“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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910 thoughts on ““I don’t do that!”

  1. We are held by so many ideals and beliefs that we are not aware of and what I like about you sharing is that how by simply observing and being honest with oneself these barriers as you call them are broken down and there is more space and freedom for us to enjoy and more awareness to be had we can build on.

  2. It was great reading your blog today Leigh after an experience I had yesterday, at one of the houses in our street, people there have a religious gathering quite often, on my walk I passed by their house and as I did I felt an energy come up in my body. It felt like a separating energy, like the them and us. I too have felt myself to be open to all people in the past, but what was this energy.? As I am writing this, a childhood experience came up for me. Growing up in the catholic church sixty years ago we were forbidden to enter another church, we had to keep ourselves separate, also as our school bus passed the public school there was an ugly chant we used to say about the school. I am saddened by the separation that religion has fed into us when we are all divinely connected as sons of a one loving God.

    1. There are lots of imposed ideas that we are taught in our childhood (a time in which we experience no differences and separation from others at all) that keep rooted in us as a belief, unless we become aware of them and decide to come back to the original unity we come from.

  3. We can look out at more extreme versions of abuse and condemn them but then in a way use that as an excuse to justify or dismiss seemingly lesser forms of abuse that we condone and perpetuate in our lives. This is not to say we should be accepting of the more obvious abuses but not use them as a way of distracting ourselves from being aware of what abuse we may be allowing and adding to ourselves, however small it may seem in comparison for it all adds to the pool of energy that we all live in.

  4. It is interesting how we can get caught in an energy that takes us out when we choose to stay in judgement rather than observe what is going on and let whatever needs to play out pass by.

  5. “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.” Understanding that other people are just mirrors of our own behaviour- be it for ‘good’ or ‘bad’. So we can never judge others – just need to bring more understanding – for them and for us too.

  6. ‘A small dose of abuse and a large dose of abuse both, in the end, equal abuse.’ This is very wise Leigh as it sets a standard of no abuse rather than merely wanting to reduce the extremes in society.

    1. Yes and encourages us to question what we accept and don’t accept as abuse. This asks us to go back to the little comments, our connections with each other, the levels of self-worth, self-esteem, jealousy and comparison we accept as normal.

  7. Great blog Leigh, I have to throw my hands in the air and say this has happened to me also. I have never considered myself racist but my daughter goes to a school where there seems to be every different religion and nationality on the planet and what I have observed is that some don’t seem to mix very well and so far I haven’t made much effort to mix with the parents or be very open myself. Perhaps if I open up a bit it might start some sort of ball rolling.

  8. ‘Energy tells us precisely if a behaviour, word, gesture, or movement is love or not love.’ And so how important it is to live in a way that keeps us aware and sensitive of our energetic nature.

  9. It is easy to get into the belief that because people dress differently, speak another language or have different beliefs in God that we have nothing in common and cannot communicate to each other. I am currently involved with a project that has me for the first time in my life having contact with Muslim women, and they are absolutely gorgeous, funny, sensitive, playful and we manage to communicate about all sorts of things. All I can say is our lives are enriched by reaching out to others regardless of what we think the differences are because underneath we are all the same.

  10. It somehow is amusing when we get to realize that we do a lot of the things we are convinced of not doing or being part of; often it is simply more subtle than we were willing to see. To bring that deeper level of honesty and awareness may bring a moment of discomfort but then it is actually quite liberating and allows us to leave behind what we no longer want to continue.

  11. We can go through life thinking “I don’t do that” and really believe it. How beautiful when whatever it is that we think we don’t do comes up for us to look at. Nothing quite like discovering you had your head in the sand when you didn’t even know there was sand around.

  12. I feel privileged to have been brought up in London surrounded by a wealth of different races and cultures. I enjoy the diversity, and when I am in an area that is lacking that diversity I actually miss it. Much better to be immersed in an array of difference than sit on the outside feeling fear. I love connecting with everyone in the same way, being aware of the differences but ultimately being aware of the essence that we all commonly share. This openness and acceptance is what can change the world.

  13. Reacting at what we don’t like in others instead of being utterly and absolutely honest with ourselves is never going to change anything. If we want society to change we also need to make the changes within ourselves first

  14. This is something to consider isn’t it “just because the outward display of a behaviour is not ours ” it doesn’t mean our own downgraded version of the same energy is any less potent.” It is only when you stop reacting to that statement and start observing if there is any reflection of that in your own life that the veil of illusion lifts and we are able to see how we are all in the same melting pot and we all have the potential to change or contribute more than we are currently appreciating. It may be an imperceptible ripple effect but there is a ripple effect to every thought we have, behaviour and word we utter.

  15. Sometimes the beliefs are so subtle that we convince ourselves that we do not have a problem with this or that and then later on down the line our awareness gets to the point where we are able to pick up the slightest tension, and we realise actually I’ve had an issue or a judgment all along but just chose to hide it or ignore it. The point is just because something may only be a niggle it does not mean that it is not affecting us and the relationships we have with others – it still has the ability to colour our expression and how open we are to others.

  16. Honesty is the key to revealing how we discriminate against others, as there are many many forms of it with many not so seemingly obvious…

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