As humans, we instinctively learn through imitation. We do not merely imitate behaviors but we also imitate desire. We learn to desire the things that those around us desire. Inevitably, we’re competing over the object of that desire.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my life feeling like a victim of circumstances. It almost doesn’t matter what circumstance we’re talking about I can always find a way to feel like a victim. The world does feel like a very competitive place to me and competition tends to create winners and losers. Losers tend to feel like victims. I think winners also tend to feel like victims- not because they’ve “lost”- but because “winning” rarely brings us the lasting joy we think it will. In other words, when we live in competition with each other we all lose because we cause so much damage to each other regardless of wins and losses.
Just like I competed with my siblings for my parents’ attention, I continue to compete with those around me for recognition, validation, love, support, etc. It so often feels like there is not going to be enough love, grace, and mercy for everyone’s needs to be met. And so, we compete for attention. We compete for friends, for relationships, for a sense of security, for identity.
Do you feel this? Do you feel that other people are getting the quantity or quality of relationships that you should be getting?
More on this tomorrow.