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April 20, 2020
Word of the Week: Duality
Can I be super honest about something? I’ve been judging the shit out of people lately.
Judging their fears
Judging their anxiety
Judging their inability to slow down
Judging their hoarding
Judging their hand sanitizer and face masks and surgical gloves
Judging their virtual workouts
Judging their news articles
Judging their business decisions
Judging their not-so-helpful responses like “Stay Safe!” (I still don’t really know what that means)
Judging their attempts to control others
Judging their refusal to go outside
Judging their lack of eye contact when they do
Judging their lectures about being “socially responsible” (which often seem like a projection of their own fears)
Judging their martyrdom
Judging their elitism and privilege and intellectualizing
Judging their discomfort with mortality
Judging their unawareness of the global shift in consciousness that’s happening
And then, the unthinkable happened. I BECAME ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.
Almost overnight, I got sucked into the anxiety vortex and was suddenly buying a million Lysol wipes, opening doors with my elbows, and playing out worst-case scenarios in my head.
Embarrassed, I remember crying to my therapist: “I feel really dumb for falling for it.”
“Dumb for feeling scared?” asked my therapist. “Why is being scared something to be ashamed of?”
“I guess I thought, after all of this work, I would have been able to stay strong,” I said. “Like, I wouldn’t get pulled into the panic like everyone else.”
And then it hit me. Here I had been judging everyone about being scared and thinking I was somehow “above” it all when really, we’re all just doing the best we can. Just trying to make it through the day without breaking. Just trying to protect ourselves and our family. Just trying to process everything in the ways we know how.
Here’s the thing: there is a duality in everything. Light/dark. Right/wrong. Yin/yang. Nothing is all one thing or all another. It’s always “both-and.”
Once I accepted that it was ok for me to change my mind, to have a spectrum of emotions, to want to feel one way but in reality, feeling another, I was able to have a lot more compassion for other people and where they were at. Research shows we can’t have compassion for others until we have compassion for ourselves. We can’t accept other people’s different experiences and shortcomings until we recognize those within ourselves.
If this last month has stirred up old triggers and shadows for you like it has for me, I’d love to help you work through the uncomfy-ness in my new online workshop:
Here are the themes we will cover:
The time is ripe to be doing this work. I would love to hold your hand through it. Not as someone who knows all the answers but as someone who is walking this path alongside you. We’re dealing with some tough stuff right now. None of us are perfect. But, together, we can learn to stop criticizing ourselves for feeling how we feel and by doing so, we’ll be less critical of others for feeling how they feel.
Ask Yourself: What do you tend to judge others about? Are these things you judge about yourself as well?
Weekly Mantra: We’re all doing the best we can.