Possibility Warrior

Lighting The Way Forward

PoWa

January 16, 2017
by PoWa
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The Darkness

It started as dark smudge on the horizon. Most people didn’t even notice it. The warriors squinted and felt a sense of foreboding. It grew bigger with every passing week, until no one could ignore it. It was blacker than night and blotted out an entire stretch of sky, relentlessly growing broader and higher and deeper.

No one understood it and everyone argued about it. Plants began to wither and animals fled. And then the noise started, an awful furious anger of souls damned, harsher than nails on a chalkboard. The darkness came faster, it encompassed everything. The warriors looked on in horror as it closed in on them in rage, disintegrating their shields and sucking the light from their staffs.

The land was swallowed in screaming, hateful darkness so thick the people could barely breathe. Many became depressed without the sun and despaired against the heavy weight of the pounding, insatiable darkness.

Then the warriors began to notice that just dimly nearby, they could make out the flickering, struggling lights of other warriors. And so they began to find each other and pool their light. As they did, each light strengthened in brightness and the group together shone greater than the sum of its lights. Then the warriors began to hand lights to those in despair and offered them hope and solidarity and the circles of light grew.

So the darkness was pierced by small, beaming pools of light. The darkness howled and stormed, but the lights together could not be put out. Instead they grew stronger. And those who had been lost in the dark forest for ages could see these lights and find their way out, renewed with purpose to fight as warriors and end the darkness.

The groups of warriors began to find other groups, to forge connections and to coordinate actions. And with each action their lights grew brighter. But it was hard. So everyday, all day, they reminded each other, over and over again:

We must keep working together, shining our lights, until the darkness is vanquished.

PoWa

November 28, 2016
by PoWa
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Thank You

I am Thankful …

That I was born in an urban area and grew up next to people of all races, so that I know I don’t need to fear people who look different from me.

That I have been able to travel to see other parts of the country and world where people live differently from me, and may not have the privileges I have had.

That I had the opportunity to get a good, broad education to inform my opinions and decisions.

That I have met so many wonderful people of all races, genders, and religions — giving me hope for humanity.

That I live in relative safety and privilege compared to nearly all humans who have ever lived.

That I have always found a way to pull through tough circumstances.

That I have found a network of support and no longer feel so alone in my desire for a progressive world.

That I live in a time when so many people are conscious and working for freedom and safety for all people.

For dogs, soft beds, warm blankets, and tea.

For YOU.

PoWa

November 21, 2016
by PoWa
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Projection and Hate

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.”
~Hermann Hesse

Projection is a psychological process where we attribute qualities within ourselves to others . It’s a long recognized human emotional defense tactic of self-justification by blame shifting. In 500 CE, the Talmud warned, “Do not taunt your neighbour with the blemish you yourself have.” 

Freud explained that parts of ourselves that we can’t accept, we attribute to others. Jung called these projected parts of our personality our Shadow — things about ourselves we don’t want to acknowledge. “Look at how angry that person is!” we rant angrily. And there, now the focus has shifted off our own anger to their anger. We list and rehash their sins, in order to reassure ourselves that our own actions are justified, that we are right.

Projection is usually viewed negatively, but I see it as a compassion and consciousness development tool. For one, it can help us hear what people actually mean in what they say. When someone excoriates foreigners because “they hate our freedom,” it is useless to argue that foreign animosity is not due to a hatred for our Bill of Rights. That’s because this claim is a projection, not a reasoned argument. The person making the claim is themselves concerned about the growing freedoms in our country for traditionally marginalized groups, because they feel their own survival is threatened.

Projections occur when intense emotions are invoked, like fear for survival or anger at not getting ahead with hard work. When this is happening, there is no room for calm and reasoned debate. It also doesn’t help to point out that the other person is projecting, much like it doesn’t help to tell someone terrified of flying that most planes don’t crash.

When you learn to recognize projection, you can avoid pouring your limited energy down a black hole of agitation by walking away from projection conversations instead of feeding them with argument. Or, if you feel it is really worth your energy, you can try to learn and address the actual underlying root fear behind the projection, with compassion.

