Are you suffering from unconscious shared agreements?
More than likely—-since most of us unknowingly embrace them.
This is unfortunate since unconscious shared agreements have the power to limit our ability to be successful, to grow, to evolve, to awaken our consciousness, and most importantly, more than any other force in human culture, they have the power keep us from realizing our dreams and becoming the person we were meant to become—–the person we want to become.
Shared agreements are the unspoken agreements or contracts in all relationships and communities. They are those social agreements that are never talked about but everyone knows they exist.
They are agreements designed to insure everyone’s desire for comfort, safety, avoidance of conflict, the need to fit in, be liked, belong, and have accomplishments affirmed so everyone can leave the group feeling good.
Essentially it is our unconscious agreement to be “nice”.
Now you are probably saying “so what’s wrong with being nice?” Whats wrong with giving or receiving a hi-five from time to time.
My answer is—–nothing is wrong with civilized behavior. In fact, it is actually healthy if most of our encounters with others help us feel safe and comfortable. Otherwise we would move into isolation and avoid social contact.
However, if our goal is to evolve and grow, our unconscious shared agreements might help us feel socially comfortable, but they will not support our desire to grow.
If we want to awaken our consciousness, and transform the negative power those “comfortable” unconscious shared agreements have to limit our growth, we will need to intentionally rewrite those unspoken social contracts and begin to create “evolutionary” relationships that affirm and support our life journey as we work to achieve our dreams—-relationships that help us create that which has not yet been created; to give birth to the dreams and goals that only “we” have the gifts and abilities to bring into the world.
In other words, we will need to create evolutionary communities, or evolutionary partnerships with at least “some” of the friends and people we are close to; evolutionary relationships that are openly and intentionally focused on growth and “becoming”——not safety and comfort.
Life is a team sport, not an individual enterprise. We can’t live alone in a cave and expect to grow and achieve happiness and success in life. We need honest feedback. We need to create friendships with people who themselves believe in and embrace personal growth——people that can offer encouragement and support us as we work to create our dreams and achieve our goals.
For example, when evolutionary friends see us shooting ourselves in the foot, they will gently call our attention to the behavior or attitude or belief that is in our way. They will hold us accountable to those dreams we have told them are important to us.
But a word of caution.
Honest feedback is not something our primitive ego likes or encourages. It much prefers the ego safety of “status quo”. Stated simply, it does not like change. It loves unconscious shared agreements that create safety and comfort.
The key to building a supportive evolutionary community, and evolutionary partnerships, is mutual invitation. We need to intentionally ask for, and be willing to offer, honest feedback. We all have psychological and behavioral blind spots—–those unhelpful behaviors and beliefs that are so close to us we are unable to “see” them objectively. We need to actively encourage our evolutionary friends to be real with us——to openly share with us what they are observing about us.
For example, my goal is to become a better writer. When I ask my “editor friends” for feedback on how I’m doing, my ego always wants a hi-five or “wow” that’s a great article! What I need to hear is “I think it’s a bit wordy”. “You’re using language that’s too technical”. “You need to give more examples to help readers better understand what you’re talking about”. The ego killer of course is the gentle smile and the words “I know you can do better. You might want to rewrite the article”. Argh!
Mutual invitation insures that the honest feedback we give, and receive, in our evolutionary community or evolutionary partnerships is experienced as supportive and encouraging, not critical. Unless we invite honest feedback, our ego will tend to hear criticism and shut down the very insights and information that could help us achieve our goals and dreams—–the very feedback we need to evolve and grow into the person we want to become.
If our desire or goal is to “become” the person we were born to “become”, there is no spiritual practice more powerful or more important than the creation of an evolutionary community and evolutionary partnerships that hold us accountable to our dreams.
So take the time to consciously and intentionally begin inviting evolutionary friends into your life——–you might be surprised at how many of them are already friends. Perhaps all you need are some new shared agreements.