Silence is golden. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Judge not.
I received a blog comment, which I won’t be sharing, that said, in essence, “You’re dreaming and your dream is kind of ridiculous and you should get a grip.”
I’m not a HUGE fan of feeling judged. Well, who is. But, I have been trying of late – when feeling judged – to take a deep breath and find the seed of Light or Love in the judgment. So …
I responded, privately, in what I considered to be a dignified and well-bred and articulate way. I suggested that, perhaps, whatever the validity or ultimate truth of the comment – which wasn’t really mine to debate – they were, I admitted, free to consider me a foolish dreamer – but, if that was the case, then, wasn’t saying so sort of a mean-spirited and judgmental, reductive, and unnecessary response? Why write something like that?
The commenter came back at me with the “I meant it in a nice way, and you’ve turned it into something ugly. I was just trying to help you face the truth.”
Wow. The truth. Really? Whose truth would that be?
In my pursuit of my own truth, it has become increasingly clear that what we THINK we BELIEVE (or, what we BELIEVE we THINK) is – all too often – a confused, distorted morass of the unexamined, borrowed, and assumed that we’ve absorbed from parents, religious and educational institutions, media, and culture/society at large. All too often, we don’t really KNOW what we THINK and BELIEVE.
We are born porous, malleable creatures. All too often we discover all too late just how penetrable we are. By the time we begin to question ourselves, there has been so much seepage and infiltration, that it becomes difficult to determine what parts of us and our reactions and responses to life and our thoughts and views are actually integral, considered and developed pieces of the puzzle of who we truly are, and which have been embedded and brainwashed into us, conditioned, as it were by repetition and majority-group-think.
The exploration of that conundrum: “What and who am I?” – is the work of a life (I think.) (I believe.)
And to TRULY examine it, is terrifying. To take one’s self back to the blank, to the zero, and try to discover who we are without any of the assumptions and tenets passed on to us – WHAT DO WE REALLY BELIEVE? WHAT IS TRUE FOR ME? That is not an exploration for the weak of heart (or spirit).
For me, the greatest discovery – so far – is that I am in no way equipped to tell ANYONE the “truth” – nor, to engage in a debate about their “truth” with them. I should not have engaged the commenter in a discussion, the only point or purpose of which was for ME to tell them they were WRONG. Well, who am I to say that? And once I have said it, how am I AT ALL different from them? I’m not.
So, having felt judged, or, when I feel judged, I have been trying to re-adjust my brain/nervous system – which used to jump to the defensive stance – and, instead, sit in acceptance.
No, not that I “accept” that whatever I hear them saying is “right” – but, rather, that any issue I have with what is being said is NOT about the person saying it, but rather, about the way I am hearing it. If I truly believe (and I do TRULY want to believe) that the ultimate center/force/seed of all things is Light/Love – then if I am perceiving someone as judging me (harshly or positively) – I am not hearing/living at the center of things – I am allowing assumptions and boundaries of fear to define that energy for me.
Now, of course, this practice is best served by NEVER dealing with another human being – in person or technologically – hahahaha – so, of course, I still get my feelings hurt and feel judged or misunderstood or – all the other things we feel when someone cuts us off on the highway or pronounces judgment on us in all the ways people do that – in casual conversations, in the roles they expect us to play, in the roles they won’t allow us to play, in the way we look at someone’s outfit in public and think “oh no”, in the way we judge the books they read, the shows they watch, the people for whom they vote, or love, or don’t – on and on and on –
It’s ridiculously exhausting – and a complete distraction – all too often – and so – I am living more and more in silence. I am trying NOT to be reactive to words, actions – but, rather, to sit with whatever energy I am getting from others (people I know and strangers and the world at large) and NOT react – just sit in it, sit with it, let it be.
So, my silence – while it may not be golden – is not meant to be rude, and it is not that whatever I would say or do would be nice or not; I am just trying to peel away the layers of judgment I have been practicing and thinking and assuming for decades – clearing up my energies, exploring new possibilities and colors released by letting go of the boundaries of assumptions and social mores and judgments.
It’s where I’m trying to evolve – right now – here, where I am going.