I am all astir. Riled up. In the midst of an inner uprising.
I feel furious and outraged. I was fantasising about sending out various letters to various people whose actions have raised my ire and then thankfully I said, “Hang on a minute. If I’m this affected it means something about this is mine. Let me pause before I make it about the outside and first look at what is happening inside.”
Isn’t it amazing how the outside constantly reflects our inside to us?
There were two (enraging) outside situations that made me aware of my inner situation. Did I mention they were really upsetting?
So firstly a group I love and have been involved in for two years was criticised for the way it has been run. Now I am always open to constructive feedback – even things that are difficult to hear and raise my defences. It is true that I may fight it off initially but I will always come around to looking at myself honestly in the end. If the intention of the comment is to help me see something of which I am unaware, then I want to know it – especially if it is causing someone hurt. But when the feedback comes with someone else’s fear and anger – in other words judgement – then it is much more difficult to sift out the good stuff from the junk.
When we tell someone they are doing it ‘wrong’ in some way we better be damn sure we have their best interests at heart and that we have strained our own insecurities from the mix before we feed it to them. This, sadly, did not happen in our case. We were called in and told in no uncertain terms that our deep learning and growth process of the past two years was not good enough according to someone else’s version of How Things Should Be.
Did I mention this was really upsetting?
It’s quite something to judge another person’s healing and growth process. I suppose it might reflect fear and a real lack of self-compassion for one’s own growth and healing process that is then projected onto others… Ok deep breath. Stop analysing your mirrors and turn inwards.
The second thing that got me going was someone saying something which reflected the depths of their judgement of another group of people. There was no ill-intent or malice in their words but I felt righteous anger and judged them for their judgement. I fantasised about writing them a letter to tell them how ‘wrong’ it is for them to see things that way.
Hello? Pot? Kettle?
So in the midst of fantasising about writing letters of indignant rage to set all these people straight and tell them how it should actually go (according to me), I realised I was all riled up and asked myself, “What is this about?”
It is about judgement. I am angry at the unjust judgement of people for being where they are and not somewhere else. I am angry that people are being judged for doing something one way and not another ‘better’ way.
So I had to ask myself why I am SO upset about it. “Do I unjustly judge myself and shame myself for being who and where I am instead of something I think would be better?”
Well THAT’S a no-brainer!
So the good news is that apparently I have had enough of that sort of treatment from myself. I know this because when I see it in others I want to scream at them how wrong it is to do that.
But let me not judge myself for feeling this way or for being who and where I am.
No-one, not even I, get to judge or shame myself for how I do my growth and healing process. People heal and grow at their own rate and in their own style. Insight and feedback from others who can see our blind spots is immeasurably helpful – but shaming is not.
We are where we are and we are who we are and that is just fine. It is perfect for us. It doesn’t get to be judged by anyone. If they are judging it is about them, not about you. If I judge myself for something it simply reflects I have fear in the area I’m judging, not that I am not ok as me.
Nobody learns through fear and shame. If you want to help someone, love them for who and where they are – and THEN help and support them to see what they need to see.
This applies to yourself and your children and everyone in the world.
Repeat after me, “I am fine just as I am.”
Oh PLEASE pass this on. That way at least I have sent this message out in some helpful way instead of my original Angry Letter Idea. So many of us need to hear this.