Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adolescent Anarchy and Authority

We are all adolescents until we understand that our salvation is in being fully functioning humans, each with a Divine Spark. We set up situations in our lives to test the boundaries of those who say they care for us, attempting to have them reject us so that we can feel in control. We will often escalate our destructive and subversive behaviors in an effort to sever the loving relationship, rather than continue in the pain of our own vulnerability. The community turning away from our errant actions is not always the same as rejecting us as people. The person seeking others' answers is not the same as rejection of the community.

Sometimes, the only way to grow is to walk away. In healthy communities, this is seen as a way to obtain new strengths to bring back to the fold. In unhealthy communities, this is seen as a rejection of the whole, and the community will sever the relationship with us. Where there is mutual vulnerability, trust, and respect, there is hope for healing and wholeness.

Whether we like it or not, we are all dependent on others for different parts of ourselves to reach their fullness. In the old models of relationships, we were taught that the authority figures have no need for the strengths of those over whom they have authority. We were also taught that the oldest child is the heir to whom all the family strengths and responsibilities are passed, and that the job of the oldest is to equitably apportion the benefits of the family. This left all in the community emotionally and relationally crippled.

All real authority is actually derived from the willingness of the governed to accept leadership, and the leadership's willingness and ability to teach by example and support of the learning process. Anarchy ensues when authority is divided against itself, which causes collapse of community. The lack of growth when only one type of strength is honored causes stagnation, which is a form of slow death.

In all of creation, there is a strength that can only come from hybridization. The strength of the community is in the sum of its parts. In families, as in all communities, the strengths and weaknesses of all must be recognized and honored. Until we are all willing to be strong, vulnerable, and fair, alternating absolute authority and anarchy seems to be the scene that plays out since Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve walked away from a partnership with Divinity. Why are we still doing the same? What part of being made in the image and likeness of The Divine are we still not understanding?

How sad it is when absolute authority, destruction, and subversion are the only individual strengths a society is willing to recognize or exercise!

1 comment:

  1. As imperfect as I am I will offer an answer to your question - "What part of the divine are we still not understanding?" We do not understand how much God loves us! I think we are afraid of his discipline, therefore we turn our backs to hide from his presence. If we understood how much He loves us we would rush into his loving and forgiving arms and love Him instead of all the devious behaviours we follow.