RE-Juicing the Common Ground with Rowan Duczek
7.) Reflection – I recognise that anything I see outside of myself; any criticisms, irritations or appreciations, may also be reflections of what is inside me, and I commit to looking at these before addressing others.
I presume that this guideline aims at Self-Reflection, which is always a good thing. However, it can also lead to increased guilt-feelings and ‘beating oneself up’ which is not helpful. The well-known and – to my mind – often misused and misunderstood – phrase “you are creating your own reality” plays a part here. It presumes that the 3-dimensional reality I am experiencing as a soul in bodily incarnation is the only reality there is. That is a fallacy!
The notion of ‘creating one’s own reality’ is particularly pernicious when it comes towards one from another person. A friend of a friend of mine, in hospital with presumed cancer had a visitor who entered her room with the words, “Now, why have you created that for yourself?” How heartless and insensitive is that?
Any trauma, crisis or illness that we might experience – outside our conscious control – might well lead to an immensely increased self-awareness and personal growth, provided we are able to physically, psychologically and emotionally survive it. My years of depression have made me much more compassionate towards others experiencing this horrendous and debilitating state of mind. And my commitment to a renewed passionate engagement with life is in part certainly due to my boy Danny’s sudden death some 9 years ago. It is not for me to try to understand and analyze what God/the Universe/the Sacred (use whichever word suits you) puts in my way. All I can reflect upon is how I deal with it.
Another phrase that can shut one up is “This is your stuff, deal with it!” It stops any creative movement in its tracks. I remember the early 1970’s in Germany. I was politically on the ‘Left’. Any criticism voiced towards the West German government was often countered with the words, “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you just bugger-off to the East?!” In the same way, voicing concerns about unsatisfactory living conditions in this Community can be countered with; “If you don’t like it, well… leave!” This is NOT a creative response!
I can see that a person with a calm ZEN approach will view a possible conflict situation with very different eyes than I do. I am a passionate human being and – yes – I do get fed up at times. But within my sphere of influence, it is exactly that passion that seems to move things forward. My favourite question to myself is, “What is my part in this debacle?” and then to be gentle with myself. And… having a sense of humour is a life-saver!