Judgement and spiritual development

I was involved in a conversation in a womens group today about judgement. I have been exploring judgement for a long time and this is what I have come to understand.
When we judge another for being a certain way arent we really judging that same part of ourselves that we see in the other person – an aspect of ourselves that we may be disowning and denying, or an aspect that exists only in potential. All judgement then is self judgement.
How can I use this knowledge? If I look for the aspect of my self that I am judging by judging the other person within me then I can see whether I am in fact also judging myself in this way. If I am not this way but I am still judging then I can ask myself the following questions?
If I was the way this person is how would I react to my judgemental words?
How would I be treatingmyself and how would I feel if I was judging myself in this way?
How would I be kind and compassionate to myself if I was like this person?
What would I NEED from myself if I were like this person? What would I need from others?.

Does not practising that kindness and compassion with ourselves not then allow us to be that way with another and vice versa?

SO if you find yourself judging another look for the following things?

How you might be like that person and how you might be judging yourself in the same way.
And how can you use the presence of judgement to develop kindness and compassion for yourself and for others.

Practising every day

For the longest time I talked about my spirituality…and talked and talked lol. But I wasnt putting anything into practice. I had lots of insightful ideas and lots of information but I found it hard to motivate myself towards action. Im glad to say that has changed. Im now getting to grips with a spiritual practice I am customising for myself to suit me. This involves looking for things to be greatful for in difficult situations that would have caused me resentment and anger before.
Prayer
Learning to love everything as a divine expression of God – letting God love God through me.
Reflection and journalling
Mindfulness

These are the things I currently do and I am feeling so fulfilled with my life in many areas.

My affirmations of the moment are
“I am safe IN God”
“It’s not personal” (From the four agreements)

I am learning to let go of assumptions and expectations and feel this is aided by a sense of safety within God. Trust and faith is the key here, trusting in the bigger picture.

I have let go of my woundedness after reading Caroline Myss – Why people dont heal and how they can and that has made a big difference in my life because I no longer base my relationships or bring into them my wounds which makes for healthier relationships.

Life is good people. Cofidence is finally growing within, a confidence based on knowing who I am inside and of finding safety in God.

I am blessed
Womanonfire

Paying Attention to the Calls of the Body

I’ve been feeling so tired lately.  I could sleep all day and not bat an eyelid lol.  I been feeling that this is due to my diet and lack of healthy food and not drinking water. 

So I paid heed to my body and went on a shopping spree to get fruit and veg yesterday big time.  I did cauliflower cheese for tea last night which was yum!  Drank lots of water which was not so yum.  This morning I had a fruit smoothie and half a grapefruit for breakfast and water and I have to say I am already feeling a big response in my body to the healthy food.  I feel like my eyes are more awake and that my body is more alive.

Can I keep it up is the question.  Before I went to sleep I asked for help with this and this morning just before I woke up properly I had an image and feeling of Jesus and him being tempted by the devil in the desert.  Thinking symbolically I can use this to draw on strength to resist my own temptations whenever I do feel tempted to mess up my diet.

Womanonfire

Growing Up at Last

Well I had another healing crisis over christmas lasting into February and it seems to have done the trick…that and some medication anyhow.  My values have had an enormous shift into the spiritual realm and I have stopped chasing this and that.  I no longer seem driven by my desires to have more and more.  I am resting in my soul.  Trusting in God, the Universal Source, and life…well with trust life is SSSOOOOOO much easier.

I feel fully in my body and grounded and rooted into my boots.  I have never felt like this…and let me tell you it feels great.

I’m no longer running away from myself…or from God.  In fact my mantra at the moment is “I rest safely in God and in God I am forever safe”.

I have been exploring judgement of which I have had a big fear and I have realised this week that for me judgement means rejection and rejection means I dont fit in which then becomes a survival issue for me.  If I dont fit in that threatens my survival.  Of course this is the attitude of a child and I am no longer a child.  I plan to hold a ceremony for my childhood and release the patterns from my past in a fire ritual.  It is time to do a whole host of letting go.  Letting go of my woundology beliefs, letting go of my need to fit in, letting go of the child I was and becoming fully the woman I am.  I want to honour the child I was in this way because she taught me so much and I love her but it is time to lay the past to rest be the strong, sensitive woman God has made me into.

Letting go of the need to fit in and instead having a preference to fit in feels like it has brought a big shift for me.  I do NOT have to fit with EVERYBODY and if I dislike some people well so be it and if they dislike me well so be that.  It’s okay.  I haven’t got to fix or alter myself to try to fit.  I can be me and just walk away and that’s okay.  Swans, and hens and cats just do not go together and that too is OKAY!

