THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AMBIVALENCE

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AMBIVALENCE

SAFETY FIRST

When thinking on our own, we rarely do.

Whether  attempting to fill our bellies or empty them, whether building a family or a career, we are seeking to sate our single most important need, the security of living as safely as possible.

Our number one way of doing so involves winning the approval of others. It isn’t so much that we need the approval but that the greater the group, the greater the approval and the greater the approval the safer life appears to be.

Our investments in time and money are always somehow related to approval – seeking or in a more truthful way of speaking, safety – seeking.

How shall we dress, where do we shop, attend school, work, worship (or not)….these are the things that help us decide how and where we spend our money and our time.

Sometimes however, we are faced with making a choice that appears to have no good solution. Our feelings of ambivalence are so strong that either of two choices leaves us feeling completely powerless.

Since we rarely understand that our choices are driven by a need for approval, we focus on the practical aspects of the problem and the result is denial. Either choice appears to be the wrong choice.

If we are to be able to choose well we need to see the search for approval for what it is and what it is NOT. Eventually, if we are successful in recognizing the utter futility of pleasing all who  would drive us one way or the other; we realize that our basic drive is not for approval but for LOVE. And again, only if we are honest we will realize that Love, unlike approval, is the only thing that can solve our dilemma.

If Love exists it must come from a Power so great as to be free of all ambivalence, a Power which is the memory of all past and future events. Some call this Power the Akashik record; some say God; some say the unwavering sense of the Integrity of Self. Only Love can provide the strength to overcome ambivalence; only Love can  can calm our delicate egos; only Love can take us serenely from point a to point b. The way we acquire that Love is to say “I accept”.

We affirm our acceptance by sharing that Love.

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