Thank You For Judging Me
Buddhist hearts agree that our enemies can be our greatest teachers. That statement is so true to me and is so layered. When I think I’ve fully thought through that angle I seem to experience a new level of awareness around it and my humility deepens.
Why are we so afraid of judgement? I’ve learned, for me, it’s when I’ve judged myself that I was most afraid of others’ casts, mentally, verbally and energetically.
What experiences were we robbed of which would offer us the building blocks to fierce self-confidence from a young age?
What conversations *could* my mother and I had been having? When instead she was sleeping, watching Maury Povich or manically cleaning the house blaring “Love Is” by Alana Miles. God I hate that song.
My freedom from caring what others thought came from my struggle with mental illness and addiction. It hurt so much and ruined me so badly that I was forced to push back and figure it out. To look behind every action, pattern, emotion and investigate it.
Learn who my reactive self was and who my true self was.
Listening to the cravings, the wants and desires to express, to create, to feel … I followed those. The ability to learn the difference between addiction cravings and soul cravings takes time to refine. It’s a skill - like becoming a carpenter. Practise can create wonderful results.
Some have a natural skill, some don’t. Some are very patient with themselves and some give up. But all of us are capable of building something with wood. It just depends on how much patience, natural gifts and interest you have in participating in it all.
I remember getting my septum pierced for the 4th time. I was 35 and no matter how many times I got it pierced, each time I judged myself thinking I looked immature, tacky and I thought everyone else thought that too.
I would have terrible anxiety when I left the house. I had a choice. I could take it out and go back to fitting into societal guidelines of ‘norm’ and live a more peaceful life (so I thought). Or I could do the work to figure out why I was in so much torment over this all the time.
I did both. Who said there wasn’t more than 2 options?? ;)
It wasn’t all in my head. I know maaaannnyyyy people see piercings and tattoos or pink hair and think it’s juvenile and a turn off. I’ve heard it all, trust me. YouTube can be a wonderful but also cruel place to hang out (some comments had to be deleted they were so ridiculous).
So, this past year as I’ve been refining my most bass ass, brazen and brave self I did a bit of a social science experiment. I left my nose ring in, got the tattoos I wanted and monitored my energy and thought patterns as I moved through life.
If I can’t look at people in the eyes or stare at the ground I reflect and ask myself if anything’s happened recently that has hit my self-esteem.
These things can often fly under the radar.
“Maybe I didn’t act in integrity while in a social setting. I was nervous. I remember that - social anxiety, right! I get weird and say odd things when I’m in a group of people.”
I then filter through it.
Is there anything I can do about this? If so, is it right now? If not, let it go until I can.
I then remind myself to practise self-compassion. I’m human, I’m not perfect and I’m learning. It’s ok if I was awkward in public. Anyone who judged me isn’t my people and anyone who didn’t probably has looked under that same rock too.
My point is, if I found myself to want to hide my self expression in public because I was afraid of judgement it was often if not always because I wasn’t feeling great about myself.
I practised this. Often.
If someone stared, or a guy I was dating didn’t like my tattoos (one guy asked if I’d have a few removed), I would stay in my power by reminding myself:
“I am a human being with the right to express myself how I choose. No one knows my story, my struggles to love and accept myself - whatever that looks like.
I love myself too much now to allow the opinions, gestures or negative energy of another person to make me change what my soul is craving to express.”
It’s our own individual gift to live on this planet how we choose to. I believe as long as you aren’t hurting anyone your actions and beliefs and words are yours to release into existence.
Enemies are people who hurt us or are out to get us. The dictionary defines “enemies” as
a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something
I used my enemies, those who judged me, those thoughts I created in my own mind which had no merit, no proof - they were violent self-thoughts and I was acting as my own enemy. I tapped into my Buddhist heart and I used those experiences to check in with myself, uncover the exact patterns in my mind that led me to act and feel small.
The healing is in the exact pain.
Feeling small, want to morph for protection from alienation or being ostracized? Look at the precise thought. Bring the precise subconscious belief to the conscious.
The healing lives there.
So, with my biggest, baddest Buddhist heart I walk down the street with my nose ring, my hand tattoos nodding my head and walk-dancing in my fly ‘Timbs and thank all of my enemies.
Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. A more clear, congruent, self-assured woman who practices gratitude for a learner’s vs victim’s mindset.
Be Well with Hope,
Cassandra Hope RHN, NLP, CPT