And what’s more I have found my true voice.  My voice.  I have always been swayed by other people who had stronger personalities than me and noticed myself try to adopt their voice in writing.  Thinking their way was better than mine and if I adopted their way I would fit in. I think maybe I was attracted to their power.  How silly of me lol.  Obviously I was disowning my own power, and projecting it onto others and not allowing the power of my own voice to shine through.  Shine on.

*breathe*

womanonfire

Dying at last

I am finally dying.  I am letting go of all that I thought I was.  Letting go of the cage which I had built for myself by choosing to define myself as this and not that…  Letting go of every false ego need.  Letting go…and letting Goddess.

I have stop running from the silence and instead am resting within it. Singing into it.  Letting go into it.  Listening into it.  Feeling into it and experiencing the Mother’s love. Sacrificing myself to it. Trusting in the life/death/life cycle and waiting to see how Goddess will decide to remake me.

I have been a stubborn student.  I haven’t come to Goddess in style.  No graceful entry here.  I have come in shame and shit.   I have come with my hair tangled with twigs and my face scorched by fire.  I have come with the soles of my feet split and my nails black with digging.  I am streaked by my own sweat and blood and tears.  My fingers are knarled into claws from my desparate clinging and grasping onto illusion.

But I am here now…and I have a bag full of well earned treasures with which I adorn myself.

And now what…well I don’t know and I’m okay not knowing.  I am resting in my heart and waiting for what is unfolding to unfold.  No grasping.  No needing to be this or that and not that.  No needing to fill the silence.  Just resting, just dying, just letting go.

I shall not let myself get so far from Home again.  I shall sacrifice and let go of myself every night, I shall dismember myself, eat myself back to my bare bones and spit myself back into the void, into the silence, and rest in the Great Mother’s womb until morning from where I trust she will birth me anew each day just as she needs me to be.

Turning to face the darkness within

On the door “Knock, Knock”. I know who’s out there, you can’t come in. You are NOT part of me. I will not accept you. GO AWAY.
“KNOCK, KNOCK”, reject, deny, run away, lock the door, barricade, defend, protect…but for God’s sake don’t look at it!
“BANG, BANG”, panic, fear, shame, denial, arrogance, defiance…you are NOT part of me…NO WAY
“If you will not let me in I will bloody well let myself out and then you will have to notice me for I will wreak havoc in your life.”

Ah yes, the shadow…all our denied, rejected parts of ourselves. Well part of my shadow has been knocking my door for many years now and I have kept turning him away refusing to accept him as part of myself. In counselling class the other day I was given a sheet for personal development which looks at unhealthy motivations for becoming a counsellor. (Purposely given?…perhaps) I looked at them and went thank God that’s not me and wrinkled my nose up in rejection at the behaviours and motivations listed there. The wrinkled nose of rejection should have been a dead give away…you’d think so. At the end of the session the tutor goes round the room asking what we got from the session. I said I found the self development sheet interesting and was glad that some of my motivations had changed…and in that moment I believed it.
…and then my shadow knocked on the door.
That is me, I have those behaviours and motivations, ask your observer self, it’s been watching me, it knows me even if you dont or wont, it saw me being a knowitall, it saw me arrogant, it saw me getting my needs met whilst you weren’t looking in ways that you will be appalled at. Come on look at me, see me, know me.
…and my inner child panicked and spiralled into feelings of shame. “Oh no, everyone has seen this part acting out, they will reject us for sure now, I’m so scared, I’m so ashamed this part exists, reject it, disown it quick, hide it, suppress it, run away, lock it out, oh, oh ,oh”
I picked up my inner child safe in my arms. CALM DOWN, says I determined to be mistress of my own house. I got my torch and whipped my face round to confront the shadow. I threw open the door with a burst of determination and more than a bucketful of courage and shone the torch full in the face of my shadow. His face was etched with the pain of rejection and suffering and in that moment my heart wept for how I had caused myself such pain. You are welcome here, said I. Come in, said I. Come into my house, my house is your house now, come in, sit down. First of all I am deeply sorry for locking you outside in the garden, in the cold, in the darkness, and for not accepting you as part of me for so, so long. I ask your forgiveness for the pain and suffering I can feel it has caused you. I gently reached out and took his hand and tugged him forward into my house, my heart aching for him. I want to get to know you now, said I quietly. Tell me what is it you need and how can I give it to you?
“I need to be needed,” he said, for twas definitely a male part of me. You need to be needed by ME, said I, with realisation. Okay I want you to know that I now know and accept that I NEED YOU. What else do you need? “I need to be right.” said he. I thought for a moment and said, Is it that you need to be right or that you are afraid to be wrong? “Oh” said he, “It is that I need to be right because I am afraid to be wrong! Being wrong was dangerous for you as a child so I learned to protect you by always trying to be right”. Well, said I, I want you to know that it is now safe for you to be wrong, in fact, said I, I want you to practice being wrong this week so that you can get used to how it feels to be wrong and learn to know that it’s okay to be wrong. What’s more, said I, being wrong opens us up to new possibilities of learning and learning is something I love to do. What else do you need? “I need to be approved of and have recognition for my smartness, I need to feel important!” I looked at my life and saw all the ways in which my shadow self had been getting his needs met. Mmmm, said I, how would you feel if I assigned you a new purpose, a new role, one that is incredibly important to ME and needs smartness and intelligence to do? “I would like that” he said. Here is your new purpose, said I, and laid it out flat. He grabbed it enthusiatically with both hands, and looked at me with excitement, and I felt a rush of love for him for that. I want you to know, said I, that I need you, I know that what you do for ME is important, I value you for your smartness and your intelligence and I can accept you completely when you are wrong and make mistakes. There is no longer any need for you to grab my attention by acting out in the world. I value your counsel and respect your views and will consider them carefully when I make choices in my life. But you must know this, you are no longer permitted to to take the driving seat of this bus, you are NOT master of this house, I want you to know and accept that is my job. How do you feel about these things? “I am happy to be loved and valued, accepted and needed by YOU and I want you to drive the bus,” said he, “I never wanted to drive it anyway, I just wanted to be on it, I just want to live in this house and be part of the wholeness that is you.” said he. I smiled at him and stroked his face softly, tenderly, my friend, said I looking him deeply in the eye, I want you as part of my wholeness too. Come, said I, we have much learning to do together so that you can fulfil your new role for me…

