Practice 3: Allow No More Tokenism.
There are some ways I have learned to tell if I my self-tokenizing is problematic. They include:
- Placing one part of my life ahead of all others at the expense of what matters most to me in that moment. That means if I’m tired, I go to sleep instead of sitting up reading a great book until all hours.
- Repeating patterns of sacrificing my engagement in things that matter to me in order to constantly do things that don’t matter to me. If I am a painter and spend my career days as a banker, even though money and status don’t matter to me personally, then I need to consider whether I’m self-tokenizing money and “success” over personal engagement, and…
- Rationalizing false choices in my life by thinking, “Its either part of the solution or part of the problem.” Nothing in personal engagement is this way, absolutely nothing. The only time life is dichotomous like this is when I see it that way, as black and white, up or down, in or out. The reality of personal engagement is that we can form, sustain, and end lasting connections to anything in our lives. Everything that exists within us has purpose, and whether we see it or not is irrelevant.
If you become aware that you’re self-tokenizing in ways that you don’t want to, changing this behavior is as simple as stopping it. Its worth keeping in mind that society teaches and reinforces, constantly, the imbalanced perspectives of self-tokenism. We’re trained to under-ultilize our full faculties, to see things as black and white, and to place self-value at the short end of the stick. So we give ourselves away and sacrifice our personal health, our sleep, our energy, and our sanity. In the meanwhile, our families get shorted, our friendships get stretched, and our homes get dirty. In order to recuperate from this falseness, we snap back like a rubber band, drawing deep within ourselves in order to re-secure the things that are most important to us. Subconsciously, we might get sick or develop long-term health problems in order to find rest that’s been elusive to us. We get in fights with partners and children in order to have some time alone to deal with our own problems. A car accident forces us to walk or ask others for rides so we can get physically fit or learn to rely on others again. All these situations in our lives are suspended in infinite perfection, each an opportunity to learn from the rest. They also encourage self-tokenism by imbalancing our personal engagement, community engagement, social engagement, and universal engagement, all of which are distinct and unique from one another. Because of the interdependent nature of life, they’re all reliant on each other too, so when we self-tokenize, we perpetuate social tokenism, too.
Check out the first two posts and catch up with the rest of the posts in this series on Best Practices in Engagement, and subscribe to this blog to learn more!