One of the most powerful words any of us can ever learn to use when we are communicating with others, besides no, is I.
For some folk that may seem an odd thing to say as it could be read that I am referring to being selfish – far from it. There is a massive difference between being selfish and being self-centred and self-empowered.
What I have noticed consistently in my life, as I have observed interactions occurring between myself and others and between others, is that whenever “you” statements occur in a conversation as in “you have”, “you do”, “you do not”, “you are”, “you need to”, “you should” or “you must” etc., we are not coming from a space of Self-centred response, empowerment, love, peace or balance.
Ten times out of ten we are actually in the midst of a totally non thought about re-action (re-acting out an old subconscious behavioural pattern) as we busily, rudely, loudly and usually quite angrily fly off the handle and into another, not at all aware that we are projecting our own shadow and that which we do not see, or perhaps don’t want to see, hear or take responsibility for, within ourselves or about ourselves, onto another.
Whenever I hear “you” this or that, either from another or coming out of my own mouth or head in an attacking way my warning system rings a very loud alarm that screams like the robot from Lost in Space – Warning, Warning, Warning, Danger Will Robinson, Danger and the word “projection” blasts into my awareness. (Yes I know I am showing my age.)
One of the greatest challenges I personally face every single day are my own reality checks I feel compelled to make in relation to what I put out for others to read or not read, their choice, in terms of posters or articles. If I personally am not living the truth of what I am putting out in my interactions behind the scenes – I want to know about it because often the folk closest to me in my life see me clearer than I can see myself.
I therefore have several folk who help me keep a check on that because I have specifically asked them to point that kind of thing out to me as it is so very easy to create words that others can resonate with, relate to, be motivated or inspired by but if my interactions with others behind the scenes of those posters or articles are not congruent with the words I am putting out, they hold no value to me, or you, the reader, whatsoever.
They would just be hollow meaningless hypocritical jibber jabber at the core. They would have no depth, truth or substance and would not be coming from a space of integrity, they would just be nothing but noise created to add to an already often very noisy world wide web full of information, opinions, stories, perceptions, re-actions and responses.
When we become self-aware enough to stop using “you” and come instead from a space of Self-centred peace, a desire to understand, response and love, in a balanced way and therefore state instead “I think”, “I feel”, “it appears to me”, “I am”, “from my perception”, “for me” etc., we ARE taking full responsibility for whatever is going on for us, within us, emotionally or cognitively. We are NOT projecting our own “stuff” onto anyone else, nor are we are blaming others for our own experience. We are also not coming from a space of attack or defence, but a state of Self-aware empowered response.
Often when folk attack, for whatever reasons they are justifying in their own heads with whatever story they have created for themselves and fully believe, it is not only hurtful, it can sometimes be downright spiteful or misleading and it can often get very ugly very quickly, for the one attacked, quite rightly, feels a need to defend, explain, justify, attack back etc., and the result then often is a situation where more misunderstanding occurs due to intensifying energy building up and going back and forth in defence/attack/attack/defence style a bit like a tennis volley that just gets louder, more re-active and quicker as it gains momentum.
If we automatically re-act and attack or re-act to an attack and put ourselves in a situation upon being attacked where we do defend, justify and attack back we are just feeding a fire – yet when we remain silent that fire has no oxygen as such to keep it burning. It usually just dies down, for it runs out of the fuel (energy) needed to feed it and keep it burning and in the dying down you or I, or the person who was coming from the space of “you”, can, if they choose to, take a look at themselves in the mirror they were projecting themselves onto that is now non-responsive and just reflecting themselves back to themselves fully for them to clearly see and hear themselves. This then becomes a huge gift for the attacking or blaming person to take a long hard look at their own projections, insecurities, justifications, stories, fears and emotional re-actions should they choose to do so.
A very useful thing I work on keeping in mind, which I have been working on for years and no it doesn’t always happen in all situations, is to NOT respond automatically to anything at all when I am feeling a strong emotional re-action to what has been projected with a “you” attack or via an emotional re-action I myself may have that I am projecting. I’ve found it is far more revealing when I stop and ask myself – What is this REALLY about? Why am I feeling this way? With every answer that comes to me I question it further and further until I find the gift in it for me to learn from. I have also often found that those answers will come by way of a sleeping dream.
I always find there is a nugget of truth and a gift I am able to see in the mirror hanging on the wall in front of me who, from my perception, has been attacking me or who I have subconsciously been projecting my own stuff onto. Sometimes that nugget of truth has been an article such as this one, a poster I have created or that I have realised I needed to create better boundaries, respect my Self more, see clearer the wounds another is carrying, or the truth about another their projections are revealing. Sometimes I need to take a closer look at my own wounds, distance myself from folk until they do look at their stuff and come back later or work through my own stuff alone, see how my words or actions have impacted on another or if need be walk totally away from another for this life time so they can deal with their own stuff that I no longer have the time, patience or energy to deal with if I am constantly met with rudeness and barriers when trying to sort an issue out.
This non-reactive business and learning to come from a space of response rather than automatic re-action has taken me a LOT of years’ work to get more of a handle on as up until not so long ago the not so peaceful warrior in me would come to the fore if warranted with a sword and shred an attacker to pieces verbally in one form or another. That part of me has been known to be quite lethal and often folk have not known what’s hit them when I do allow that part of me to emerge and take flight when I feel I have been pushed too far or another has pushed someone else too far who I care about.
Perhaps as I am getting older I am actually getting wiser and whilst I have known for a long time how very much I enjoy peace and quiet without all the drama of youth and re-active projections coming from myself or at me from people of all ages, I am seeing another dimension to that old phrase – Silence is golden. In so many situations I am seeing silence holds way more power, peace, learning and gifts than bringing out my warrior’s sword via an emotionally re-active tongue or mind, expressed in person or via a keyboard.
My grandmother, bless her, in her attempts to get me to see this truth over the years I was growing up whilst she was still alive, when I would be ranting and raving about something or the other would often say to me – You’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar Cheryl. Funny thing about that was she wasn’t always known for her diplomacy and tact and vinegar was often her unconsciously chosen medicine to dish out to others if she felt it was warranted.
I think though, whilst I have and never will qualify for the role of a diplomat, for a spade is a spade to me, not a bloodied pitch fork wrapped up in a bow, and I have an inbuilt tendency to just say it how I see it, I finally understand exactly what she was saying.
For me at the moment vinegar has its place in my pantry and may still at times be necessary to use but I am finding more and more that honey experienced in Self-Centred, Self Aware and Self Empowered silence and peace is far sweeter, more fruitful and makes life way more enjoyable, palatable and digestible.
Copyright. C. O’Connor.
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