This week a wise friend shared her experience of listening to an inspirational teacher advising to respond to others as she would like to be treated in that situation. The teacher sparked something in her, and she’d been practicing that energy with one of her beloved people. I’ve watched her transform her own responses in this relationship over the last month or so, and have been struck by the softening in her – not just with this beloved person, but with herself.
This inspirational teacher is a modern day coach, transmitting his message via YouTube. However, he could be a historical figure from any of the world’s major religions. Jeffrey Moses, in his book Oneness: Great Principles Shared By All Religions, points out examples of this message in so many world religions:
Hinduism Christianity Sikhism
Confucianism Judaism Jainism
Buddhism Islam Taoism
(Quotes from http://www.onenessonline.com/)
I believe that, generally, we do treat others the way we treat ourselves, and sometimes that’s the problem. We can treat ourselves like crap – and when someone mirrors back to us a part of ourselves we’re unkind to, we’re often unkind to the mirror too.
This week, I’m inviting you to pick someone who you have been judging lately. I’m going to (safely) assume you’re a socially nice, kind person and are not screaming at people you judge on any kind of regular basis. But I’m also (safely) assuming you are human and doing at least a little of this internally.
Got the person? Great. Now list out the top five things about them that are so aggravating.
Take a look at this list, and ask yourself if you see any of those elements reflected in you somewhere. If you can see any of them, list out three ways you are judging that part of yourself right now.
If you can’t see yourself in the list, you might instead be seeing it’s opposite. For example, if you are judging someone for being mean to others, it might be that you are being overly nice to people you don’t particularly like. Or if you are judging someone for being irresponsible or lazy, it may be that you are being overly responsible or working too hard.
If you can see the opposite qualities in yourself, list out three ways that you are being unkind to yourself with these qualities.
When you have your three ways you are being unkind to yourself, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this increasing or decreasing the amount of love in the world?
- If I had zero fear, would I still be acting this way towards myself?
- If I witnessed someone else treating someone I dearly loved this way, how would I respond?
I’m hoping the questions inspired a softening in you towards this judged part of yourself. If you want to take this further, consider taking a tiny action this week to get into balance. For example, if you are think you are acting irresponsibly, take a tiny step towards handling something you’ve been avoiding. If you think you are acting overly responsible, say no to some minor obligation that you think you should accept.
Whether or not you choose to do the step, please be kind to yourself about your decision.
Leave a comment and let us know what your action step will be this week.