“I don’t do that!”

Recently it’s come to my attention that when I claim that I am not a part of something, it comes to light that I actually am very much a part of that which I have believed myself to be immune to or separate from, and that my misperception arises simply because I do not display the same behaviours as someone who is expressing them in the most extreme forms.

For example: I considered myself to be very open and welcoming of all people. Having been brought up in a predominantly English town and countryside and attending a school with Christian beliefs, my interactions with those of other racial backgrounds and religious affiliations were limited. But because I was not outwardly verbal or actively engaging in hate speech or intolerance towards others, as I had seen some people do, I assumed that I held no prejudices, but was instead a very open person.

Last year I moved into an area of London where a large percentage, if not the majority, of the residents are from Africa and the Caribbean. Equally, there is a very strong Christian and Muslim community presence. When I moved into the area, walking through the local streets I had this feeling of tension in my body; on the High Street and in the local stores I found I was avoiding people. I was holding beliefs that I could not speak to, or be seen engaging with, these people because we were from two different worlds. Even before moving to this area, I often struggled to understand the Caribbean and African accents and would avoid conversations with people with such accents so I would not feel uncomfortable about not understanding what was being said and to avoid expressing that I didn’t understand.

It then occurred to me in conversation with another that I was, in fact, prejudiced against people! This grated on my pride, which was claiming that because I don’t outwardly make snide comments or verbal or physical attacks, that I was not a part of such a consciousness, and yet here I was doing the exact same thing, simply played out in another way.

Since this realisation, my relationship with my local community has opened up and continues to grow. The feelings of being uncomfortable or out of place are fading away and I am far more at ease approaching and speaking to those who live around me. It’s like a barrier broke down; the barrier of the belief that our outward appearances, religions and origins make us completely different and unable to connect to one another.

From this example I have started to take notice when there are these ‘I don’t do that’ thoughts. I’ve found that there is often something to pay attention to, because there is a tone of defence in those thoughts, and if I truly were not a part of that energy that can be seen in the most extreme and the more subtle behaviours, then why the need for me to defend in the first place? This comes up anytime I react to another’s behaviour and judge it as being wrong in some way, because in this stance, I believe I have the right to judge without looking back at myself to see if that same quality is also playing out in my own life and within my own choices, or has done so in the past.

This experience has opened up my understanding as to what Serge Benhayon shares about us all being connected at all times and that, just because our actions may not outwardly match those of another who is expressing the same quality in a more extreme way, it doesn’t mean our own downgraded version of the same energy is any less potent. It only indicates that we have accepted an illusionary scale of what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, without looking underneath at the root energy that can only be love or not-love. A small dose of abuse and a large dose of abuse both, in the end, equal abuse.

At the same time, the love that Serge Benhayon shares is no greater than the love we can express, only that through his consistent choices we see the grander effect of what built upon expressions of love can bring, when compared to our own position of starting out and learning the basics of expressing love, rather than expressing harm. In this way it shows us that our expressions of love are not lesser, but that the deeper expressions that come through those who have worked on living a loving life are an example of the potential our loving expressions can bring, should we also choose to build on, and with, them.

Life’s outplays come from energy and when this is brought to the fore of our attention, it starts to break down this accepted scale of behaviours that we have deemed are loving or harming. Energy tells us precisely if a behaviour, word, gesture, or movement is love or not love. This allows us to understand life far better than when we rely exclusively on the physical world to present us with the extreme ends of the scale – and then hides the same ills in the perceived ‘good’, ‘benevolent’ or ‘tolerant’ ways of living.

By looking at my reactions and judgments towards others and flipping the mirror back to myself, I cannot stand before anyone and say, “I don’t do that,” or that I have never done that, for it is, in fact, a lie. Keeping myself open to understanding why people do what they do, and by learning and understanding how I do the exact same, just in my own style, indicates that we are not separate from each other, but in fact very related and connected.

With all of this in consideration, how then is it possible to believe that we are separate individuals when we are so relatable to one another? By looking at these behaviours, from another and within myself, I am learning that these reactions and ill ways are not me, thus they are not the other person either.

When looking beyond them and connecting to the beauty within me again, it equally opens up my ability to receive the beauty in others, who are also not exclusively their behaviours. Clearly, we all have greater depths waiting to be expressed and it is together, through our reflections, that we support each other to become aware of this.

By Leigh Matson

Related Reading
Refugees
“He who casts the first stone”
My Experience with Refugees

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1,033 thoughts on ““I don’t do that!”

  1. Anything uttered with vehemence or defensiveness deserves a closer look – what is it we are wanting to hide, even from ourselves?

  2. “A small dose of abuse and a large dose of abuse both, in the end, equal abuse.” This is a brilliant point and one that supports us to drop our arrogance and “better than another” stance we may have. There is abuse or no abuse and never can there be anything in between.

