Over the last few days, impeachment proceedings and worries of where they may lead us have taken center stage. Community stress, especially socio-political stress, is on the upswing. It’s so easy to take sides.
Stress wiring urges us to quickly bond with those whose paths are similar to our own. We jump to the offense/defense to protect joint needs or beliefs and block information or beliefs that may get in the way. And, especially in today’s circumstances, it leads to escalating the pointless back and forth that is cogjam.
The good news: The cogjam effect has been outed. We can see it, hear it, taste it when it rears its head because we can recognize it for what it is. We can choose a different path, rather than let it control us. We can let the logical brain step in and give the gut brain a breather. We can be emotionally healthy, in spite of whatever dysfunction surrounds us.
How is this accomplished?
The Cogjam Effect – and the Path to Healing Divisive Community and Fractured Science offers suggestions. For impeachment back and forth, one possibility looks like this:
Here we have a human being.
Here is another.
Here’s’s a whole roomful of human beings . . .
. . . and here are a few more.
All of them are currently taking potshots, based on how their jobs fit in with this drama. But in truth, these are simply individual human beings doing the best they know how. Each of them has dreams and fears, goals and beliefs, families and friends, and personal gifts and quirks, just like the rest of us. And, as common humanity, we are actually one with them.
- To let compassion rather than reactivity rule, we must first strive to understand them.
- Only by listening and empathizing with their individual humanity and concerns do we truly understand where they are at.
- Empathic understanding leads to caring compassion, which cannot coincide with pointless reactive hostility.
- When we recognize that we are all one as common humanity, side-taking becomes irrelevant.
And adopting this mindset, rather than the cogjam mindset, delivers us inner peace.