If we can mindfully catch ourselves intensely emotional and insistent on the flaws and horrid behaviors of another, we can explore our own projections to shine a light on the shadow aspects in our unconscious. The current political climate is an excellent time for this practice, as it has us all wildly projecting in every direction like a garden hose turned on highest pressure and flailing uncontrolled to assail anything within striking distance.

For example, in the past week, I’ve found myself absolutely appalled that those people would try to take away the freedoms my country has fought so hard and long to establish for the huddled masses yearning to breathe free! With some consideration and introspection however, I realized that I was actually appalled at myself for taking my freedoms so for granted that I became lazy about my involvement in politics and civil justice.

Here’s the part where you forgive yourself and vow to make a change, with compassion. Now’s the time to move beyond anger at them, and acknowledge we are angry at ourselves for letting it happen. Now it’s time to move beyond complacency and get to work. Now is the time to be grateful for the mass fire that has been ignited under the collective progressive majority, and to think of all we can accomplish with this energy united for positive change!

Compassion

November 14, 2016
by PoWa
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Fear, Anger, Hate, Violence

“Between stimulus and response there’s a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  ~Victor Frankl

This is a really intense and emotional time in the USA. A large number of people are truly afraid and angry; and have good reason to be fearful for the lives of minorities and angry over false accusations and threats to eliminate freedoms.

Fear and Anger are emotions that carry a huge charge. They are emotions that trigger reaction, and the gut reaction is to look for confirmation of our fears and attack back. But that’s the reaction that got us into the mess we are in right now. The thinking that created the mess cannot fix it.

If we want our nation back so that we can continue to progress towards greater safety and freedom for all, we will have to do so in way that doesn’t include fear, anger, hate, or violence. This is not an easy thing to do because it requires the strength and courage to act rather than react.

The majority of people in our nation are progressive. Now is the time for us to build the strength and courage required to act out of calm compassion rather than out of fear and anger, so we can bring our progressive values back to our country. I’m not saying not to feel fear and anger — you feel what you feel. And when you do feel fear and anger, STOP.

Take a breath. Sit down. Wait. Emotions are waves. They come from the distance, growing larger and more fearsome. They slam into you and fall over you and you are for a time under the waters of the strong currents of emotion. Then the wave passes. You can stand up, shake off, and look around to see calmer waters.

In the calmer waters, you can plan how to act.

Here’s an example. When you see the latest hate note spreading around on social media, STOP. Breathe. DON’T post your initial response. Put the computer aside and wait. Feel the Fear — what if you, or someone you know and love is threatened or attacked? Feel the Anger — it is not okay that hate and discrimination won in this election. It is not okay that people are threatening others with impunity. It is not okay that the rights and freedoms we’ve worked so hard for may be taken away. Let yourself feel these emotions, but wait them out.

Breathe. Remember that our country (and the world) has a very long history of hate and violence. Remember that we have a long history of people fighting against that hate and violence. Remember that you are a fighter. Remember that you DO have power and that you WILL use it. Breathe. Resolve to act rather than react.

Now. Write to your State and Federal government representatives. Tell them this behavior is not okay. Ask them to stand up and publically condemn such behavior. Ask them to set up crisis support for those who are being attacked.

Now. Go introduce yourself to your neighbors who have dark skin, an alternate lifestyle, or are women living alone. Give them your number and tell them that if they ever feel threatened to contact you, because you will stand with them.

Now. Take a bold, progressive action like this every day between now and the 2018 elections. THIS is how we will take our country back. THIS is how we will reestablish our values of freedom and safety for all humans, regardless of race, gender, or sexual, political, or religious orientation.

PoWa

November 7, 2016
by PoWa
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Dear Julie,

Q. In every situation, there is clearly a protocol for accomplishing tasks most quickly and efficiently. Why am I the only person who can see this and get things done the right way the first time? ~ISTJ

A. It is an irony of humanity that most of us take far longer than needed to accomplish tasks, because we are too impatient to carefully and painstakingly follow the most direct path to accurate and timely completion. However, evolution itself did not follow an efficiently well-designed protocol to produce our cognitive capacities, so this is the mess we are left with.

Fortunately we have your type, with the steadfast perseverance to see a task through to completion, and the careful attentiveness required to complete the task correctly the first time. Really, the world would fall apart without your patient and deliberate vigilance in supplying the daily maintenance required to realize any long-term goal.

