Becoming Mutually Supportive: Living Oneness
(Following is an excerpt from Platform Four: Becoming Mutually Supportive. You can also read extended excerpts on the Living with Reality book page on Amazon.)
What Is Mutual Support?
Mutual support is the process of relying upon higher consciousness to guide our actions for the highest good of all, including us. It is the key to our own personal wellbeing, as well as a living experience of Oneness and community. As such, it creates in us feelings of real safety
and relaxation and is the essential ingredient in the co-creation of a new society.
We make an infinite number of choices every day, choices as to what to eat and drink, choices about our attitudes and behaviors at home and at work, choices about our health and our relationships. How do we typically make these choices?
Most frequently, we make them unconsciously. Even when we believe that we are choosing, we are more often than not being driven by our fears or programming, as we will understand even more clearly when we discuss Platform Five: Becoming Self-Aware and Platform Six: Becoming Integrated. In addition, in our relationships with one another, we are often driven by ego to protect ourselves at whatever cost.
Becoming Mutually Supportive is a radical departure from unconscious and ego-based decision-making. We look at every choice we make and understand it in the context of the highest good of all, which must include ourselves. Becoming Mutually Supportive can be practiced by ourselves or in a group, but it always includes the orientation of higher consciousness, which supports us to be neutral, aware and guided by an intelligence that transcends our limited perspective. When we practice mutual support as a community, everyone in it feels safe, because we all know that everyone else is looking after our highest good, as well as theirs. Wow!
How Do We Become Mutually Supportive?
Mutual support is a culture of wholeness, whereby the individual supports the highest good of the whole and the whole supports the highest good of the individual. Through supporting the whole, our own needs are met. We acknowledge that we are one and cannot be well at one another’s expense, and we also acknowledge that we need not sacrifice, because the good of the whole always includes ourselves. We determine the highest good of all by transcending our ego-based fears and connecting to our higher consciousness, individually and collectively.
How do we practice mutual support?
As children, most of us dreamed of a world where we all cared for one another and for the earth, where the lion sat down with the lamb, and we could all fulfill our potential. But over the years, most of us have lost that dream. Competition and scarcity, cruelty and unconsciousness have left us scrambling for our own needs. If we were not going to be left out or left behind, we had to fight for ourselves. Me me me. Or even us us us, but only the specific us: my family, friends, community and group.
And who can blame us? Whether it was fighting for our parents’ attention, for acceptance by other kids, for the favor of our teachers, for a job, for the “desirable” date, or the top place on the New York Times Bestseller’s list, we were in the “me” universe. As women, we had to protect ourselves from being raped, as men from being beaten up, as workers from being exploited, as employers from being ripped off, as old people from being warehoused, as disabled from being ignored. Where’s the space for us to care for one another? Who can even think about the whole of the universe, including other nations, species and galaxies? Who is worrying about the highest good, when we’re focused on survival?
To choose mutual support is to step into the unknown. We have to bewilling to give up the tried and true “me” universe for the unknown “we” universe. And yet is the experience totally unknown? Haven’t we already had glimpses?
Have you ever been in a group of people—with friends or family, with your spouse, lover, or child, in a 12-step meeting or with co-workers who were trying to get something done as a team—and in such an environment for a moment you felt safe and at-one? Have you ever had the experience of not having to “do” anything to be loved? Or where your contribution felt like enough? Do you remember the feeling of wellbeing, the momentary suspension of fear, anxiety, and aloneness? Do you remember the feeling that you are okay as you are, and so is everybody else? The feeling that you can, indeed, for that moment, relax into being just a member of the group, of the larger whole, because everyone supports everyone and thatincludes you? The feeling that you do not have to fight for a place, because you have a place? That despite our individual weaknesses, together, we are enough? Do you remember that feeling? Do you remember the hum?
That is the feeling of mutual support, and if you can remember that feeling, and if you were touched by it, then you have had a glimpse of what is possible, and you know that mutual support is worth working toward. And how do we work for it? By becoming aware of the option and choosing it. We might start checking in with just ourselves or with us and a friend or lover and consider issues that only affect the few of us. Then we might extend our understanding to our community, nation and finally the globe and beyond. When we get to the point of truly connecting to the Oneness, we can finally relax into the hum with the whole universe. So let’s get started.
