Co-Dependency, Issues of Personal Power, Adler, and Soldiering in Our Time, Part 4

So here we are. Most of us have levels of “inferiority” (Adler’s meaning of “inferiority” is a deeper fear that we are somehow incompetent and unsuccessful as a social being.) Most of us have a mixed bag of tricks. Most of us are vulnerable to manipulating ourselves or others to experience “belonging”. Most of us have issues with our level of “power” in relationship to the world of human society.

This includes highly placed elected officials, CEO’s of very large corporations, thieves, robbers, murderers, and ordinary citizens. We all started out in that extremely vulnerable human condition of infanthood, we all had social contexts in which to learn about our levels of acceptability to the group, and we all developed strategies for how to “make life work” in the context in which we found ourselves.

Those who were eldest in larger families had different contexts from the youngest, those in the middle different contexts again. Those born into struggling poverty had different contexts from those born into luxury; those raised by calm parents different from those raised by anxious parents. Those raised by loving parents different from those raised by angry parents; those raised by doting parents different from those raised by indifferent or “emotionally distant” parents.  And those raised by demanding parents different from those raised by indulgent parents.

And often enough, the parents were not ‘matched’ in child rearing behaviors! Whew!

This sketches who “we” are, and how we function in all life endeavors as adults, including political and economic choices because “world view” means just what it says: our individualized views of the world! (We bring along the strategies learned early and developed into adulthood).

It should be no surprise that we have so many points of view on how to run our larger social, economic, political affairs – and nobody’s “right”, it is all based on early learned world views and strategies developed in millions of childhoods!


But there is, *I* believe, a way for us to “smarten ourselves up”.

First, we adopt some of the philosophy of a skilled martial arts practitioner and the non-co-dependent approach. We assert our worth and value. We set aside “fear” of what will happen if we do this. We do it with respect, but also firmly. (The ‘victims’, the ‘downtrodden’ especially need to consider this and may have also to acknowledge some mistaken world views – ‘mistaken world view’ is an Adlerian phrase.)

We acknowledge potential excess from any quarter, and refuse to make or accept excuses in the political/economic sphere. When excess comes up, we challenge – we challenge with respect, with no malice, but we challenge, we confront. We “disarm” the power attempted against us. We assert a ‘mistaken world view’ is at play. The reason it is said that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” is that unchecked power from any quarter, including CEO’s, high power financiers, and high political levels is likely to be based in a desire to experience “power OVER”. Such power needs to be challenged.

We practice respect for one another as valuable and valued citizens. We look out for one another with sincere good will. We close our mouths when we have a “trashing the other” thought, and we confront those among us who speak trash of others. (Remember, confrontation is to be practiced with respect for the other; confrontation can be tactful – at least at the start. The ‘trasher’ is likely operating by a strategy learned very early.)

We acknowledge our vulnerability. We acknowledge the vulnerability of every other individual. We recognize needs exist that are not being met, resources are not equitably available.

We check our own ‘power needs’ and examine those of others. We recognize power need as based in early childhood and work toward growing past this.

An individual who experiences “consistent and genuine personal confidence” is able to consistently interact with others without fear, anger, judgment, need to manipulate, need to ‘shade’ dealings – in short, is consistently able to be honest, plain-spoken, just, compassionate, modest, generous, practices critical thinking with an attitude of respect, and acknowledges the full gamut of human potential for mis-understanding and delivery of misery as well as gift to one another. Such an individual experiences “confidence” in humanity, despite our foibles; is “light hearted” but also fearless in a truly impressive way and requires no outside event or person to validate personal worth or fundamental worth of other.

Such an individual views all others as brothers and sisters who may, from time to time, need to be challenged or assisted; such an individual accepts validity and possible wisdom of challenge by another, and is willing to accept re-direction and assistance when it is wise and helpful to do so.

Such an individual is a “soldier for our time”.

Happy Challenging!! – MaggieAnn


About maggieannthoeni

A description once given of me was "rooted in the earth while roaming the stars" - and this has felt 'right'. I believe in something akin to this for each of us. I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent. I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to leave no one behind - most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware. I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity. I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary. I believe in righteous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy. I believe in consciousness, in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence - and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature. (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)
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