Degradation comes from societal programming and unconsciously looking for feelings outside of ourselves. It comes from the unwillingness to master said emotions and match them with mental safety. Degradation can transpire as a lack of self-control or seeking illusive validation then getting caught in that destructive cycle.
Those who fall into the societal degradation related to stereotypes, aka boxes which they may tend to fit into are not accepting themselves, but rather settling into mediocrity and giving away their power. Often you see the flip side of those who support the degradation are just as responsible.
Degradation is us settling into stereotypes imposed upon us, and we perpetuate them based on whatever lack we feel we embody, so we rely on ultimately menial aspects of ourselves. It is not a representation of our truth. The distractions from ourselves with aide from the wounded ego is our society's greatest downfall.
How often have you done something to earn some sort of gratification because you needed to escape a mess you already created for yourself? People tend to make choices that are conducive to lowering their vibrations and choose to stay in that state as it seems 'easier.' They feel like that is all there is and enable one another to do the same. When I have been out of alignment with my integrity, I have felt degraded and my surroundings were representative of that. This is when I lacked confidence in the magical parts of me that make me different. It was when I felt embarrassed of myself in some regard that I got caught in a shame cycle.
Shame is reflected differently for everyone, but it tends to be the ignition of your bad choices. I don't harbor anything particularly salacious, but it was the times I was privy to or adjacent to these experiences that at the time I reserved judgment, felt very off to me energetically and I began to feel degraded. I could feel others in these experiences as well, how people get caught in that energy, and make it their norm. With the understanding of empathy and how we treat each other's emotions as an imposition or a nuisance, I repressed a lot of those yucky feelings in me and can feel from others the times they degraded themselves for temporary satisfaction. All were coping mechanisms and these subconsciously driven aspects were designed to keep us stuck.
This underlying theme of shame in our society, woven throughout the stories we tell comes out as degrading acts of varying degrees toward self and others. Anytime you feel unwell with a choice you have made, that is shame leading to acts of degradation and it builds up inside you. Pretty soon your discernment is out the window because your self-esteem is so low and you are believing that this is all you deserve. It's a crazy mind game we play with ourselves.
So much of what we perceive as 'fun' has some sort of degradation associated with it. No, I'm not a stealer of joy, as I have a glass of wine while writing this. I'm just pointing out the times where I would go do something to 'fit in' somehow and I ended up being bored, disappointed, depressed or all of the above leading to an emptiness usually during, after, and definitely the next morning if I was hungover. Most things I am referring to are PG. Though I have stories that created some traumas in me and stirred up anxieties that changed my course of action and had a negative ripple effect. All of the times where I have felt lesser than and I'm a very confident person, but I have had my pieces of kryptonite that to me looking back without exaggeration, felt degrading. To appease 'for the greater good,' you have to look at who your greater good is and how they treat themselves and others.
When you wouldn't do what someone else is choosing to do on your own or you feel like you have 'settled' into that experience, without judgment to the choices of others, why are you there? Why don't you have that confidence within yourself to support someone from a distance and/or exit that interaction? What are you missing out on and why are you supporting egoic illusions? The choices of others as much as they may hurt you at times are their choices and all you can do is lead through inspiration. It can be incredibly difficult based on your level of care, but it is that constant gentle reminder that if you are on the side I am referring to, it's not your path to walk, and it's sexy to lead in all that integrity and compassion you have oozing out of your pores.
As an empath and a highly sensitive person, having had some harsh experiences that felt like a soul shock, I pretended so often like things were not hurtful so other people wouldn't feel bad. But I think, people interact based on their self-esteem, and my being 'too nice' at times gave me lenience to where I felt uncomfortable and I can now analyze the subconscious of others to see the reasoning behind their actions. It's fascinating in retrospect, but also, I wish of course I had seen things sooner. I think those who act aloof hold the most calculations but don't want to admit it because they move in selfish motives to mask their pain. So their acts of degradation continue and it permeates outward.
With all this speculation, I of course mean no harm but rather ask you to explore where you feel lesser than and see how you may be degrading your wellbeing. It can be anywhere on the spectrum, we all have different thresholds. Mine is low, but I have done things and been privy to things to be there for others and I imposed pain upon myself as a result. That was unfair to me, but each experience held a lesson.
See we all want to be loved but miss the crucial point that we have to love ourselves first and not waiver even in our quest to support others. It seems like people often make choices based on illusions that put a stronghold on us and keep us beneath the level of our worth. It is how we become stunted in our growth and stay in negative cycles, failing to take the time to recognize our own patterns and where they are rooted from. Understanding the basic outlines of karma, it is an infinite loop, output crap, receive crap. I can't tell you how many times something bad has happened and I have heard "I don't know" from the person. You know, and things will come back around to you in another form until you break the monotonous loop of degradation followed by blame so that you don't feel your shame.
This great divide arises from the erosion we feel inside and fail to work upon, so we resort to degrading acts as though that is all we have left to give to the world. Most people come together because they seek comfort and validation. So what is the atmosphere you are co-creating and are you accepting the negativity as a norm? When you stop accepting that, you separate yourself from the ties that bind and make you feel that griminess inside. For me, as I have gone through my self-work, when I feel that grossness bubble up, I have to take the time to sit in it, reflect why I was there and what the motives were of all involved. What are the correlations held with related places and things? And why I might think something is gross whereas another person may not engage in it being a problem? I can equate some major global issues to things at this point as it's all connected, which gives my sensitivity a jolt, and it's like somewhere, deep down, I knew something was wrong on a level the untrained eye cannot see.
Without going down the rabbit hole today, here's an exercise. Think of a major global issue. Sex Trafficking, Gun Violence, Factory Farming. Create a depressing list and reflect on how you may somehow be able to link your current choices to showing some support to these problems. Then search for more information on how you can be apart of the active change in some menial way. Look to where you feel lack and find some way to help the real greater good on a grander scale. Education and discussion lead to advocacy, and you may just feel a little more purposeful as you break your cycle of shame.
We all need to start feeling and healing, with love from this very clean hippie.