26. Apr 2023
The humanism bypass: Balancing belief in the potential of others with self-care and boundaries
The quote from Jeff Brown illustrates the danger of idealising people and ignoring their weaknesses. This can be self-defeating and stems from our desire to see the best in others or project our self-concept onto them. It highlights the importance of balancing our belief in people's potential with a deep respect for our own well-being and setting healthy boundaries.
The powerful quote below by Jeff Brown speaks to the widespread tendency to idealise people we care about and overlook their weaknesses and imperfections. This pattern can be self-destructive and often stems from our desire to see the best in others or to project our own self-concept onto them.
I would add that the more wounded we were/are in our relationships with our parents, the more likely we are to project our own desires onto others and have unrealistic expectations of relationships that are not healthy for us.
This is a common dynamic that can keep us stuck in patterns that no longer serve us and can even harm us in the long run.
However, it also highlights the importance of balancing our belief in the possibilities of all people with deep regard for our own well-being. To do this, we need to set clear boundaries for ourselves.
I want to emphasise the importance of recognising our patterns and projections, being mindful of them and taking responsibility for our own wellbeing. By acknowledging our wounds and setting healthy boundaries, we can approach relationships with compassion and care while still putting our own needs first. Only this can lead to more fulfilling and mutually supportive relationships.
"The humanism bypass. I did it for years. I saw glimpses
of someone’s potential, their beautiful soul, their loving heart, and told
myself that this was who they truly were, ignoring all the rest. But the rest
was what destroyed. The rest is where they lived most of the time. The rest was
no illusion- it was them, too. This self-destructive pattern was birthed in two
places: (1) my deep desire to see the best in my difficult parents. Not for
them, but for me. I needed to believe that there was something kind and caring
living inside of them; (2) a misplaced projection from my own self-concept
work. I held the belief in my own potential, as a way of overcoming the shame I
carried. But I made the mistake of assuming that everyone else was just as
eager to find their light. Of course we all have glowing potential. At the
core, we are all magnificent beings with profound capacities. But how many of
us fully actualize it? At this stage of human development, not so many. The
trick is to hold the space for two things at once- a deep belief in everyone’s
possibilities, and a deep regard for your own well-being. It’s okay to pray for
everyone’s liberation without joining them in prison. Pray from outside the
prison walls, while taking exquisite care of yourself. It's okay- you can't do
the work for them anyway. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries… don’t leave home