I recently committed myself (I wrote it out meaningfully and forcefully in my journal, now making it a legit commitment-moving-towards-manifestation) to a new “rule,” if you will. I’m not really one for making up “rules” that actually feel good, but I am an incredibly disciplined person and this commitment has been a long time coming. Thus, I felt it a very necessary and appropriate “rule” to implement.
I SHALL NOT JUDGE, COMPARE, CRITIQUE OR FEEL INFERIOR BASED ON ANOTHER’S CHOICES, LIFE, APPEARANCE, ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR OPINIONS.
Heavy, I know.
And hard. It’s going to be fucking HARD to keep with this one. But I’m on day three and, while the practice is fierce, it is also deeply healing. Yes, I said healing.
I’m realizing already, that through my judgments of and comparison with others, I am ultimately just judging and belittling MYSELF. Ultimately it is me who suffers. And, as a result, the vibration I’m emitting is weaker and dampened. My harsh inner dialogue, when it includes comparison, judgement and critique, is enfeebling my ability to vibrate at the frequency I know I’m capable of and meant to be operating on; it is crippling.
I’ll admit, I always find it mortifying to confess my triggers. But the more life I live, the more comfortable and even empowered I feel by doing so. I mean, hey, this is why I write, no? This is why I expose myself to anyone who cares to stumble upon Body Karma: for growth. For evolution. For the love of transparency and authenticity.
So here goes. Truth time. I am super triggered by a lot of things in life, and one I keep coming up against are runners. I know. Random. Strange, perhaps. But still, it is what it is. And I acknowledge it.
I’ve written about this before. Fellow yogis who also run. It makes me feel inferior. No, let me rephrase – I choose to feel inferior (ah that’s harder to say!) when I discover this. I can run, so why does it bug me?
I spent over a decade as a competitive, full-time athlete where running was a daily occurrence. Sprints, laps, miles, suicides. You name it. I have, as a result, developed a mildly loathsome relationship with running (save for the free-spirited sprints up hills when the desire strikes on a hike). To me it still feels like punishment and competition. Like, “When the FUCK is this going to end.” I find myself now riddled with the urge to tear down the sport of running. Desire to convince the world that it’s not good. Just like i had the desire to convince the world to be vegan when I was strict vegan, and to eat eggs when I started eating eggs again. A desire to make everyone be like me so I wouldn’t feel threatened.
Oh yeah, there it is.
“It’s bad for the joints, it’s hard on the body, it’s debilitating on the knees, blah blah blah.” My soliloquy for the anti-running campaign in my head is strong. Those are all true for me, yes. But they have no place whatsoever in a discussion with anyone who is not me. I have no way of knowing what it feels like to be in someone else’s body. I have no right to impart my own beliefs or judgements onto anyone else’s existence. What anything may or may not mean to someone else. Who the hell am I to judge someone for loving to run, or for adoring cross-fit, or for being obsessed with triathlons? More power to ya!
That’s what I think is coming to me more forcefully than anything else during this new approach, during this newfound commitment to non-judgment…is the energy of more power to ya.
I am realizing that someone else loving something that I don’t love, someone else being good at something that I suck at, someone else valuing something that I don’t value…DOES. NOT. LESSEN. MY. POWER.
Nor does it lesson my value, my ability, my worth or my own approach to living life.
Triggers come in many shapes and sizes. Your friend loves their high-powered career and it threatens your part-time, work-from-home approach to income. Someone you know believes a woman’s worth comes from having children, and you’ve chosen not to be a mother. A family member is close-minded and ignorant about sexuality and you feel judged for your orientation. People at work are openly atheist and your religious or spiritual alignment feels terrorized, or vice versa.
I could go on and on. There are innumerable examples for how we feel triggered and threatened, more reasons than could possibly be discussed in such a small space for why we react the way we do to these external forces.
But the truth of the matter is that everything in life is a projection of our own thoughts. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. No exceptions. Even if we’re “right,” even if a person does judge us, it’s still our believing of that thought that causes the suffering. Not the person’s judgement of us. Everything comes down to our perception. If we believe a thought, it can cause suffering. If we believe the opposite of that thought, it can cause peace. It’s really a simple formula. We can choose to turn up the volume on some things and mute others. But it is way easier said than done.
So what is the point of this? The point is that this practice is fierce, it is medicinal, it is necessary. Every thought we have is a judgement. “It’s cold out,” is a judgement. The person standing beside me might disagree. “That’s awful,” or, “that’s fantastic.” All judgements. “She’s too thin,” or, “he looks so old.” Judgements. Judgements. Judgements. Everything is a projection of our own mind. So, to dwarf the level of our suffering, to reclaim some semblance of control over how we experience the world outside of ourselves (the parts over which we have so very little control), we have but one choice: mental hygiene. A severe and acute commitment to how, what and why we think the way we do. Every. Single. Day.
Are you up for the challenge? I am. Every ounce of my being is deeply committed to the healing, unifying process of dissecting my thoughts and my own inner monologue. So what if someone lives differently than I do. So what if I get judged for the choices I make. So what if no one actually, in reality, even gives a flying fuck how I live my life and why I live it the way I do. All that matters, all that actually truly matters, is what I think. The projection I choose.
So get on with your bad Self. Do your thing. See if you can challenge yourself to judge less, critique less, compare less. Notice if the healing that begins to occur is actually inside of your very own flesh, cells, mind, Spirit and physical space. Committing to judging, critiquing and comparing less does not heal those we’ve judged, critiqued and compared ourselves to, no no – it heals us. It frees us. So fly your freak flag high. Run, walk; sit, jump; workout, don’t; read, don’t; care, don’t. I say more power to ya.