If I’m in judgement it means my understanding is deficient.
– Charles Eisenstein
I sometimes find myself reading the comments made on some Facebook posts, especially posts which are likely to be somewhat controversial. What I read rarely surprises me and nearly always disappoints me. As a practiced observer of myself – my choices, behaviors and comments – I review those comments almost as a “litmus test” of sorts. I feel as if I am looking for hope…signs that we are beginning to embrace our collective humanity rather than our divisive humanness. And…it appears that I will be looking for a while.
In the meantime, I am reviewing my own story…about myself.
Whether we are fully conscious of it or not, we all have a story that we tell ourselves about who we are and who we are not. Our stories are as varied as the multitudes on the planet today. Our stories are heavily influenced by what we experience, hear, read, see and how we interpret and assimilate all that in relation to ourselves. All of this is happening unconsciously…all of the time. What is missing in this recipe? Our consciousness and our hearts.
As we awaken to who we really are on this plane of existence, do we know how we feel about ourselves? All of our filters – known and unknown are projected through our thoughts, comments and actions toward the collective…the individuals, organizations and situations that we decide we like and accept or don’t like and reject, after running them through the filters of OUR stories about ourselves.
Our stories are the filters through which we experience our life.
When the world around us changes, we are compelled to look at ourselves. What do we believe…about everything?
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
– Carl Jung
It seems that what we are not seeing and that these situations are calling us to, is to look deeply within ourselves at our hurt places, our deep wounds. These are the places where we can find ourselves…our true hearts, our peace, our freedom. Until or unless we look inside we will project our deepest wounds – as anger – in our comments, conversations, reactions…all as judgments. Our stories tell us we are justified in acting upon these unconscious wounds AND we do so without any regard for the impact on anyone, as we momentarily discharge the “emotional charge” brought forth with whatever the trigger was – a comment, picture or situation, for example.
In our compulsion to be busy, we make no time for ourselves. We make no time for ourselves to be quiet, to be still, so we have the opportunity to hear that “still small voice” which can guide us to the places within which need to be healed. Awakening to ourselves is what we are here to do, so that we can live a peaceful, meaningful, beautiful and loving life.
Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A few years ago, I recall being triggered by something I observed from afar…on social media. Having discussed it with a friend early in the day, I noticed things were beginning to shift. All day, I felt something rising within that I could not describe, didn’t understand and had no idea what to do with the energy that these feelings were creating. I thought of going outside to run…and I am NOT a runner. I thought of consuming a bottle of wine…to drown them and make it all go away. After spending a few moments in deep breathing, just to get centered and get a hold of myself, I decided that my default was my best option…write. The frenetic energy was far too much for me to attempt to write by hand, for it wouldn’t have been legible when completed…or when I had exhausted the expression of the energy. Somehow, I knew that it’s legibility was important for me to truly reflect on what this was all about. So I sat down at my computer. I typed three pages, non-stop, single spaced, before I stopped. The process of expressing it all didn’t take too long, even though it felt like an eternity of thoughts, feelings and experiences that I relived as I typed.
I wish the story ended there…the writing was the first step in uncovering what lay even more deeply beneath the initial expression of the energy in the writing.
Later that evening, while enjoying the cooler temperatures under the stars, the images which I conjured in reaction to this deep pain and anger were shocking – even to me. I reached out to a friend – one whom I trusted enough to listen to me share, without judgment, what I was feeling. Through my tears, I told the story of the day, and what I came to know as I reached the end of the story – in which I shared the image – was that I met a part of myself that I didn’t know was inside, or was even possible for me to feel…my rage. Yes, there as another person from my past who was the object of that rage. Years passed and I moved on and thought that having all of those experiences behind me was enough. Well, apparently it wasn’t. And I had no idea that this unfelt, unexpressed anger had festered so deeply and so profoundly.
I thought that being a good person, caring for others, in the intervening years was enough. I didn’t know that my deeply buried anger popped out in some comments, judgments unrelated, and in choices made. Others close to me told me soon after that my anger was apparent at times, and suspected it had something to do with that period in my life.
Most importantly, and this is one of the best outcomes of the experience…I realized that I, and I alone, was responsible for not speaking up or taking any action in during that period of time in my life. Owing to some old, outdated beliefs that I had been exposed to for most of my life to that point, I remained silent, believing that this was my “lot in life” and I had best “just get over myself”. Sound familiar?
Today, I know how important it is that we question everything. Questioning our beliefs – what we believe about anything, why we believe what we do about anything – is one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves. It is the greatest contributor to our healing…our awakening…and our authentic presence to others. When we become aware of our judgments, we become aware of our stories…and we change our stories to reflect the healing and ongoing journey to our wholeness…our holiness (connection to that which created us).
There is a lot more in this story about vulnerability, worthiness, and courage, all of which were the amazing and beautiful after-effects of facing this pain and expressing it.
The invitation is always there. It is your heart calling for freedom. It is the child within you crying out to be seen, heard and loved…by YOU.
Let your judgments point you to what is unseen, unheard and unfelt. Come to know the story you have created and are keeping alive and then find the parts of it that want to be changed to support your wholeness, your freedom, and your happiness.
Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?” If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.
– Brene Brown
Remain fenced in…or choose the freedom of an open heart. We hold the keys to the box we have kept our hearts in.
As the sun rises each day, allow it to connect to the light within you. When the moon sets each evening, allow her light to comfort and hold you as you enter the vulnerable space of sleep and connection to the heart within…where love, peace and freedom resides.