  3. I loved reading your blog again Leigh, sometime after reading your blog the first time, I found myself saying, when people talked about food and being caught back into eating sugary foods for instance , I would say to myself “I don’t do that” food did not seem a problem to me. Until I found myself ordering and eating a gluten and dairy free muffin, full of sugar, I was so surprised by my actions, and actually hated the taste of the sugar, but I ate it. It was a great lesson for me to really observe whenever I say “I don’t do that”, that the same energy is playing itself out somewhere in my life.

  4. Observing our judgements is a great way to get to know the areas where we are still carrying hurts that are preventing us from loving all equally.

  5. The barriers that you talk about, must come tumbling down. These barriers are not real, just erected by people’s projections, and yet people live by them and are trapped by them.

  6. “A small dose of abuse and a large dose of abuse both, in the end, equal abuse.” This is so important to remember and stops us thinking that we can get away with things that we may think are not so bad because they are less obvious.

  7. I see this irony play out a lot at when people complain about another person’s behaviour. The words that come out of their mouth are often exactly the words that other people have used to describe them. We don’t like having the mirror of reflection held up to us and to know that we can trigger a hurt in others just as they can trigger hurts in us.

  8. What a humbling moment that takes us straight to equality and brotherhood when we see what you have described. The same energy is passing through us all, becoming aware of which one we are choosing is what then makes us us, which is what takes us back to the all we are from.

  9. “At the same time, the love that Serge Benhayon shares is no greater than the love we can express, only that through his consistent choices we see the grander effect of what built upon expressions of love can bring, when compared to our own position of starting out and learning the basics of expressing love, rather than expressing harm. In this way it shows us that our expressions of love are not lesser, but that the deeper expressions that come through those who have worked on living a loving life are an example of the potential our loving expressions can bring, should we also choose to build on, and with, them.” Serge Benhayon is a great example of the power of consistently choosing love.

  10. “A small dose of abuse and a large dose of abuse both, in the end, equal abuse.” Any amount of abuse adds to the collective poison of abuse. At the other end of the seesaw, a small dose of love and a large dose of love are equal love and build a foundation of love for all to feel.

  11. Only by opening up to one another and by letting each other in, we can deconstruct the ill that the life in separation has brought to us.

  12. We can be very quick to say, ‘I dont do that’, and very reluctant to admit that in fact we do. But when we are willing to see where we do do exactly those things that we dont like to see in others, it is amazing how quickly our individaul behaviour changes as we become aware of the situations where we do those things that we previously denied doing.

    1. Anyone who has from their mind said “I need to break this habit, I’ll change tomorrow, I’ll exercise every day etc.” Chances are that change is short lived. Only when we feel our behaviours, being the recipient of such from another can support more lasting behaviour change.

  13. We have so much to offer one another through our expression… as a reflection but also by way of sharing, learning and growing together.

    1. To me it is the only way to grow out of the mess we have created by living in separation from the love we are from.

  14. This is a great sharing Leigh… one in which we are all a part of. It is so very humbling for us to become aware of our behaviours, and to realise we are no different to any other – whether the behaviour is overt or covert, it is all the same energy, and still affects everyone.

    1. Being humble is much healthier for us than being reactive. And it’s not something that only for certain people and not others. We can all be humbled if willing to let go of our arrogance.

  15. “Energy tells us precisely if a behaviour, word, gesture, or movement is love or not love.” This is so true. We can feel the effects of our words resonating through our body after we have spoken. If we take the time to feel this and be honest this cannot be denied. After speaking with resentment or anger our body can feel poisoned, whereas after speaking with love there is a feeling of expansion and ease and joy.

  16. I love the awareness shared here, how when we go into defence and judgement there is usually something for us to look at in ourselves; that another might be showing us how we too behave in our own version of what we often judge and how seeing the wider perspective and bringing understanding allows all of us grows everyone and strips away our layers of separation- we are all in this together for sure.

    1. The reflections that other people provide us, to help us grow, are not the thing we react to but it’s ourselves and not accepting that we are seeing and feeling our own behaviours (that we can be blind to) in full view from another angle(person). I am learning that when I withdraw from relationships it’s because I don’t want to face myself!

      1. “I am learning that when I withdraw from relationships it’s because I don’t want to face myself!” This has been quite an ah-ha moment to read this… I realised I withdrew in a relationship recently because I didn’t want to feel my own neediness – thank you so much for your inspiration Leigh.

      2. That’s just it Leigh, it’s almost never truly about the other, but about us being willing to see where we’re at and what we’ve in fact aligned to and allowed; and the beauty is that others are there always to remind us of that, so we do in fact eventually face ourselves, for I find if I do withdraw from any relationship because I don’t like the reflection it turns up elsewhere; and while it might appear annoying at times (and I’ve been there), I’m learning that this is true love and true support for without these reflections I would not clearly see what in fact I’m doing. The beauty of how we all support each other.

