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When You Know Better, You Do Better

Strengthening the Ground You Stand On!

This eye-opening phrase comes from Maya Angelou and I first heard it when watching an Oprah Winfrey show a few years ago and even though at the time I thought I understood the meaning it turns out it didn’t fully sink in until recently when watching one of Oprah’s Lifeclass segments where she really dug into it.

Even though all of her shows, master classes and now lifeclasses focus on life enrichment and enlightenment for the betterment of our inner spirits I have always found it amazing that she could interview anyone and I mean anyone, including those that have been negatively labelled by society. How does she do it without reservation or judgement with regard to the actions that have brought the negative labels attached to them? A lot of times we can end up judging another person based on what we’ve heard or seen of their actions but who are we to judge? I’m quite sure that no one is perfect, everyone has made a mistake at one time or another.

I have chastised myself for the times I’ve allowed others to take advantage of an aspect of my personality and what I finally got from this phrase was while it was not nice for someone to take advantage they were able to do so because I let them, now I know better. I can’t continually punish myself for the actions of someone else because I was hurt by it, all I can do is learn from it and strengthen my boundaries so it doesn’t happen again “When you know better, you do better”.

awakening

What an “aha” moment it was when I finally got this in its full context and along with it came the enlightenment that if someone hurt me in my past I can’t continue to judge them for it now or carry it into my future because I allowed it, I let it happen. I didn’t knowingly consent to it but I also didn’t object, I didn’t communicate my discontent and that’s on me. Just maybe, they didn’t know better or maybe they did but that doesn’t matter because all actions have karmic consequences doled out only by the Universe and if someone knowingly and/or willingly takes advantage of another it is not my karma, it is theirs.

Negative experiences usually cause internal emotional hurt and/or pain and we all deal with these kinds of experiences differently. Some act out aggressively to release it, some internalize and act out passive aggressively and some bottle it up. The best way to heal is to acknowledge the hurt, allow yourself to feel it so you can make peace with it, learn from it and only then can you truly move forward and release it.

Negative experiences can sometimes stall you in life and paralyze you from moving forward, keeping you in that time to remember it over and over again. Knowing and doing better because of it frees you.

I’ve made my own mistakes, I learned from most of them, sometimes I had to make them twice to learn but “when you know better, you do better”. I certainly don’t make the same mistakes anymore because now I know better and what I’ve now learned to consider is that maybe those who have caused me hurt in the past were acting out of their own pain. Embracing this philosophy has given me a heightened sense of awareness into myself and others and has shown me another level of the “judgement” lesson, I don’t think any of us ever have it all figured out. This “aha” realization has taught me the deeper meaning of empathy and its connection to all of our emotional challenges but in this case specifically judgement, which has allowed me to further my trust that the Universe takes care of us all in relation to the life we live and the seeds we sow.

when-you-know-better-you-do-better

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Blog

 

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Before Passing Judgement

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

We really don’t know how someone else is feeling inside at any given moment, I think a lot of us have become really good at masking any feelings that are of a hurtful and negative nature, or at least we try to, some of us are more transparent than others.

I believe the energy spent to pretend nothing is wrong can be quite taxing on the spirit within and the outward affect can be to project that negativity onto others, most of the time it is not intentional.

When faced with an extreme situation it is natural to react from an emotional point of view and even if the situation doesn’t seem extreme to someone else, it may at the time feel extreme to the individual experiencing it and it’s not fair to make the judgement that it’s insignificant when you don’t live in their life every day.

My observations of these kinds of actions of judgement are that it is very much associated with the individual that is trying to cope with hurt or disappointment by pretending that nothing is wrong.  The burden of having to cope with that can be overwhelming and at some point they have to release some of the bottled up emotions to alleviate the intensity of this struggle, unfortunately acting out negatively is really unhealthy and does much more harm than good.

I believe it’s a cycle:

  • You’re hurt and upset, it’s becomes overwhelming and you project onto someone else
  • That someone judges you unfairly not knowing a thing about what you’re going through
  • You then experience more hurt from the judgement and the cycle starts again

This cycle is really harmful because it keeps you in a perpetual state of unhappiness and negativity.  The longer you stay in this cycle the more likely it is to manifest physically in your health, the only way out is to find a healthy and productive way to release it.  We are all unique and what works for one doesn’t always work for everyone, you just have to find the process that works best for you.

I’ve found that my best therapy for a healthier and more productive way to handle these feelings and emotions when they seem overwhelming and unbearable is to write my feelings out on paper.  The action of physically writing it and really connecting to my thoughts helps to take my mind out of the heightened level of disappointment and sadness that I may be feeling in that moment.  Even though the distraction is only temporary it gives me the time I need to address it, deal with it and release it.  It doesn’t fully release it from my thought process but it helps to minimize it enough to allow me to de-clutter my mind so I can then deal with it on a calmer level and eventually fully release it.

I’ve heard it said many times that when someone is projecting negativity onto you it usually has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them and how they are feeling inside but knowing that doesn’t make negative actions or words directed at you any easier.  It just becomes something you need to find a way to deal with and let go of.  Always consider the source and how instrumental they actually are in your life and that should help to minimize the overall effect.

I recently watched an “Oprah” show (re-run) and the discussion was about a man in Brazil (John of God).  Closing comments on this show was the perceptions of a Dr. Jeff Rediger of his experience there.

  • Perhaps the real heart within us is not just a pump
  • Perhaps the real heart within us is about Love and Faith
  • Perhaps the physical body is not who we really are
  • Perhaps we are these invisible souls walking around and the body is just an instrument or metaphor or something we are trying to learn

For me his comments shine a light on the greater purpose of our existence and reinforce my thoughts that all acts of negativity and ego-related behaviours are so irrelevant in comparison.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Blog

 

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