This weeks topic is a hard one. We all find it hard to look at the things about ourselves that are well…hmmmm, less than flattering. We like to focus on how far we have come, the ways we have grown, our progress and positive attributes. Its a good thing, for the most part, to view ourselves through this lens. It gives us the motivation to keep going. It helps us feel confident and self assured. This weeks topic is however about an aspect of the opposite. Generally I am not a person that likes to look at the negative, to dwell on what is possibly detrimental. However there are times that it is an important practice for our overall growth and evolution as souls.
Let me begin by saying that what I have noticed over the past few weeks equally applies to myself. I believe it to be a part of the human condition, something ingrained in each of us. I also believe it to be an aspect that we are here to try to overcome in order to achieve a deeper state of enlightenment. The motivation that leads to this behavior is based on a need and deep desire we have to help one another through the process of life.
The past few weeks there has been a theme that has emerged as I have watched the way people make judgments about eachother. I find it curious because if you ask yourself the question ” Am I judgmental?” I would bet 99% of us would say ” No I try not to judge”. Yet 100% of us make judgments conscious or unconscious at some points. I have been watching this theme unfold in myself and in those around me for the past few weeks. I knew I would be led to write about it but was a bit afraid. This is a sensitive topic for many people including myself. When people point out ways I am judgmental I become fiercely defensive. I knew it was important to write about this anyway as on my way to work Thursday I pulled up behind a car with a bumper sticker that read “caution, unsocialized homeschooler on board”. I had to laugh because there it was again. An attempt to confront all the judgments people have about this drivers personal choice. It made me feel empowered for the driver of that car. Empowered to say something about the manner in which we think we know what is best for those around us.
In my own life I have made and continue to make choices that people do not agree with. I have family members that are making choices that I may not understand. I have been asked to intervene in those situations. In the past I would have jumped right in and asserted what I and others think is best. Manipulating to get things to go the way I think they should for the people making those “bad” decisions. However, I have come to a place where I feel it necessary to take a different course of action. I am being led to trust the people that I love and to trust their decisions- even when I do not agree with them, even when it is not what I would do. It’s not that I sit back and watch the people I love cause massive “train wrecks” in their lives. I voice my concerns, point out where those concerns come from, try to illicit deeper personal thought about the choices and then listen and let go. At least that is what I have decided to try and am working on doing, as always its a work in progress.
We have this idea that we know what is best. But we forget that we view everything through our own perspective, through our own experiences and emotions. We can never experience the world in the same manner as anyone else. We are truly unique. Due to that what is “right” for us is not always what is “right” for anyone else. That is part of the beauty of life. We each have a unique path. We can learn from eachother, we can get guidance and see a general template of how to live through others. But in the end our journeys are unique. Many times it is our “mistakes” that are the very thing that lead us to where we needed to be. Could you imagine a world without those opportunities?
To make a judgment like ” home schooled children are unsocialized” speaks one persons experience. I work in a school and have to say there are children within the public schools that could easily be called “unsocialized” . I have known home schooled children that where very socially adept. Why is it we think we get to have an opinion about what other people do? Why do we get to say blanket statements about what is right and wrong? How can we know these supposed “truths” that our statements of rightness and wrongness are based on? The truth is these statements are based on our persceptions of our own lives and can never be fully applied to anyone else, we can not know what is “best” for others.
This weeks message is a call to watch the ways we impose our own will and judgments on to others. The ways we go beyond supportive care and questioning and pass into the realm of judgment. It is responsible to help our friends and family, to question their actions. To help them think deeply and to be sure of themselves and their decisions. It is domineering to tell those friends and family what they should or should not do. We are each on our own unique journey and no one can truly know what is “right” or “wrong” action for another.
Over the next few weeks please join me in watching the ways we cross the line from supportive questioning into telling people what to do by imposing our own will and judgment. Just notice the times you cross that line. If you are led to change the behavior then try to do so, if not just continue to notice it. In my work I often tell clients that noticing behavior patterns is the biggest step in making changes to them. Once we notice behaviors and the impact they have on our lives we then are able to more easily shift those behavior if they are not working for us. So for now notice and also think about how it feels to be on the otherside of that judgment. Try to remember what it feels like to have someone tell you that what you feel is “right” for you is actually “wrong”. Then think about the difference of having a friend supportivly question you or help lead you to think deeply about your choices. Which one feels better? Which one is more helpful? In the end we are all on individual journeys as we collectively support eachother. That is how we all grow the most, through support.
Until next time
With Love and light,