Before going on to discuss how, let’s remind ourselves:
1. When have I felt mutual support?
2. When have I been conscious of offering it?
3. How did I feel?
4. Is it worth working toward?
5. Can I imagine having that feeling with the entire universe?
Practicing mutual support is not complicated, but it is difficult because:
• It requires us to challenge the habits of acting from fear and functioning from the consciousness of the “me” universe.
• It requires us to trust that if we practice mutual support, we will not be stranded as the only ones supporting the good of the whole; that there are others already doing the same; and that, together, we can and will influence the rest of the universe to join us.
• We have to be willing to let go of agendas and ask the universe to guide us as to what is for the highest good of all.
Can we fulfill these requirements? Yes.
How Do We Take the First Step?
The first step is to start differentiating from fear, ours and everyone else’s. Oh my God, can I actually relax into the belief that there is a highest good of all and it, by definition, must include me? That I don’t have to fight for myself?
To differentiate from our fear, we need human and divine support. We can always turn to God, The Source, our Higher Power, however we experience higher consciousness. And we can turn to those who practice mutual support themselves.
Despite my fear, I can alter my actions through conscious choice. Sometimes my fear is so great, I want to convince myself that my “me me” actions are right and reasonable. Yet in my heart, I feel sickened. I would like to behave otherwise, but I feel paralyzed. What allows me to alter my
actions? Acknowledging that I feel fear and at the same time calling on the collective that will support me to be mutually supportive. With support, I may not yet be able to stop feeling the fear, but I can choose not to let it dominate me. Then it’s not so hard.
There’s nothing like the love and support of others to reduce my fear to manageable proportions. When I differentiate from the fear and call on the universe to support other aspects of myself, I feel more relaxed, I can be more objective and think more straight. Then I realize that I am capable of inquiring as to what is for the highest good of all.
I may also need my hand held when I take the actions that support the whole. That’s a very appropriate use of support, as well. If I ask a friend, a mentor, or a counselor to help me take an action that stands in the face of my fear, asking for their help is actually practicing mutual support. Their support of me is supporting me to do what is for the highest good of all. It is, therefore, in their highest good as well.
Can I Practice Mutual Support in a World that Doesn’t?
Part of facing our fear requires that we believe that we can practice mutual support in a universe that is still hanging back. It is true that, ultimately, we need to live in a mutually supportive universe in order to be totally mutually supportive, but each one of us can and needs to take the first step. By so doing, we are impacting the whole world to move in that direction.
Mutual support, like other good things, is infectious. Let’s say I am going for that job interview with the attitude that what should happen is for the highest good of all. If I ask friends, family and others to support me in this attitude, some may shake their heads and think I’m crazy. But
all will be affected. They’ll hear my reasoning, and they will be moved by my vision of a world where everyone is in the right place. What’s more, I will be beaming and relaxed when I go to the interview. That will impact every other applicant in the room, helping lift their spirits as well. And it will bring relief and relaxation to the interviewer, who is very much on the spot, experiencing the pressure of making the right choice and aware of the pain she will cause the applicants who are rejected.
We spark change through our own transformation. Let’s say I acted compassionately toward an ex-boyfriend who cheated on me. How did my friends react? Did they think I was stupid or feel inspired? The part of them that is scared will be challenged, and the part of them that wants global change will be ignited. Regardless of their reactions, I know that I am part of the Oneness and thus realize that every time I choose to step beyond the ego paradigm, I am sending ripples through the universe.
Look at those around us who are already acting with this consciousness. Their examples strengthen us, and we are becoming a growing collective consciousness that supports us all.
Before going on with this discussion, let’s ask some questions about the ways I’ve dealt with my fears of Becoming Mutually Supportive.
1. Think of an example where I felt afraid.
2. How clear was my thinking?
3. Did I get support?
4. Did my thinking change?
5. What actions did I take?
6. Have I ever or frequently practiced mutual support?
7. Was I supported by others?
8. Did I impact them?
9. Who do I know who practices mutual support?
10. How do their actions and attitudes impact me?
Now let’s get into action.