There are some types convinced that they would revel in the chaos left (they may call it something else, like “freedom”) should your type suddenly disappear from the planet. Until the metro doesn’t get them home on time and they can’t find a properly cooked meal when hungry. It is essential that you disappear (say for vacation) on a regular basis (they have a short memory), to remind such types just how essential you are to the happy frivolity they enjoy so much.

There are other types too busy entertaining ideas of what could be to attend to what is. Whatever you do, do not dismiss their ideas as frivolous, or they will take it as a challenge to harangue you with ever more impractical ideas until you throw up your hands and quit. Instead, half listen as you tend your work, compliment them on their ingenuity, and coyly ask how they will deal with the biggest obvious flaw in their hare-brained strategy. Don’t raise your objection condescendingly, convey it as a puzzle to solve, and they will run off happily to consider your challenge, leaving you in peace to get your work done.

Use your remarkable ability to see what’s in front of you, to bargain with the more scattered types. For example, offer to balance the books in exchange for Friday afternoon off. This will translate your skills into direct utility for those who don’t adequately appreciate your super powers, while simultaneously relieving them of the responsibility of devising ways to reward you for saving the day.

It’s tough to maneuver in a world full of irresponsible, unpredictable, unreliable humans. Learn to express sincere gratitude when any one gets anything right. I know you shouldn’t have to praise people for doing what they are supposed to be doing; but given that they actually do what they are supposed to do so rarely, if praise helps increase the odds, it’s worth implementing. Again, refrain from allowing your irritable frustration to show. For once they did not make your life more difficult. That really IS something to be grateful for!

PoWa

October 31, 2016
by PoWa
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Dear Julie,

Q. Hey, have you all noticed that your lips are so sensitive, they can feel your fingerprints? ~ESFP

A. Wow! I had never noticed that before, but you are right!

We all need to get back in touch with the physical reality of our bodies and the world around us. We spend way too much time worrying about the future, fretting over the past, and not enough time enjoying the moment.

It’s difficult for you as an Se (in the moment physical experience) to get any respect in this ultra goal-oriented, forward-striding, overly ambitious society that sacrifices today to the almighty dollar.

But the tide is turning in your favor! Society has begun to notice the value of returning to the moment and staying present. You are likely looking for a job right now, why not consider leading New Age Awareness classes at local yoga studios, athletic clubs, and outdoor stores. All you’ll have to do is take people out on your adventures with you.

Get one of your all responsible-like friends to set the business up for you (including liability release), and treat them to grand dinners with your proceeds. You’ll be great at doing your own sales and marketing, and think of all the new people you’ll meet and all the fun you’ll have! Quick forward this to that responsible friend before you get distrac…

PoWa

October 17, 2016
by PoWa
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Dear Julie,

Q. Why is nearly everyone on the planet so irrational and unreasonable? Can anything be done to save our species from its own ridiculous stupidity? ~INTP

A. With Ti (logic and reason) as your dominant function, it’s easy to understand why you view those who don’t naturally use Ti high in their function family as illogical and not reasonable. You are used to ordering your thoughts into a logical train before acting on them. When ordering your thoughts, you look at the broadest possible picture to find what is universally true, regardless of individual quirks, preferences, or opinions. So naturally, those who don’t go to that effort seem to be selfishly prioritizing themselves over the good of the collective.

There are two pitfalls within this viewpoint I’d like you to consider.

First, are you certain that the actions you’ve decreed as “most logical” are not tainted by your own views and experiences of life? For example, suppose you’ve decided it makes absolutely no sense to have more than one tissue box per room. Could it be that your wife has put 3 boxes in each room because she experiences events and sensations that are outside the norm of your own existence? Perhaps she has a constantly runny nose, but also has difficulty walking about due to hip pain. The box in every usable corner allows her to keep the mucus flow under control while minimizing the walking about she has to do. From her perspective, the plethora of tissue boxes makes quite a bit of sense!

In order to be most effective, you must use your Ti to carefully sort what seems most logical from a limited perspective, from what actually is logical from all perspectives. What I’m saying is that, believe it or not, your own logic often is tainted by your personal biases. Use this knowledge to relate to those you are condemning.

