Hierarchy Is Not Natural – Part 3

After Part 2 and Part 1, we take a deeper look at our fears … the reason for our obsession with control.

Protection Is Fear

In our quest for safety, we often turn to protection. But protection, driven by fear, cannot truly create safety. This concept is rooted in Marston’s theories: when we try to control the world (externalize our energy), it reflects our inner state of insecurity.

“If I can’t control my inside, I want to control my outside.”

Fear Is Not Safe

Think about it: when we build walls of rules around ourselves, it’s not because we feel safe, but because we’re afraid. This overprotection communicates a lack of trust in the world and life itself. We live in a constant state of alertness, always expecting the worst. Our brains are stuck in a loop of fear.

This approach is like what the Jewish community faced historically: layer upon layer of rules and restrictions, not out of confidence, but out of fear. The message is clear: “I can’t trust the world, so I must protect myself at all costs.”

Fear Creates The Mindset Of Hostility

Overprotection sends a powerful signal: “I believe the world is a dangerous place, and I can’t handle it.” This constant state of alarm means we’re always on edge, our brains expecting danger around every corner. We miss out on the richness and unpredictability of life because we’re too busy trying to control it.

What if, instead, we allowed the world its complexity and unpredictability (which includes unfairness) and trusted that we could stand by each other when needed? This creates a true environment of safety.

Safety Is About Strength Not Avoidance

Control in the external world reflects our inner insecurity. As Viktor Frankl said, between stimulus and response lies our freedom. Our inner security translates to freedom in the external world.

To truly lead and create a safe environment, we must shift from a mindset of protection to one of trust and adaptability. This means embracing the unpredictability of life, knowing that we can rely on each other in times of need. It requires courage, but it’s the only way to move from a state of fear to one of genuine safety.

When we focus on controlling our environment, we’re really trying to compensate for our inner insecurity. But when we find security within ourselves, we can navigate the world with freedom and confidence. This shift from protection to trust is not just about feeling safer—it’s about creating an environment where everyone can thrive.

In conclusion, protection driven by fear is a temporary fix at best. True safety comes from within, from building trust, embracing life’s uncertainties, and supporting each other through it all. Let’s move away from the illusion of control and towards a reality of trust and genuine safety.

See for deeper thoughts: WhitePaper on Emotional Regulation


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