“Everyone is worthy. It is only the looker who perceives unworthiness and the unworthiness comes from the perceived unworthiness of the looker, never from the one who is looked at.” ~ Dan Keating
I am going to be blunt.
So if you are feeling fragile, this may not be the day for you to read this. Seriously. And I don’t mind.
You know why I don’t mind?
Because I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I am about to be blunt about.
Get over yourself.
Harsh, I know, but if you can stay with me, I want to make it all better.
You see, I have been thinking a lot about judgment—judging others, judging ourselves and also, thinking that others are judging us.
Recently, I have been watching people and reading many blogs and articles and trying to put the pieces together. Mothers writing about feeling judged when their child has a tantrum.
Women feeling insecure about not having kids or not wanting kids.
Men feeling like they aren’t accepted by women. Many, many people commenting on blogs about feeling alone, misunderstood, not accepted.
I’ve been wondering: if so many of us are feeling judged, left out and misunderstood, then who exactly is doing the judging, the leaving out and the misunderstanding?
The only answer I can come up with is, those same people—us. Come on, admit it… you (I) have looked at someone’s outfit and had a harsh thought. You (I) have heard someone speak up in class or a meeting and had a little criticism of them go through your (my) head. You (I) have frowned when someone laughed too loudly in the coffee shop or spoke sternly to a child.
But something I have learned—not quite as succinctly as Dan Keating has expressed it, but still—I judge others (and myself) for the things I don’t accept or like in myself.
I judge someone else’s outfit because I am not comfortable showing that much leg or looking that ‘different’; I criticize the person who speaks up in the meeting because I am terrified of not sounding right all the time; I frown at the loud because I am too timid to ‘inconvenience’ others by making noise.
It is my own insecurities that are becoming my thoughts about other people.
And then, the crowing glory: I project those same beliefs and thoughts onto other people, assuming that they are thinking the same bad things about me that I am hiding from myself.
So I think that you don’t like me when I meet you at a party because I don’t like me all that much and then I make judgments about you—how you look, talk, dress—to make myself feel better about the judgments I am making about myself and all the while, I am assuming that you are making judgments about me too, so retreat and withdraw.
Anyone else seeing a vicious cycle of judgment, isolation and misunderstanding here?
Is anyone else wondering how we got ourselves so tangled up in our own insecurities that people are literally taking themselves off the planet from sadness and fear? Is anyone with me in thinking if we all just got over ourselves, we could make ourselves and each other much happier?
So how do we get over our sense of unworthiness? Ah, the million dollar question!
Here are a couple of ideas…
1. Stop and think when you envy, judge or criticize others.
What is triggering in you? Why? Whose story is it?
2. Get clear on your own values.
If I asked you “what are your values?” could you answer clearly?
Interestingly, many of the answers are hidden in our judgments and reactions. I dislike something because it conflicts with my values. For example, I might find myself being a bit bitchy about girls who wear lots of makeup. On reflection, I realize I value people being able to feel comfortable with their appearance, because it is important to me that I learn to accept my appearance.
3. Get over your values.
Not for yourself, because your values are integral to you, but maybe have a think about where you are projecting those values onto others. If someone else wears ‘too much’ makeup, does it impact on me in any way?
The answer is completely and absolutely not, so I have to get over thinking that my values are at all applicable to anyone else.
4. Do the work.
I am a big advocate of doing some self-awareness and spiritual journeying to get deeper into you own ‘stuff’ and start to kick some it loose. I am personally a big fan of heart meditations—getting out of the head with all it’s attachments and dichotomies and into the heart, where there is pure love and acceptance.
I haven’t quite figured out how to make all the people who feel misunderstood and disconnected (myself included at times) feel heard and accepted, but maybe we all need to start with hearing and accepting ourselves. Everyone is worthy.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wikipedia / Public Domain