The Privilege Trap

You are entitled to everything you are born with. Your naked skin and fragile body, a world of risk and possibility.


You deserve anything that you are able to create for yourself from these resources, and from any other resources that become available to you.


There is no person on earth exempt from carving out a space for their own authenticity. There is no space that is crafted for any one person's exact authentic expression.


This leaves a lot of us feeling lonely, misunderstood, and resentful. All of these feelings are born of the dissonance between what we are entitled to and what we deserve, and the completely false idea that others are somehow seamlessly belonging, experiencing a world receptive to their authenticity, able to easily live the truth of who they are.


There is no place in the world for a person of integrity. Every person who wishes to live in integrity has to carve out and claim and occupy the space for themselves to do so. It is always challenging, it always has risks, there will be harm (destruction) and help (creation) on every path. It WILL hurt. It WILL challenge you.


The world was not built for you. The world was not built "for" anyone. And the people who *seem* to be the people the world was built for suffer with this fact more than those who are seemingly marginalized by the world.


Those who are marginalized KNOW from day one that they will have to carve out their space in the world, they know the truth of their lack of entitlement and they grow up always having to claim their deserving. Their marginalization is the central and obvious challenge to their experience of belonging. They go in with solid information about what's required and exactly how (un)fair it will be. As they carve out their space of belonging, the world recognizes and honors the come-up, and their belonging increases.


Those who are "privileged" can be deluded about their integrity by their lack of lack. They could go an entire lifetime well-provided-for and completely out of touch with their own truth. They need to both overcome this delusion (no small task) and ALSO discover and claim their integrity. Many of them do not overcome the delusion and suffer great dissonance, thinking all their lives that they "should" be at peace in all of this "privilege" and they must be fundamentally flawed because they are not.


Those who do carve out and claim their deserving from a state of privilege are often misunderstood or villainized by others for doing so, which is their central challenge of belonging. This challenge is murkier and harder to identify, and it only gets worse as they claim more of their deserving. The world projects that they've had an easier time living their authentic truth and they're met with resentment or intentional obstruction.


None of us can know how difficult someone else's path is, or whether they are in fact living their authentic truth. Believing there is more misery in material poverty than existential poverty is a signal you've never experienced either. None of us can know the pressures that someone else feels to maintain the conditions of their life, even if those conditions are working against their highest truth. None of us can know for sure who, in their secret heart, is free and who is trapped.


Privilege is the great red herring of this day, perhaps of all human history--the irresistible human impulse to judge the book by its cover. Anyone who falls for it is limiting the possibilities of connection and belonging in their life.


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