“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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869 thoughts on ““I don’t do that!”

  1. There is a beautiful saying that asks we remove the log from our own eye before pointing out the splinter in the eye of another. This comes to me when I’m judging another and I always find the same issue I’m judging in them is in me too. It’s simple really isn’t it – if we react to the behaviour of another we need to look to our own eye first and clear what is there.

    1. Definitely Lucy I have found that as well. But until I started to question my own responsibility I would just judge the other and not see the same playing out in my behaviours/choices. It’s only since I started to reflect on my own behaviours and choices that I know what plays out in another can be/is in me too.

  2. We only have to check the quality of thoughts we receive to see if our movements and way of living is loving. Otherwise, we can fool ourselves and others through controlling the outward behaviors, but the energy will not actually change.

    1. We can make everything look perfect, but quality cannot be made to look like anything. Quality can always be read.

      1. That’s very true Michael. What something ‘looks like’ matters not when energy is read.

      2. Very true and basic examples of this can be dressing to match a certain look but how do the clothes feel on our body? We can be friendly with a person face to face but what are our thoughts about them? or our words to others about them? Food might smell amazing and tempting but how does it feel inside us afterwards? Music can sound great but what does our nervous system, or our heart beat have to say about the vibration? Inside we can feel the quality that initially our other senses may not have practiced picking up on while growing up.

  3. Being truthful and loving with ourselves and others opens us up to be able to say, yes I do do that; but I am learning not to. It is as simple and as challenging as that.

    1. ‘as simple and as challenging as that’ – I love this statement because it is only challenging when we are tripping over pride or trying to keep up some kind of appearance – opening ourselves up to the endless opportunity to learn makes much more sense of life.

  4. ” A small dose of abuse and a large dose of abuse both, in the end, equal abuse.” I am sure many people would argue with this statement, believing that someone who verbally abuses their partner is not as bad as the one who physically abuses, but the truth is, abuse is abuse, and often we don’t consider deeply enough how damaging different forms of abuse can be…..the criticism and verbal abuse we sling at another may not leave the physical bruising that a punch or slap in the face might, but it could be far more debilitating, leaving mental scarring for a life time.

    1. That’s true and a bruise will in time heal but a person affected by a certain tone or for example having their full name used when being told off as a kid – that pain can remain life long.

      1. Yes, the bruise can heal on a physical level in a day or two – but just like a word can cause psychological harm to us, so can physical abuse – there really isn’t any difference between the two.

  5. The more aware we become, the smarter the energy we’re dealing with becomes also. It sneaks in under disguise and plays it’s little games.

  6. Learning from challenging situations and experiences supports us to go deeper into our patterns of behaviour that does not serve us or humanity; your blog Leigh is a beautiful gentle reminder of this.

  7. It is very uncomfortable but I just think it is sheer genius how we often find ourselves reacting to others’ behaviours and choices and it really gets us, but what we are seeing is exactly what we do and judge ourselves for, and either way we are being given an opportunity to clock and understand what is going on, and it opens up space for us to choose more love.

  8. I had to read this again today and appreciate that initially this process was not easy to come to. And it still isn’t easy when having to feel that bruised pride and arrogance and the sulking of not wanting to take responsibility for my choices. But now I have the repeated experience that once that tantrum and tension is felt, it soon leaves and my relationships expand. I deeply appreciate those who have pushed my buttons as they offer moments of reflection, if I don’t like what’s reflected then I seek to feel, understand and be aware of why I also do that.

    1. I agree Leigh. The moment I can feel my buttons being pushed is the time it is to look inward and not outward to find the true cause. Then it can be seen as a gift rather than a nuisance.

      1. Ditto, and that grated pride becomes less of a hurdle, I am less protective of the irresponsible choices made because understanding why I made them feels so much grander. Button pushers are a gift! Makes me wonder how many buttons I push in others…

  9. ‘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.’ What a beautiful statement to end this blog with Leigh, looking at the whole and the wisdom that lives in us all.

  10. “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” Sometimes if I get an e:mail that is in a strong emotional energy and requires a reply I have to leave it and come back to myself in full, absolute in myself before I can read it with total detachment and answer it in a true and loving way. Rather than complain about this correspondence I could see it as a gift, allowing me to care more deeply for myself and answer from a place of love and truth and power.

  11. There is a relationship we can with responsibility that is very inspiring. When things happen if we ask ourselves what part we played in it then we are open to learning and not caught in a blame and victim cycle. I am enjoying practising this.

    1. So am I Matilda! It now feels like common practice to always look at my part in what has played out, for it would be impossible for me to not have contributed to something that I am affected by in one way or another. Introducing this responsibility has really helped clear things much quicker and not to mention felt a lot more empowering as it highlights patterns and behaviours I run with that I can then see are not serving me.

      1. It is indeed astounding to see if I don’t look at life that way, then I play a life of being a victim, blaming things, saying things have happened to me. Not empowering at all.

