How many of each one of us are there?
Again, as with Now and Next, we have two other family members. There’s Others, that part of us that is interested in helping other beings (especially people). Our Others wants to please other people, do what they expect of us, have a feeling of belonging with them, and fulfill our duties and obligations to them. In contrast, the other family member that can often be in conflict with Others is Oneself. Oneself is interested in taking care of our own interests, listening to and following our own heart, as well as expressing ourselves freely and authentically. Often, we find these two parts of ourselves in conflict. “I want to follow my heart, but I have to consider what others want and need.”
All in the family (of four)
Every human being has these four family members, often with conflicting agendas: Now, Next, Oneself, and Others. All our conflicts, all our problems are the results of disputes between two, three, or four of these protagonists. Quite a family feud! The intention of AskDwightHow is to help you turn this family feud into a family team with each member feeling love, respect, and affinity for each other member of your family.
Focusing on problems and conflicts that occur primarily between Oneself and Others, here are some examples:
Oneself wants to flirt with that handsome girl/guy (and maybe even go further).
Others wants their spouse/lover to feel safe and loved (and to not get upset with them).
Oneself wants to keep some boundaries their parents.
Others wants to see themselves as a responsible, loving daughter or son who helps provide for their parent's needs.
Oneself wants to protect his or her own private time away from the job.
Others wants to help the team out at work by agreeing to work overtime.
Oneself would just to prefer an easy life.
Others wants to be recognized for making a big contribution to the world.
Oneself doesn’t feel comfortable lending money to a friend.
Others thinks they ought to lend their friend money.
Oneself wants to take care of their own life.
Others feels a duty and obligation to fight for their country.
And conflicts go on and on
Many of us have major and persistent conflicts between Oneself and Others. Sometimes Others “wins” and Oneself just has to live with it. Other times Oneself “wins” and Others blames Oneself for being selfish. Then Oneself feels guilty. This ongoing conflict creates major unhappiness and damage in our lives (as well as the lives of people important to us).
Two pillars of integrity
Most fundamentally, when Now and Next cooperate, we have established the quintessential pillar for integrity. However, for full integrity, Oneself and Others must also be in alignment. This is the second pillar of integrity. When all four of these are integrated and at peace with each other, then we are living a life of full integrity, a life of joy, self-expression, accomplishment, great relationships, but most importantly, being our own best friend.
You may be thinking, “Mankind has fought an uphill battle against selfish, short-term thinking. You’re trying to reverse all the progress we’ve made.”
If you continue with me in our exploration together of the relationships between Now, Next, Oneself, and Others, you may often feel that I am trying to reverse or destroy whatever progress that's been made over thousands of years to empower Next and Others in their fight against Now and Oneself. My fundamental claim, however, is that you will not disempower Next and Others, but will help them get more of what they want and need by ending the fighting and establishing a cooperative status between all four of your family members. The possibility of this being successful may be very hard to believe, given the deep and long-term immersion that we’ve all had in the beliefs and attitudes that Next and Others are the good guys and Now and Oneself are the bad guys. Stick with me. I promise that you’ll be able to finally realize that all four of these are good guys and they need each other.