My inner child has spent some days expressing her shame (while I have been present for her and held her) at this part being part of us and for his behaviours in the world but is gradually coming to accept him. I learned how important it is to have unconditional positive regard, empathy and presence with all of the selves that make up the self that is me.

I have had to set boundaries with this newly embraced part of my self and give it some new rules to follow. We shall see how this pans out…

Giving the Inner Child Talking Space

I recently introduced family meetings into our home. We hold them every Sunday night at 6.00 or there abouts. My husband grumbles “Oh I get enough meetings in work” but he still attends, bless him. (My crazy wife is at it again). My daughter is thriving on them. We have a talking stone that we hold to talk and we all respect the space of the talker until they release the stone.

I realised today that my inner family would benefit from having “talking space”. When I have had emotions come up today I have been treating them as messages from one of my inner children and inviting them onto my lap and allowing myself to be present with them whilst I allow full expression of the feeling, and open my ears to hear all the thoughts that come with the feeling. I wrote them in my journal. I validated the feelings and valued the thoughts that came up and allowed them to pass. I soothed my inner child and showered her with approval and love and honoured her input. I had to do some “seed sorting” to work out which information belonged in the past and which was valuable, useful information for now. I then worked out how I would apply the learning. It has proved a very interesting experience. I have been left with a powerful satisfied inner feeling of having been heard. Cradling the emotion “in my lap” and allowing it full expressing leaves me feeling as the adult without becoming overwhelmed by the “child”. C’est tres bien!

Just writing that is a little epiphany. I have had a bee in bonnet earlier this year about not being heard by others. God dang. I know now I should have asked of myself “Which part/s of me need to be heard and how am I not listening to them?”. Hindsights a wonderful thing, foresight is preferrable please (asking within).

Getting Back in the Saddle…

I did my counselling training over two years ago now but getting lost in the re-creation of my past traumas and having to deal with my own shit kinda put me back to square one in the learning arena. I saw the fences, I tried my best to jump them but darn it, if I didn’t go and fall off and break my damn legs (metaphorically speaking). I lost confidence in the skills and abilities I had learned and so decided to put back on my student shoes (are they ever really off in this big school of life), climb back on the horse and learn to walk on before I break once again into a steady trot (somewhere in my future I am already riding Pegasus, I swear it). So I signed myself up for level two counselling training three weeks ago and have just come back from my third class tonight.

