Friday, August 14, 2009

The Bird's Eye View of Self

Life in the Smith household, where my mother lies during her dying process, is ever busy, filled with the comings and goings of Hospice providers, neighbors, friends and neighbors checking on us, the family, and mom, or bringing food and sentiments of caring thoughts and prayers. The support is abundant; overwhelmingly touching in this time of uncertainty and challenge.

But within this dynamic environment that Life has presented to each of us traveling this journey together, there is an interesting study of the interactive mix between consciousness and unconsciousness, and how we, and in particularly I, are influenced by it all. In the face of the unknown, and the accompanying fear and the resistance it brings in partnership, patience wears, angers fuel and selfishness, disrespect and inconsideration grows. Some days, I have found myself unconsciously swimming in the lower vibrations of sniping, drama and various other emotions in this already intense human experience.

I am, at times, an active participant in this hurricane of human vibration; and thankfully, I have the wherewithal to recognize when I’m in the muck of it, and the consciousness to pull myself out of it. Being in consciousness is the key piece, for when I shift from the participant of the unfolding human experience to one of Observer, I can see not only how I and others are showing up in the experience, but how I am perpetuating it through my reactions and choices in management of it. This consciousness requires practice and a distinguishing comprehension of the difference between Observing and Judging.

Judging, in and of itself, condemns, imposing a higher value system upon something based on one’s perception of one’s own values and those of the world with in which we live. (Note: Each of us live in a different world, created by our personal experiences, upbringings, religious/spiritual influences, etc., so there are countless sets of value systems, and ours is unique to each of us.) The problem in Judging is that we tend to label that which is being judged as right or wrong, good or bad. In judgment, we deem another less than ourselves, our values and way of thinking. Judgment also gives us an excuse to take no responsibility or ownership in the very thing or experience that we are judge. We deny any responsibility for contributing to the situation, despite the fact that participation is and of itself contribution. Additionally, when we judge, we are unconsciously judging ourselves as we judge others. As for this latter point: If we are all created by the One Source, then we must all be One in God; if we are One, we are connected, unified, as often referred to in Christianity, brothers and sisters. So, when we judge another, we are truly judging ourselves, for we are each others’ reflections; we serve each other as mirrors so that we may see and explore our own shadows (areas in need of healing).

Be honest; have you judged another for something you yourself have done in your own life experience? Of course, we all have; so when we judge another, we are in essence judging ourselves, and that part of our shadow that we dislike about ourselves, and have yet to forgive and heal within us. We judge others for actions that they have taken against us, that left us in pain. But within that, we have not yet forgiven the other person or ourselves for making choices in and around that experience.

You may ask: What about someone who has killed another; I’ve never killed another, so how can I be judging myself? Have you ever felt so upset that you wished someone was just gone, eliminated from your experience? Have you ever killed, intentionally or accidentally, another of God’s creatures, if not another person? There’s a commandment that says Thou shall not kill; there are laws that forbid such action. Killing takes away a life, no matter the circumstances around it or the form in which life is expressed. So the judgment of one who has killed may be rooted from a past action, though not exact in appearances; or it may stem from one’s thoughts of such an action, which implies one’s capability of such an action.

And consider this: perhaps you hold energy from a past life experience in which you are condemning yourself. If you do not believe in past lives, this idea will not resonate with you; but if you do, understand that karma plays not only within this life experience, but over eons of past life experiences. Each lifetime is to experience and heal that which we may have rendered upon others. So we may judge others for something we have never done, or believe we would ever do in this life, but perhaps, we have touched upon a past life choice in which we did, and that is in need of healing. Whether you believe in past lives or not, consider this: isn’t it possible that you could make the same choice you judge, if you were walking in that person’s exact same shoes on their path? The possibility is always there; how actions are determined is through the consciousness of our choices in the moment. And while we would like to believe we would never kill another, we can’t possibly know until we are in such circumstances as another has been.

During challenging times, empowerment comes from being an Observer. Becoming an Observer shifts this self-righteous “holier than thou” mentality we call judgment to one of simply seeing and unconditionally accepting “what is.” More importantly, being the Observer becomes less about what others are doing, and more about how consciously we are showing up within in the situation; our reactions, our communication, including word, tone and inflection, and our choices in how we manage other’s choices. If we can allow ourselves to observe as objectively as possible while engaged in the subjectively charged experience, we can consciously collect valuable information for later introspection and learning. We can learn what buttons are easily pushed and by whom, the correlation to past experiences and how we’ve agreed to other people’s beliefs, and how those influence our perception of Illusory Truth v. Spiritual Truth. We can better understand how differing values influence what others say or do, and how those trigger our reactions, and from that place, how our choices are influenced so we may prevent and/or better manage conflicts moving forward. With this information, we can better choose how we participate next time, perhaps with greater empathy, less self-righteousness, less reactions and more productive choices in communication, silence, unconditional acceptance, etc., all of which places us in greater personal power to manage ourselves in God’s higher vibration.

Please note that unconditional acceptance does not mean we agree or condone choices of others that make us less than. God gave us a voice to express our Spiritual Truth, but not to impose upon others our beliefs and values through judgment. If we need to set boundaries, we do so in a loving and respectful way without dishonoring another. If we need to state our differences of opinion, we do so without making another’s opinion wrong or less than, without persecution or judgment. We can acknowledge another’s viewpoint, and state clearly how we feel and/or disagree, but with understanding and respect, not with condemnation and self-righteousness.

The ongoing practice of stepping out of Unconsciousness to Consciousness is tedious but achievable. Becoming an Observer empowers us, allows us to step more fully into who we really are: a child of God, expressing fully through each of us, as each of us, that truth of love, peace, joy, harmony, wisdom, abundance, and creative power. From the conscious state of Observer, we can step more fully into compassion, empathy, and patience for others, in support as they move through their own shadows. And in doing so, we can shine greater Light on our own shadows, opening the door of forgiveness to greater love and healing, and ultimately, greater inner peace.

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