and our ability or inability to connect with others – regardless of socio-economic status, race, religion, etc.

We are the sum total of the five people closest to us. As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “You do not attract what you want. You attract what you are.”  The friends that we attract are reflections of our own inner-selves. When we honestly observe the friends we have, we gain a stronger understanding of who we are.

Signs of Imbalance in the Social Dimension:

  • Feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • A sense of loneliness or isolation

Our Social Dimension is an extension of our Physical Dimension. How we perceive ourselves or assign characteristics to ourselves will have a direct effect on the choices we make in regard to those with whom we choose to associate. These choices will always have rewards or consequences that are long-term.

To gain a sense of joy in our Social Dimension, we need to seek the goodness in all things.

  • Seek the good in ourselves
  • Seek the good in others
  • Seek the goodness in the world-at-large

Managing our Social Dimension can result in loss. T. D. Jakes once said:

“Finding your destiny will always disappoint those who have appointed you to theirs.”

Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul should never be allowed to take root in our lives. Our soul is like a garden, and we the gardeners. If we allow the Dark Night of the Soul to take hold, it can become permanent.

Pain and suffering is part of the natural flow of life. We all experience the Dark Night of the Soul at different levels, for different reasons.

However, if we let the grief, hurt, shame, guilt, or regret to take hold, we may never get over it as long as we live.

The Dark Night of the Soul is event or situational based, and always temporary. It comes during times of significant change or transformation. The length and strength of the Dark Night of the Soul depends on the depth of our spiritual dimension of being, a.k.a. the foundation of life.

There is no deeper well than that of self-pity. We all have the occasional moment of “Why me?”, or even “Woe is me”. One of the tools readily available to one and all is self‑love.

Not the self-love associated with narcissism. The agape self-love – self-transcended love ‑ that allows us to look at ourselves as we are, not as we wish we were.

When we look at ourselves with self-love, we do so with compassion and empathy. We provide ourselves with good companionship as we look at the scars, flaws, and the beauty, and the goodness. We accept it for what it is and embrace it with a loving gentleness.

When we can honestly look at our deepest selves with love and compassion, we can identify what the real need is, and then seek that to heal our suffering.

Living a positive lifestyle does not protect us from pain and suffering in the world. Each comes to us all at different times, in different forms, because pain and suffering are, like us, part of the natural flow of life.

One of the ways to approach pain and suffering is to observe it, and accept it for what it is, and then to take action.

The first step in taking action is to lean-in to your beliefs. When we lean-in, we inspire the light that lives inside of us. When the light is inspired, hope is sparked and grows.

The second step is meeting our beliefs half-way and taking action in our lives to change the course to something more manageable, while guided by our beliefs.

The third step is to step outside of our worry and fear, and engage with others of our beliefs to gain a sense of support and security. Before we can be the change we want to see in the world, we have to be the change we want to see in our own lives.