Have you ever said to someone “I can’t believe they just did that! I would never do or say such a thing”? And then sometime later, the very thing that you claimed you would never do or say, was just done or said by you.
I hope you have had that experience and I hope that it shocked you to the core of yourself. Most often, the tendency in those moments is to dismissively brush it off with a part of yourself that doesn’t want to really see the true shock of what just took place. It just wants to move on and not stand in the moment of the pain of that realization.
It’s the same thing when you convince yourself that you knew the reason why someone did something, and then you find out it wasn’t like what you convinced yourself of at all. There is no true “sitting” with the pain in that realization, there’s just a dismissive action as if to say “oh well, I guess I was wrong. Move on.”
That is a stumbling block for many of us in our inner life work because we were meant to be still and present in the moment of these shocks so that we can see and receive the lesson in them. We can’t see the lesson if we allow an old part of us to take us out of the moment by giving our energy and attention to it and what it is saying the shock/event means.
All of us live from one and the same consciousness. It is really important for a parent to understand that their child is living from the same consciousness as they are.
Sometimes children do certain things and parents act “shocked” and respond by saying “I never did anything like that when I was a child– where did they get that from?” If those words come out of our mouth, you can be sure it is an old part talking, because if a parent were to be still and become present in the moment, they would receive the lesson that the shock was intended to deliver.
The things we claim we would never do or haven’t done, we in fact have. Perhaps not in the very same way. For instance, let’s say it is brought to your attention that your child has been stealing money from their friend’s piggy bank. You may never have stolen money from a friend like that, but have you stolen attention away from a friend who was speaking? Have you stolen accolades from someone who deserved them in the moment? The list is endless, but we can’t go into thought and try to figure things out. That’s the old way.
The lesson is given directly when we are open in the moment of the shock to receive it. That is the only way.
We are truly all the same, whether we have a hard time swallowing that or not. I can hear you say “Um, well, I wouldn’t murder anyone.” But have you murdered someone in your mind with violent thoughts against them?
The only way for us to live from a compassionate nature is to see that we are no different than anyone else. Whatever disturbs us about another is a hidden similarity in ourselves that we don’t wish to see.
Aren’t you tired of pointing the finger at others for everything that takes place in your life? When will that blaming and pointing end? Has it made you a kinder person? Has it made you more peaceful and at ease? Has it made you a more compassionate human being?
I know the answer….because I am no different than you.
Exercise for the Week: See if you can catch yourself being shocked by another’s action. In that very moment, work to be still and watch all the old dialogue appear in your mind trying to convince you how you are superior to that kind of behavior. Wait. Wait. Wait to be shown the truth.