The world (as I know it) has never been so polarised in thoughts than it is right now. There is almost no escape from someone’s opposing opinion triggering us into judgment, whether that feels in our body like anger, jealousy, frustration, guilt or shame, it is still a judgement being made. We feel like if they only saw or dealt with that ‘thing’ as we did, then everyone would be safe, happy, healthy etc.
In those moments, although we may not have consciously made the connection, those ‘judgments’ (or feelings) when you drill down deep enough, are all born from an underlying fear that their behaviour or opinion is going to end up hurting them, us, or our loved ones.
Alternatively, if that initial trigger is one that causes us to judge ourselves, there is still a fear, which is that we are not good enough in some regard. Either way, the resonant and driving vibration is fear.
When we choose to look at things this way, we can really begin to see how similar we all are to each other. No matter our opposing view, we all just want to keep each other, and ourselves safe, happy and healthy.
It is by having the willingness to see this vital similarity, that we can cultivate forgiveness, acceptance and compassion. These are the most important vibrations needed on the planet right now. It’s where all deep healing takes place, and where the proceeding unity finally begins to bring peace to our world.
You see, the uncomfortable truth is that whatever we judge in another we have disowned in ourselves (eek).. This judgement is typically referred to as our ‘shadow’, because we cannot see that thing in ourselves. When we have a willingness to see, accept and forgive our shadows, we truly find compassion for ourselves, and then, compassion for others.
When vibrating at the level of compassion, we are no longer at war with anyone (or ourselves). For every shadow that is accepted and integrated into just one person, the positive knock on effect to the world is astronomical. This is why it is said that the single most important thing we can do for the planet is to care about our feelings and pursue some kind of personal development.
With this in mind, I am offering us all the opportunity to take part in a little exercise. Take one of your judgments (maybe start with a minor one) and have the willingness to get curious and playful with it. Before we go into the process though, I will give you a real life example of when I did this myself:
My personal story of shadow integration
Many years ago I’d been cheated on romantically by a long term partner I was living with. I felt devastated that I had been ’betrayed’, and obviously everyone around me totally confirmed my right to feel a victim in this situation. However, I did not want to remain feeling a victim. I have always been committed to my own personal development and so understanding the theory about ‘shadows’ (characteristics we cannot see in ourselves), and that everyone is a ‘mirror’ for us in some way, I was extremely curious about how I had inadvertently attracted this reality.
I was not to blame of course… and to be clear I ended the relationship straight away, however, I wanted to go deep under the surface of the situation to get to the heart of it. I have very strong values about cheating… I could never do such a thing to someone, so I was thoroughly confused at where I was going to find this ‘shadow’ in me. I searched for days but nothing, so I just let the question percolate. Then finally one day ‘boom’! It landed on me.
Deep down I had known this guy was not really ‘the one’ for me… I knew it before I even started dating him, but he was kind and funny and most of my friends liked him. I tried to tell them I wasn’t sure about him, but they all kept repeating how nice he was. Eventually the relationship just fell into a groove and we became more serious until he moved in with me. By ignoring my inner knowing I had betrayed myself, and ultimately I had also betrayed him. I had not been honest with either of us because it was too uncomfortable to do so, and more comfortable just to continue as we were. Five years of walking blindly down the wrong path.
And so there it was. My shadow… I had also betrayed us. At that moment I was overcome by grief, by sadness, by shame, then acceptance, forgiveness, and finally relief…. the full monty. All anger dissipated, and compassion reigned. I contacted my ex to share my findings and we both healed fully from that exchange, remaining friends to this day.
I am forever grateful that I stuck it out to find this little gem, because I know it completely changed the course of my life. So if you are willing, here is the process you can try yourself. I promise you that you’ll either heal a bunch of relationships with other people, stop attracting repeated negative patterns, or fall a little more in love with yourself or your life… or indeed all of the above.
Judgement Integration Exercise
Start by writing a current judgement down, then write a list of all the fears that are driving this judgement. As an example you might write:
‘People who stop at roundabouts first, and only then look to see if anyone is coming, are irritating and dangerous’.
Themes of this behaviour:
Look for the themes that this judgement brings up…, what characteristics are they showing in your perception of the event?
- They are distracted
- Slow to act
- Self absorbed
It does not matter how irrational the fears, or indeed the judgments are. You just need to be honest with yourself in this exercise.
- They are unpredictable and could cause an accident – the perception is that they’re not quick thinking enough to respond in a crisis
- They are likely to be generally too slow, causing other drivers to become irritable and erratic just to pass them (more danger)
- Other drivers may take their frustration out on me thinking I am the one holding them up, when it is the one in front of me that is doing it (afraid I’ll be thought of as a not good enough driver)
- This slow driver may be holding someone up from some very important and crucial meeting/appointment (therefore I am taking responsibility for strangers who only ‘may’ have other issues..- ‘saviour’ pattern)
- This is how my Dad drove, with much flowery commentary ;p, so it is also a learned behaviour…
Where do ‘I’ display this behaviour:
This might take a huge amount of courage, but try to find where you yourself display a similar behaviour. It may be in a completely different area of your life, so you might have to look hard for it. The egoic mind is a little tricky and will continually try to tell you that you don’t have that characteristic, belief or behaviour. But be patient and keep trying because it will pay off hugely.
In this example I have to look elsewhere to the driving issue, as I don’t display this behaviour at roundabouts, however, there are some technical duties I have around maintaining my website where I do feel out of my depth. When I am dealing with things in the tech area I often feel like I am the ’only one on the road’, unaware of other obligations my advisors might have. I am slow to make decisions and become self absorbed due to my lack of confidence and experience in this area.
Accept and forgive the behaviour:
Once you find the behaviour, the only thing you need to do is to acknowledge it… allow yourself to truly feel it. Your reaction could be anything from a sheepish giggle, to a profound transformation. Place your hand on your heart and breathe deeply into your heart space. Depending on how deep and powerful the realisation is, tell yourself that you see that part of you, and that you deeply forgive that part of you. Acknowledge that this behaviour has only been trying to serve you in some way (because truthfully all of our behaviours are born from some kind of survival instinct when you drill down to it).
In my example above, just realising how it is to feel out of my depth, indecisive, inexperienced and self absorbed brings me onto a even playing field with the drivers that I judged at the roundabout. Knowing how uncomfortable it is when I feel that way, I can bring compassion to both myself and to the drivers, and this understanding brings space to my experiences when I encounter them on the road these days.
And if I am wrong about them.. who cares, I have still owned the part of myself that I had previously not acknowledged, and it has still made me feel more compassionate towards strangers on the road.
This is how we begin to heal the world, one integration turned into compassion, at a time. This is how each one of us can truly change the world with just a little bit of courage to look honestly at ourselves.
Namaste beautiful souls