  12. That is a very honest sharing Leigh, thank you. It triggered the same question in me as well? Do I do that? I also have mainly “white” friends who are well educated and have good jobs, and yes I can see I subtly avoid people from different back grounds. It just means I have to work on connecting more to my essence so I can feel that these people, all people are just like me in essence.

  13. It is interesting that because we do not outwardly speak bad of someone or a group of people, that we can fool ourselves into believing that we do not hold the same beliefs as someone who does – who in that moment is being more honest.

    1. I love this, Julie…”who in that moment is being more honest.” Yet we who walk with an air of righteousness look down our noses and criticise those same people who, as you say ‘are actually being more honest’…… and open in their beliefs, all the while thinking, believing, we are fooling ourselves and those around us that we are the more tolerant ones. Only, in truth, they are simply a surface wound whereas we are the disease that takes hold.

    1. It is because more now I don’t see myself separate from others but I can learn about myself from every person I meet. And I meet a lot of people in my daily life! The scope to understand is unlimited if I choose to continue to be open.

  14. When we truly appreciate someone or something it lays the foundation and opportunity for even more appreciation to grow.

  15. Choosing essence over judgement is a truly humbling experience in feeling our equalness in this world and that there is room for much more understanding, love and patience.

  16. Yes choice words and very convenient. We all use ‘I don’t do that’ when in fact if we are using it, chances are that you are or have been doing whatever it is you are saying you haven’t. So being able to choose openness, non reaction, is a choice we can only make when we are those qualities with ourselves first.

  17. Whenever words come out as absolute, it gives me an opportunity to drop into humbleness. Do I really do that, all the time? Or do I really don’t do that, at all? If I am honest, the answer is always no, and there the deepening happens. Pure gold.

  18. “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.” I feel in this sentence alone if truly carried out then the world would have no more racism no more sexism no more discrimination. When we truly know our own beauty we know we are all one and the same.

    1. It also cuts out the judgement or even dislike of others. I found someones behaviour off-putting today but there were also moments I couldn’t deny seeing a sweetness in the person.

  19. “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.” I love how you bring us back to all of us, showing us that in the end or shall we say from the start there is no line of separation between us but a collectivity that allows us to learn with each other and grow together.

  20. I have to say that if I see people boarding a plane that look as though they might come from a country that has an ideology that its okay to harm people, it does cross my mind that they have the potential to harm me and everyone else. It doesn’t stop me flying but I would be lying if I said it doesn’t effect me.

  21. Brilliant to flip the mirror like this Leigh and to clock that however big or small the judgements and their expressions, in the end they are one and the same.

  22. Yesterday at the checkout standing there in the cue with about 3 people of different nationality and social status I was checking myself regarding prejudice and it took a moment to identify it but first I felt it simply as a tension in my body, a lack of openness, a subtle hardening or restraint. With that awareness I started to figure out how to open up, relax, let go of whatever I was holding against those people and while doing so it was much easier to identify the ideals and beliefs, fears and judgments.

  23. We can all relate to being discriminatory…the moment we go into judgement towards another about anything we are discriminating rather than allowing that person to simply be.

    1. We can all relate to it, complain and know it is detrimental to our personal and societal well-being and yet when faced with being responsible we look the other way. Doesn’t make any sense to me. Claiming the fact that I judge is the first step to understanding and responsibly putting an end to it.

  24. I think it’s great how you raise here Leigh that a downgraded version of prejudice is still prejudice – it is still harming and if we settle for thinking it doesn’t matter or label it as ‘normal’ and not having any effect then we dismiss that fact that it is still harming…

    1. I was wondering this morning with the whole Brexit situation here in the UK. What if every single comment, gesture, glance or even silence in the face of racism and nationalism has contributed to what we have now? It’s accepted in society to blame ‘them’ but never ourselves but if we were truly embracing of others these ‘smaller’ forms of abuse would not be considered acceptable.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Alex and it’s beautiful we have these reflections and people that push our bottons because when we flip it back to the relationship with ourselves life becomes much more understanding.

      1. Hi Leigh I do believe you intended to say “push our buttons” so felt to point this out to any surprised reader.

  25. “Energy tells us precisely if a behaviour, word, gesture, or movement is love or not love.” . . . yes we don’t even have to hear the words that are being spoken as we can feel all.

    1. That is a very good point. We can naturally be repulsed by a behaviour we know is unloving but if we judge another for it then we cut ourselves off from truly seeing all that is going on and having a deeper understanding of any situation…

  26. “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.”

    Game-changer that sentence, Right there. Start to live like this and we can change the world.

  27. It is amazing to see how we all offer each other a mirror of something we may not have seen for ourselves. It is in our interactions with others that we get the opportunity to see where we react or judge and how this behaviour then allows us the space to reflect on why we hold this view in the first place. Reflections: A world of truth expressed through our interconnected lives.

  28. I agree Leigh we understand life far better when we are aware of energy and the quality of energy that we are connected to that allows us to express openly and freely with everyone around us or not. The key is to build a consistently loving and tender way of being with ourselves first which naturally expands to how we equally express with others, whatever the outer appearance or expression that is presented.

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