Mutual Support in Action
Mutual support is a culture of wholeness, whereby the individual supports the highest good of the whole and the whole supports the highest good of the individual. We acknowledge that through supporting the highest good of all, we create a healthy whole that supports us all. We acknowledge that we are one and cannot be well at one another’s expense. And we also acknowledge that we need not sacrifice, because the good of the whole always includes the good of ourselves.
So, how do we Become Mutually Supportive? Get support to practice the following simple habit. This is a tool you can use in every moment of your life, when you are wondering whether you should eat salad for lunch, go to the movies with Fred, take the new job, or have a baby.
When confronted with a choice, a situation or a challenge, take a breath. Let go of your agenda for the outcome of any situation. Experience yourself becoming as neutral as possible. Feel yourself connecting to higher consciousness, and, if possible, and ask the question: Would it be for the highest good of all, including me, for me to do “x?”
If you feel particularly challenged, gather a group of people to support you in asking the question, people who would be willing to be neutral and let go of their agendas. Direct them to ask the question at the same time that you do. They could ask, “Would it be for the highest good of all, including me (in this case, the “me” refers to the friend who is supporting you and joining you in the question, because your highest good will be for their highest good as well), for [your name] to do “x?” So let’s say, for example, that you are trying to decide whether or not to join the armed forces. You ask, “Would it be for the highest good of all, including me, for me to join the armed forces?” Your friends would say, “Would it be for the highest good of all, including me, for Linda to join the armed forces?”
In the silence following the asking, an answer will come. If you don’t all get the same answer, or the answer seems unclear, discuss the fears and factors that could be impacting any of you that are present. Perhaps one of the women in the group is attracted to you and doesn’t want you to go. Perhaps you’re afraid that your mother thinks it unseemly for women to serve. Perhaps you really don’t believe in violence and are thinking of joining the armed forces for security purposes. The discussion can help bring out these issues, so that they can be at least acknowledged before asking the question.
When you are with a group of people who are trying to make a collective decision, whether it is where to go on vacation, to whether or not to start a new business or a war, you do the same practice.
Whenever we gather a group, what we are seeking is an intuitive consensus, which I will explain in a moment. But first, trust. Remember that intending to do that which is for the highest good of all changes everything, and asking the question opens us to new possibilities.
The Mutual Support Tool
The mutual support tool is powerful. It promotes all of us to be more in inquiry. It enables us to see undercurrents, such as lack of clarity and tension, which we have not acknowledged. It trains us to connect to higher consciousness. And ultimately it allows us to make decisions from a place of intuitive consensus. Let’s, therefore, review this tool and break it down step by step.
The Mutual Support Tool: Asking for That Which Is for the Highest Good of All
When confronted with the need to make a decision, from the simple to the most complex, whether the decision involves only one or all those present, do the following:
1. Calm your minds.
2. Let go of agendas and prejudices toward a certain outcome.
3. Feel yourselves lifting up for a higher consciousness.
4. Ask the question: Is it for the highest good of all, including me to do “x.”
5. If you are asking for guidance for one member of the group, as opposed to asking for guidance for the collective decisions, the other members ask: Is it for the highest good of all, including me, for [the person in question] to do “x.”
6. If you are unsure of the answer, or if members of the group get different answers, discuss the issues involved.
7. After the discussion, ask if it’s for the highest good of all to ask again in that moment.
8. If yes, re-ask the question. You may get a completely different answer this time.
9. If you’re not ready to ask again, have more discussion.
10. If you can’t come to an intuitive consensus, let go of the question for the moment and come back to it when you have more information or more objectivity.
The Spirit in Which We Ask the Question
Before, during, and after we ask the question, what will support the highest good of all is keeping ourselves open. For those with a spiritual orientation, that might look like prayer: God, help me do that which is for the highest good of all. Or, God, let what occurs be for the highest good of all. For those of us who do not relate to the concept of God, we can say the same prayer, but address it to the universe, or we can sit in quiet meditation and put out the intention that what we do and what transpires be for the highest good of all.
Whatever the form of the expression of our intention, the intending in itself will make a huge difference. Our intention to support the highest good automatically shifts our feeling about a situation, influences the questions we ask and the answers we hear. If we are intending to support ourselves in the narrowest sense, we will hear answers that lead us to take actions dominated by our egos. When we intend to support the highest good of all, we become neutral about our own narrowly-defined interests, and we are more likely to hear answers that truly promote the highest good.