Avoid separation from others and within yourself
By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
Keeping up with the Joneses. It seems like human nature. You look at others and compare. Unfortunately you judge yourself to fall short. But what are you really looking at? You are comparing that in-depth knowledge that you have of yourself to the superficial information that you have of others, as well as to an ideal that doesn’t exist.
Be aware of this unconscious tendency to compare and judge which can put the other on a pedestal, leaving you to feel inadequate and resentful. Rather than seeing what is real, you perceive an illusion. This illusion creates a separation between yourself and others, and between the self that presents to the world and your authentic self. (More about authenticity later this year.)
When comparing, you evaluate the completeness of what you know about yourself to the superficial awareness that you have of others. You really only know what is observed or what has been verbally shared. This can be inaccurate, incomplete or untrue; in fact it often is. There is a tendency to take a small bit of information and to create a complete story around it. Do you really know if that co-worker or acquaintance has it all? Might they have depression or anxiety, problems with their kids, marital discord, financial problems, weight or health issues? Don’t assume that everyone else has the perfect life, family and body.
Acknowledge and accept all aspects of yourself, including your shadows. The shadow includes the aspects of your personality and actions that you pretend don’t exist. Sometimes it’s a behavior that you exhibit, but won’t admit; other times it’s a behavior that you won’t allow yourself to act upon, but unconsciously wish that you would. When these behaviors are seen in others, you will most likely feel anger or annoyance.
Ironically, the most effective way to stop judging others (and the self) is to take care of your own needs. This is not selfishness.
There are three choices to this first technique. Strive to respond from choice one or three most frequently.
DO IT, SAY IT OR ASK FOR IT: Express what is needed and do what is necessary for the self to provide mastery and empowerment. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this enough.
DON’T SAY, ASK OR DO: This option is chosen too frequently. You are afraid to step forward and ask for what you need. You also don’t say no when you should. This is especially true with women who believe that they must be good girls and not rock the boat, but it is not just a women’s issue. Besides feeling like people are taking advantage of you, this option is disempowering because you separate from your authentic self.
PURPOSELY DON’T SAY, ASK OR DO: When the decision to not verbalize or do is based on choice rather than avoidance and fear, empowerment is maintained. It is okay to choose to not express your needs when it is the wrong timing or the greater good will not be achieved in doing so.
Another great technique to respond authentically is to ask these three questions:
WHAT DOES MY MIND KNOW?
WHAT DOES MY HEART KNOW?
WHAT DOES MY SPIRIT KNOW?
THE MIND REACTS FROM FEAR, JUDGMENT AND/OR SUPERFICIAL NEEDS. Your heart brings you clearly and lovingly to what’s important. Your spirit will set you free from any remaining concerns as it responds from the highest awareness and brings freedom and peace. The spirit’s perspective is like looking at a tapestry: on the back are knots and crisscrossed threads, yet when you see the front you only see the beauty and perfection.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN NEEDS AND EACH OTHER. Avoid self-judgment and the you-versus-me mentality that lead to unhealthy relationships, a fractured, competitive society and separation – duality.
DUALITY IS A RELATIVELY NEW TERM RELATED TO SEPARATION. It fosters resentment, anger and hatred and can lead to aggression toward self or others. Its opposite is unity. Unity means that you are one with everything; that you don’t feel separation – from others or within yourself. Unity brings peace, acceptance and oneness.
EACH OF US IS PART OF THE CURRENT GLOBAL SHIFT FROM DUALITY TO ONENESS. Treat yourself and others with compassion and acceptance. Avoid judgment. Be present in your own life. Continue to take care of yourself, each other and our planet.
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties; work or school related anxiety; ADHD; Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders; and those who wish to Remember and Become Who You Really Are. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www. SpiralWisdom.net for more information.