Second, if you’d like to communicate reason and logic for the benefit of the world, you’ll be more effective if you curb the condescension oozing from your frustration that others don’t see what is so clear to you. This is where it will be very useful for you to develop the Fe (social relationship) that balances out your Ti.

Regardless of the universality of absolute truths that apply to all humans (like gravity on earth and history repeating itself), the experience of the individual human and the collective experience of society affect how we deal with universal truths. Learn why people hold the beliefs they do, irrational as they may be. What purpose do the beliefs serve them? What experiences have they originated out of? What would be lost, if these beliefs are lost?

From this broader perspective, you can temper the delivery of your information. It’s not enough to provide an intellectual analysis. You must relate the information to the daily experience of people in society and the consequences to their loved ones. You have to provide an alternative for all that is lost if old beliefs and ways are given up to account for new information.

Above all you must have patience. People resist change and they resist what they don’t understand. Acknowledge that you do the same and learn from your own resistance.

The vast majority of the population does not have Ti in the upper portion of their function family. In order to come to understand how Ti works and why it is an important perspective, we need INTPs who will patiently explain the universal principles over and over in simple terms, gauging the receptivity of their audience and actively working to remain polite and respectful despite the perceived unsavory aspects of the message.

Of all the types, you have the inner calm to absorb over-reactions of vitriol and stay the educational course. Look to Sam Harris as a prime example.

PoWa

October 10, 2016
by PoWa
0 comments

Dear Julie,

Q. I hate my job. ~ISFP

A. As a gentle, generous person of few words but deep emotions, it’s difficult for you to find a job that uses and appreciates your unique skills, without taking advantage of you.

I have two suggestions for you.

First, create jobs for yourself within your job that you will enjoy. There are certain tasks required of you at your workplace, and you’ll do your best with those, whether or not you enjoy them. But also add your own creative touch. For example, if you work with clients, make it part of your job to entertain their children while they are attending to other business. Or if you are required to write up information for the public, add illustrations that use your natural drawing talent and make the literature more appealing to others.

In other words, even if your skills haven’t been recognized and requested by your boss, add them anyway! No only will you get to do things you enjoy at your job, but your boss should see this as you going above and beyond the call of duty to provide better service! (If they don’t, find a new boss!)

My second suggestion for you is to find an advocate at your job who will stand up for you. It’s nearly impossible for you to do this on your own. You will take it and take it and take it… until you explode. Neither is good for your health or résumé!

Find someone at work who likes you and is a bit more outspoken than you are. Ask them to commend you to the boss — to talk up how wonderful you are with the kids and how great the illustrations are that you’ve voluntarily added to the advertising. You have to make sure people are noticing, if you want the appreciation you deserve!

You can offer something in exchange to this kind friend who will talk you up to the others. Perhaps you can take their kids to the park, or bake cookies for the staff birthday parties.

Finding ways to use your skills and finding friends to value you, these are the ways to save your sanity at work! With these two things, you can do just about any job and not hate it!

PoWa

October 3, 2016
by PoWa
0 comments

Dear Julie,

Q. My children are my life. I’ve sacrificed everything to bring them up, providing the best care I possibly could. But now that they are adults, they have moved out of my life and I barely hear from them or see them. I feel very unappreciated and marginalized. When I tell them how hurt I am that they’ve closed me out of their life, they ignore me. I just want the love of my children back in my life. ~ISFJ

A. Your type, the ISFJ, is sometimes nicknamed “The Mother,” because that is your quintessential approach to life and relationships. You are one of the most devoted and service oriented types, and your quiet, loving, grounded perseverance keeps the world turning reliably on its axis. The only thing you want in return for your endless labor is the love and appreciation of those you’ve devoted your life too! Is that too much to ask?

Not at all.

Suppose that a friend in need asked you to help her with her garden. You rushed over with buckets and buckets of water… only to find that her planters had no dirt! She might say, “Oh, I so appreciate your willingness to help me, but I have water, it’s soil that I need!” So, suppose you went back home, then returned to her yard … with more water instead of soil! Of course, all plants need water! And suppose you did this every day, from then on, glad that you could help, by bringing her water! Would you be surprised if she got frustrated that you were determined to bring her water when what she needed was soil?

