Why we need to welcome opposition…
Can you feel that tension in the air on social media?
Every time I log into Facebook, my feed is often flooded with disagreements and emotional word vomit.
I’ve been in a state of observing how triggered people get when met with opposing viewpoints. The pattern I’ve witnessed seems to escalate to a point where people post, “If you believe _____ then un-friend me right NOW,” or “If you agree with this then you’re beyond stupid.”
Now, hear me out. There is a threshold of course when it comes to maintaining your personal boundaries to protect your health and sovereignty. By no means am I advocating for staying in a relationship that is verbally and emotionally abusive.
What I am advocating for is the ability to welcome opposition and different viewpoints in the world. When we welcome opposition, we create and experience growth. This comes back to the laws of physics and laws of nature. For example, when we lift weights, apply pressure and healthy amounts of stress to our joints and muscles, over time we get stronger. As trees experience storms and wind, their roots grow deeper and stronger into the ground to survive through future environmental stress.
When we as human beings experience moments of stress and challenge, it creates new levels of resilience and adaptability when integrated appropriately. At the same time, when we are so closed off and resistant to change, we will stay stuck and stagnant in our current paradigm. Change isn’t always easy, especially when it comes in the form of challenging your current beliefs, actions, and thoughts.
I’ve found that when we can learn about viewpoints that differ from our own, we experience one or more of these four things:
1. We become more well-rounded in our understanding of topics in the world (even if we don’t agree).
2. It helps strengthen our own beliefs.
3. It helps us stay open and less defensive which leads to less internal stress overall (Remember - what you resist, persists).
4. It improves our ability to find solutions in more creative ways.
At the end of the day, you’re human. You are going to make choices that align with your values even with knowing that other viewpoints exist. Being human also means you have what’s called Confirmation Bias. This is a phenomenon that occurs to keep our brain and identity safe. We will consciously and/or subconsciously look for evidence in our external world that aligns and confirms what it is we currently know to be true regardless if the new evidence is actually valid and reliable. This happens simply because our brains like to feel safe. Too much challenge creates dissonance and stress within our nerve system and in turn, internal dis-ease. This safety and bias helps keep our ego and identity safe at bay. The old saying, “Don’t rock the boat,” applies in this type of bias. On the flip side, the saying “Growth does not occur in your comfort zone,” also applies. In life it’s important to have a healthy balance between challenge and support, stability and instability, growth and safety.
So…back to social media…
The question we must ask is this: How can we create a world with healthy debates and healthy oppositional discussions?
I’m here to offer another viewpoint that may challenge you. At the same time, I intend for it to open your eyes and your mind.
It’s evident the emotions that surround the topic of wearing masks.
I am not going to go into “why or why not” when it comes to wearing a mask. However, I pose this question to you to perhaps open your mind a bit:
What if we mandated the following sustainable, cost-effective health strategies just as intensely as we mandate masks?
· Drink MORE water
· Move your body every single day
· Get consistent, quality sleep
· Meditate at least 5 minutes every morning and/or night
· Nerve System Regulation
· Increase your consumption of whole foods and decrease your consumption of things that cause inflammation (aka sugar, alcohol, smoking, etc.)
· Study what behavior impedes your body’s innate defense mechanisms
· Increase time in natural sunlight
· Vitamin D supplementation (and other supplementation if necessary)
· Find social and emotional support communities
And here’s the thing…many of these strategies are either FREE or incredibly cost-effective. They also don’t make big companies tons of money or profit.
Whether you choose to start adopting these strategies or not, I encourage you to keep an open mind when it comes to various viewpoints, especially in the health and wellness field. Also be open to looking at long-term strategies that support your health from the inside out. To protect your emotional health, considering pausing before you post, delete, or comment on social media. It’s OK to just sit, be, and breathe with it all as well as take a break all together.
And if you are choosing to wear a make, please support your local mask-maker. Feel free to reach out as I know many of my clients are handcrafting such items at this time.
Peace and love,