  17. What we see in others is a valuable reflection – either a reminder to learn to change how we are or how we are doing something or on the contrary a wonderful confirmation of what we have already mastered or no longer do. This is how we can all grow and learn from each other each of us playing an equally important role and reflection.

  18. It is easy to be blind to what we do that needs to change, whilst it is easier to see more clearly in others. With our own stuff due to investments we can have trouble seeing through the fog – and the investments are about protecting ourselves from our hurts. With enough space and love, we can allow ourselves to feel these and embrace things.

  19. Great awareness and observation here Leigh. I have recently started a counselling course and in our last class were looking at diversity and discrimination and asked the question ‘how has your culture shaped you?’. This question kind of dumbfounded me as I thought ‘what culture’ but when you start to truly look at things you find subtleties that were or are there that you did not realise where there!

  20. This article makes an incredibly important point about how extreme behaviours can be taken as the true marker of that behaviour, when in fact there are many and more subtle versions which can go unnoticed but are just as harming all the same.

  21. Interesting how we can literally give ourselves away by what we say, this is where friends can pull us up, if we don’t do it for ourselves first, and support us to get back on track. Likewise we can support others.

    1. If we are sensitive to the tone and feeling of what around us is saying, not off in our heads stuck on something they said or rehearsing what we will say or staring into space, there is so much that is unspoken but still communicated.

  22. I love re-reading this blog – there is so much honesty and wisdom that is delivered by the writer.
    Thank you Leigh.

  23. Most people have no idea of the subtle little prejudices and mental implants that are driving them… Unless we truly come to know ourselves we will always be run by these things.

  24. How often do we do that? We look at others point the finger and yet we forget that three fingers are pointing right back at us.

  25. Leigh it’s interesting that abuse even in a more subtle form is no less potent than it’s extremes, which highlights our true responsibility, to always choose love and our soul as the source of energy we draw from as we know it can never harm.

    1. I always relate it to Japanese knotweed, it starts small and grows rapid then takes over everything. Dismissing the sprouts and seedlings of abuse only leads to our self-chosen misery.

  26. Judgement is such a shutdown on every level, for ourselves and not being truly honest to where we have come from and what we have chosen or still choosing and then projecting outwardly an option on another for a picture that doesn’t quite add up to what we are wanting it to be.

  27. It’s revealing how often the things that annoy us the most about others, we pretty much do, or have done ourselves, in some way.

  28. “By looking at these behaviours, from another and within myself, I am learning that these reactions and ill ways are not me, thus they are not the other person either.” When we can stand back and observe our own behaviours it becomes easier to see the judgement and the arrogance of saying ‘I don’t do that’. I know for myself I can be too quick to place judgement on another and be blinded to the fact that I may do exactly the same, just not at that moment or in a less obvious way.

  29. I have recently had an experience of judging and blaming someone about their imposing behaviour and the energy that they are in, when I came to realise that I do the same, I was fooled into thinking I don’t do that because my behaviour was much more subtle, when I felt into the energy, I came to realise that it was the same imposing energy only a milder version of it.

  30. I keep peeling back layers! the more I look the more I see, the less I like what I see and the more I have an opportunity to peel back another layer. I have realised we can go through life blaming everyone else and judging others but actually there is no difference between us all, other than what we choose to put in between us. I suspect we are scratching the surface of what being from the same source looks and feels like.

    1. Same here Lucy, since writing this blog the process of “I don’t do that” hasn’t left me. It keeps peeling back layers and layers of my own behaviours and the energy I am using.

  31. I love seeing young children who see other children playing and just toddle over to be with them and join in with what they are doing – there is a natural acceptance of this that is rarely present with older children or adults – having been taught ‘good manners’ around acceptable behaviour. What a great loss and re-inforcement of separation as individuals.

  32. “This allows us to understand life far better than when we rely exclusively on the physical world to present us with the extreme ends of the scale – and then hides the same ills in the perceived ‘good’, ‘benevolent’ or ‘tolerant’ ways of living” – well stated Leigh. And to mistake tolerance for acceptance is like mistaking emotional love for true love. Both are understood as love though the quality of the former being the total opposite of the latter’s unconditional truth.

  33. We have laws that outlaw racial discrimination and most of us would say that we are not racists but is it true what you say in my opinion we all have some small vestige of racism in us that we don’t pay any attention to. So long as we are aligned to the predominant separatist consciousness of this world we will not be able to see that we are all the same and all equal.

    1. The racial discrimination laws only penalise for extreme behaviour, many a time at work I’ve been witness to people making comments about someone based on their nationality or skin tone and think to myself “That’s really racist” – but do I point it out to them? not every time, is that feeding those comments and energy to remain? yes. Ouch.

      1. We could own up to not speaking up at times like these and yes by not speaking up we are condoning the behaviour and we make ourselves part of the problem.

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