This is the core problem for the ISFJ. You want so much to help those you care about, that you don’t always make sure you are helping in the manner most needed. Then you find your help goes unappreciated, even though you are working so hard and sacrificing of yourself to help! The best thing you can do for your loved ones and your own health, is to find out what the real need is BEFORE you offer help!

Perhaps you are offering your children water when what they need is soil? If that’s been going on a while, they may have despaired of ever getting the soil they need, and are avoiding you to avoid getting more water!

Think about the following questions for a bit so you can answer as honestly as possible… have you made it safe and acceptable for your children to tell you what they do and do not need from you?

How can you find out what it is that your children need from you, and would show appreciation for receiving?

Are you willing to give your children what they need, even if it doesn’t fit your idea of what they should need?

PoWa

September 26, 2016
by PoWa
0 comments

Dear Julie,

Q: Many years ago, I had a deep and meaningful relationship that fell apart. The man still means so much to me, and I want the opportunity to discuss things with him. I must have called a thousand times to tell him I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done, but when I call he never seems to be home. I feel he’s completely cut me out of his life, and it breaks my heart. What can I do? ~ENFJ

A: As an ENFJ with a dominant Fe (social relatedness), it’s perfectly natural that you feel this way. Your relationships with other people are the most important thing in your life. You experience them on a deep emotional level. The happiness of others means everything to you, and you hate the idea that you may have messed up and caused someone else pain. For you, it is natural to talk things out, get all the messy, complicated emotions out there, so that everyone knows what happened and where they stand. It’s a cathartic release for you that clears the air and allows you to reconnect with the other person again.

The difficulty for you is that a good portion of the population doesn’t work this way because Fe is not their dominant (or even secondary) function. Because these others interact in different ways emotionally, your emotional reactions are often misunderstood. The best thing you can do for others, for your relationships, and for yourself, is learn about the other ways people react emotionally, how you come across to them, and how you can approach them in ways that meet their particular needs.

For example, those with Fe in the lower half of their function family, the Thinkers, do not often express their emotions outwardly in the way you do, and may tend to view such expression as over reaction. What is natural and cathartic for you, is seen as drama to them. Don’t take it personally! They are just wired differently than you.

You may call someone many times, simply because that’s an outward expression of how much you care. For a “T” individual though, this may seem excessively uncalled for, on the point of harassment! They will react by slamming down a protective wall to keep you out! For example, they may be sending your calls straight to spam, whether or not they are home! I know, it’s so frustrating to have your good intentions misunderstood! Fortunately, you have the dominant function most able to learn how to adapt to the strange behaviors of others, and love them anyway!

If you find yourself in a cold case like this, your strategy is to find other ways to release the majority of your emotional expression. A great way to do this is to find another Fe (ENFJ, ESFJ, INFJ, ISFJ) who thinks like you do, and let it all out with her. But there are other outlets for you, like pouring yourself into a craft or service project.

Once you’ve gotten the heat of your emotions out, you can approach your remote loved one — but only once! So plan ahead and make it good! It’s essential to keep your communication short and CALM. If you can’t find a way to do that, you aren’t done releasing — call another Fe friend!  🙂 If you are not sure if you are pulling it off, run your communication ideas past someone you trust who has T in their upper family function, to get their reaction.

Once you have delivered your short, calm communication to your estranged loved one… that’s it. You wait. It’s up to them if they want to respond! I know! It’s best if you’ve prepared distractions for yourself, to get the whole thing off your mind. Have a shopping trip planned with a friend, or a volunteer project that takes all your time, or find someone sick or lonely who really needs the love and attention you have to give.

The person receiving your message likely needs some time to digest it and decide if and how to react. They don’t tackle this sort of thing like you, by reacting as feels natural and assessing later. You help them best by honoring their own peculiar process. Keep in mind that if you have a history of emotional expression with them, they might choose not to return your communication. What you consider communication, they may consider explosions… and they may wish to keep their distance.

Consider this a life-learning lesson. When you meet someone else who reminds you of them, be ready to run your new game plan when your emotions peak. Beat it out with your Fe friends first, throw yourself into a cathartic release, then have a calm interaction with your beloved T. Now you’ve set the stage for open communications with your strange but adorable T friend!

 

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