There’s no such thing as healthy skepticism. There, I’ve said it.
If you’ve ever walked into one of those sliding glass storefront doors in a mall, thinking it was open only to learn that it wasn’t (which I have), you’ve similarly sampled what it’s like to meet up with the energy field of the healthy skeptic. Skeptics in general self-identify as such, and sometimes pop in the word healthy because even they know the term skeptic sounds harsh on its own. They hop down into their muddy debunkers so that as guardians of the ultimate truth they’re ready for anything a perceived enemy can fire at them.
Arms crossed in conversational battle so as to protect their hearts, they block the so-called opponent, sending them reeling off the glass wall of their energy field. While their opponent concusses, they press for unequivocal proof for a point they already poo poo-ed from the get-go.
Frankly, skepticism is exhausting. Period.
I remember an old B movie I once saw where a cornily-acted Mayan king claimed he would spare the beheading of a scantily-clad slave girl if she danced for him. She frantically did so, while he clapped his hands in masochistic glee, seeing her fear. Even though she put her all into it, the ketchup flowed and her head rolled anyway, if you know what I mean.
So if someone pronounces healthy skepticism, what they really mean is that they expect a circus side show of concrete proof in order to earn if not their agreement, at least their respect. While you explain a position unfamiliar to them, it’s the skeptics’ m.o. to passive-aggressively eat the energetic equivalent to grapes that they expect you to have peeled for them. The message: Get your dancing shoes spit and polished and ready for action. It’s going to be a long haul.
Which is why I recommend doing the opposite. Rather, being the opposite.
In the so-called healthy skeptic’s lair there’s nothing to be learned, mutually or otherwise, no open-hearted questioning given space to waft about as possibility. Instead, what feels distinctly adversarial while calling itself conversational, also makes null and void any hope for anything expansive to materialize for anyone.
In other words, dancing for the ‘king’ is a losing game for everyone.
Many people confuse skepticism with discernment. However energetically they’re as similar as black is to white. Discernment unfolds as an open posture, and its wisdom exudes from the intellect and the heart. There is no wall separating one person from the other, no crossed-arms, or slightly agitated toe-tapping. With discernment, there’s the opportunity to naturally filter what one chooses and what one doesn’t. There’s intuited trust, or intuited pass-taking. There is no you, and there is no them. There’s only us, and we don’t have to agree. When discernment is in play, there’s no winner or loser, no point hammered home on the head of the one who appears weakest on the day. There’s simply choice.
Someone told me the other day that if she were to drop her skepticism – that would be the height of gullibility. Yet when the intellect and heart are in play, it’s virtually impossible to be gullible. If one is consciously taken advantage of by another, the intellect and the heart also know that they’ll be ok in the end. Those two are strong teammates – solid as gold. Gullibility is a feeling coming from a place of weakness because there is no connection to home base; no team from which to derive team spirit. Only fear.
Notions of right or wrong thinking are completely antiquated anyway in what has always been a choice-centric world in which the finding of hard proof of any number of things, such as ideas, isn’t always possible. As more of us choose to open to the filtering process of making informed choices based on our experiences with things, rather than poorly informed opinions rendering us mouthy, yet immobile, then skeptics can perhaps retire the part of themselves bent on being the high alert fraud patrol.
The ‘healthy’ skeptic is much more than they allow themselves to be.
Skepticism is simply another riff on fear playing out in an endlessly deep pool of fear-filled possibilities. And skeptics, like us all, have had real experience with being burned, granted. Yet that seems to ramp up the fear of trusting because the disappointment of being duped one more time seems unbearable. The sense is that the world is essentially a dangerous place, filled with lies and liars poised to destroy the last vestiges of safety they feel responsible for guarding.
Yet with energy awareness, since we’re all vibrational beings attracting the exact concoction of events that match the inner fuel that really runs us, we know that the fear of being duped targets us for just that – being duped.
So any hard core skeptics out there (and if I’m honest I may have even called myself one, many moons ago), perhaps consider dropping the skeptic persona in favour of a shorter and much longer lived one, simply, healthy. Even better, open.
Lizzie Shanks is a Practitioner of the Kore Process, a musician, a writer, a culinary geek, a garden enthusiast, and other things, like a lover of humans – even skeptical ones.