I am a bit like an empty vessel waiting to be filled again. All the learning that has gone before seems to be suspended somewhere in my subconscious poised for the trigger words that will bring remembering into play. I am already finding the learning style of this course preferrable to me than the previous course I did. The style is person centred. The tutor is very willing to model and demonstrate counselling skills in action and I didn’t feel I got that from my last course. I realise now that by seeing an experienced person actually demonstrating the skills I can draw on the memory of them doing so and this helps me to develop and have confidence in my own abilities. It is part of the way I learn. I think it’s because I then have an internal reference point of expetise that I can compare my own performance to initially.
The tutor is very transparent, open, respectful and genuine…a way of being that I aspire to. I feel thankful that I have found a good role model in him. He walks his talk!

When I go to class my inner child let’s me know she feels vulnerable by giving me feelings of anxiety. They are not overwhelming feelings, more like a nudge to say, “I worry about being judged and rejected here if I show myself”. I reasure her almost automatically now. It really is like I am carrying around a child with me at the moment! I think before my child and adult part of me were enmeshed together and I didn’t know what was past (child) part of me and what is now. I find that separating them out and defining them as separate helps me see with more clarity what is past and what is now. I am curious as to how this works…do I need to separate the part to get to know it fully so that I can learn what it needs in order to heal before it can reintegrate with the whole me? I know when I have experienced inner archetypes that it has been a process of getting to know their energies and qualities before integrating with them.

We were asked in class today “when are you completely and genuinely yourself?”
My answer was “when I feel safe”. I am completely myself when I feel safe to be and that’s my truth. I am working on linking into that safe place within myself as often as possible so that I can always carry that safe feeling with me (and encourage my inner child to link into it) and then I can choose to be as genuine as I want to be rather than not being genuine because I am afraid to be.

Eternal Mothering

This picture just captures the essence of my inner and outer worlds at the moment. I love it!

Picture from Herbisorbis.typepad.com

Dealing with Misinterpretations – Tool 1

One of my biggest challenges in dealing with the fallout of an abusive childhood is the tendency to filter events and actions through the shit-filled goggles of my past and misinterpret them big time! I’m so gooood at this. A simple frown off a person can suddenly become “Oh she thinks what I said is stupid, she’s bound to reject me now.” when actually she might have been trying not to fart for all I know! Or failure to reply to my text can become, “What have I done, I must have done something, (spend about an hour going over and over the last conversation and text to see if I can find anything I did or said “wrong”), they don’t want to know me now”…when in reality people DO have a life outside their text phone and DO usually reply later. Of course my logical head can easily see how this relates to my stepmother’s treatment of me…her failure to reply to me often did mean she was mad at something she felt I had done “wrong” (I was a good kid…I just wasn’t perfect “enough” for her) and that I would be rejected by her…again.

But what to do about such a problem. One way I have found to deal with this is to keep an evidence journal so that my inner child can clearly see her misinterpretations and false expectations and can learn to form new expectations of events and people. It is laid out like this:

Event/Behaviour / My Interpretation / Evidence for / Evidence Against

When recording the event avoid adding an interpretation to it and instead only write down the observation. For example an event/behaviour might be:

When I was talking in class I noticed my tutor look down, her eyebrows wrinkled and she looked away from me.

Then I will write down how I interpreted this at the time. So my interpretation might read:

I interpreted this to mean she was didn’t agree with what I said. She obviously thinks I am stupid. She will think less of me now and won’t want to talk with me again.

Then I will explore my evidence. Did my tutor talk to me again? Could her wrinkling her eyebrows and looking away from me have meant something else? What other interpretations for this behaviour might there be? Sometimes if I need more evidence I will ask directly of the person if what they did, meant what I thought it did.

I am finding big time that I have more evidence to support that my interpretations are not correct for NOW and that they are definitely expectations formed from events that took place in the past. Doing this helps me lay the misinterpretations and expectations to rest in the past where they belong. It is a handy record to have to remind my inner child that not everyone is going to behave like stepmother and school bullies did in the past and that she can learn to trust me to protect her. More and more I am learning that when I experience these misinterpretations that this is a signal from my inner child that she is feeling unsafe and needs my reassurance, approval and protection. “Hey my little cherub, I’m here to give you all that and more. You can trust me to protect you and keep you safe now.”

Sometimes, of course you will find your interpretation of the event was correct. This is the time to reassure your inner child that you can deal with the situation and that she is SAFE and you are CAPABLE.

If you decide to try this evidence journalling I hope you will experience as much success as I have. Seeing it in actual black and white sends a poweful message to the inner child and helps calm her nervous disposition considerably.

God Bless

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