Friday, April 11, 2014

Self-Discovery: Seeing the Beauty in the Unflattering

Have you ever found yourself in a discussion one day, only to be left with uncomfortable residual feelings a couple of days later? Feelings and emotions that were unexpected?

In yesterday's post, I shared my thoughts about walking a spiritual path. The post was spurred by a recent discussion with a group of friends.

As I was writing the article, I found myself getting angry. I could feel the tell-tale flush of my face and chest that signaled not just anger but some hostility as well. And it surprised me.

Yes, I do generally feel something whenever the religious thing comes up, but not as much hostility as I felt yesterday. At one point, there were even a few tears.

So of course, I had to go through my process as an opportunity for deeper healing.

I let myself feel what I was feeling. Without judgment. Without trying to stop what was happening. But I mentally took note of the surprise that accompanied all my emotions.

After the feelings and emotions passed, I asked what had just happened. What had triggered this unexpected response. And I got an answer.

I felt the same kind of judgment being passed on me as a result of how and where the discussion had gone with my friends as I have always felt by the religious people in my immediate and extended families. Others as well. But mostly those from my own blood.

There was a smug-ness in the attitudes presented the evening my friends and I gathered and discussed whether or not walking a spiritual path is something everyone does all the time. An I-know-better-than-you-do condescending type of smug-ness that I recognize all too well.

But it went so much deeper than recognition of what others project.

The real clincher was that I was feeling what I project onto others. In other words, I got a taste of my own medicine. And I didn't like it.

So right here, right now, in the interest of pure honesty and disclosure, I confess and concede that there are times when I think I know better than someone else. That I have the "right" answer, and they don't.

There. I said it. I held up the reflective inner mirror and saw something I didn't want to see.

What I saw wasn't particularly ugly. Which is how I would have seen it in the past. It was simply a part of me that is real. A part of me that was created as a result of my personal experiences. And if I can be kind and compassionate to others for how they display certain characteristics that are less than flattering, then I can be so for myself too.

The beauty is in the fact that I'm perfect in my imperfection. Warts and all, I'm still worthy and loveable.

And yes, I can also be more understanding and less judgmental.

I was reminded yesterday that I don't have all the answers. I have only my opinions and perceptions of what the answers are for me. And that, my dear friends, is part of my own personal journey, my own spiritual path.

Have you discovered something about yourself lately that you haven't wanted to admit?

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  1. Insightful article. Thank you for sharing.

    We're human, imperfect, and yet still very much worthy and loveable. My most concerning imperfection is feeling resentment towards those who caused me harm. I found myself wishing karmic action against them, although I don't believe I'd ever enact the vengeance myself.

    - Teri

    1. Thank you, Teri. Keep on NOT enacting the vengeance yourself. I'm reminded of a quote I read recently: "How people act is their karma. How you react is yours."

  2. I think many of us wish for revenge at some point or another, I know I did, so that'd be mine too.

    Then I watched the tv series "Revenge" and while I was rooting for Emily, I couldn't help but think she would've been better off if she'd just published her story, so she could let go and move on with her life. I'm trying to learn how to let go, myself. Oh geez, now I've got that d*mn song in my head, lol! ( "Let It Go..." )

    Great article!
    Thanks, Susan

    1. Thank you for sharing, Susan. I'm not familiar with the show, but I get what you're saying. I'm one of those who believe that when we process our feelings and emotions, they let go of us, and thus, our need for revenge dissolves. As for the song, what a lovely one to be stuck on :)


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