Where Do I Do That?

It came to my attention that I very much do the things that I judge wrong in others. Opening up to this arrogance and actually making statements such as “I can’t say I don’t do that” or asking myself, “Where do I do that in my life?” has deepened my understanding of myself. This in turn brings a deeper quality to my relationships with others as I am now able to be with them and not the perceived pictures I have formed in my mind of who they are, based on their actions. My actions may not be the same as others, but when I ask, “Where do I do that?’’, I am asking about the feeling of the action and if that action also plays out in my life. Chances are that if I am reacting to another person’s actions then I am in some way doing the same thing, OR I have done the same but have yet to learn the full impact of what that choice has on others.

For example:

  • I may feel angry towards someone trying to show off, yet I sometimes show off in other parts of my life.
  • I may get upset when a person is acting small and not standing up for what they feel, yet I shrink in areas of my life and play small. Asking myself, “Why do I do this – what is it that I am getting out of playing small?” allows me to come to terms with, understand and accept my choices, then make the adjustments that are required to change my stance.
  • I may feel angry with someone who barges into a situation like they know everything when they haven’t gotten to know how things work. At first, I may react, but once I ask myself, “Where do I do that?” I often remember a previous situation where I did exactly the same thing… coming in like I knew everything. I then get to feel the flipside of the situation. And I can also see this play out every time I give advice that comes with any sort of judgment towards the person, in thinking that I know everything – it is the same thing.

When I ask myself “Where do I do that?”, there is a magic at play that is perfectly ordered and arranged for me to experience a situation in life that answers the question – such as the memory of how I was in a previously similar situation, or simply by the moment coming around again, but this time my catching it rather than examining the reaction in hindsight. Wherever we place our focus it’s like that part of life starts to become magnified, – like playing ‘Spot the Mini (or any other type of car)’ game where once you start looking, you see Mini cars everywhere, – and this is no different for self-reflection.

What I am learning now is that remaining in the arrogance of “I don’t do that!” feels horrible within my body when compared to the openness, curiosity and willingness to understand myself that asking “Where do I do that?” brings.

Trying to hold onto the fact that I am an individual that is separate from the actions of others is very exhausting and becomes a strain on all relationships. Acting individual also prevents me from appreciating the reflections and lessons I am receiving from others. And yet sadly “I don’t do that!” is a stance that is generally accepted in life. Making comments about another person’s abilities for example, comes with this tone of “I don’t do that” and “I am better thus have the right to comment.”

The fact is we are human and no one is perfect. There can at times be a ruffling of feathers, but there is an ease within me that comes from the understanding I now have. I understand that it’s not pleasant facing your own reflection from the “I don’t do that” stance to looking into the “I actually do that as well” mirror. This is where acceptance, allowing and the appreciation of being willing to see our imperfections can be of great support.

The more I understand why I do something, the less I react to other people – and the deeper I appreciate them for being in my life, the more I am willing to look into the mirror. I absolutely love it as I stop judging myself for that behaviour and I equally stop judging others. They may continue the behaviour but it doesn’t affect me like it used to.

I have learnt so much from the reflection of others and it has been a deeply beautiful experience to stop and look at myself in another – to see and feel the behaviours and energy that make up me in another. It has shown me that we are not truly individual and that we are connected. If I am ever confused or annoyed about something in another, every time now I take it back to myself, there is so much more understanding and then I am not constantly living in reaction, blame or judgment of myself or anyone else. The less reaction and judgment in my life, the greater the appreciation for others and for allowing myself to be a student of life and being open to learning what life is presenting for me and all of us to learn.

By Leigh Matson, London, UK

Related Reading:
“I don’t do that!”
Our tendency to react
Reaction versus response

745 thoughts on “Where Do I Do That?

  1. Where do I stand up as a male and bring Sacredness and all the blessings that being a Sacred being brings?
    Could it be as a Soul-full being we can bring this level of living to everyone we connect with! This normal way of being has been the way to express and share on many levels for those who choose such a way of being a deeply Loving, sensitive and Tender person in the way we approach life, so it is felt by everyone with whom we connect with.

  2. Appreciating the reflection and inspiration of others is to be aware of our responsibility to offer an equal reflection to others.

  3. Our ability to inner reflect on every situation where we have gone into even the slightest reaction gives great insights that we can heal and re-learn to respond rather than react to the same situations.

  4. Leigh this is a great discussion to have as it is amazing how pictures pop into our minds without actually thinking about them. That then raises the question where are they coming from? Are we being fed these pictures? And because we have them we then own them as ours when the possibility is they are not from us at all.

    1. If they were our thoughts, our own possessions that we are fully in control of. Then why are they often erratic, disturbing, emotional, dwelling on negativity, racy and much more? If we acted out every single thought as it plays out in our head we’d all be much worse as a society. But even without acting them out there is an undertone poisoning relationships with ourselves and others. How can a being that is born so precious then come to breed such thoughts? That is if we are the owner and creator of our thoughts.

      1. As you have shared Leigh, appreciation, which energetically is the appreciate-ive-ness of our divine connection and to appreciate only seeds loving thoughts.

  5. Beautifully said Leigh – after all we are all here together for a reason: “I have learnt so much from the reflection of others and it has been a deeply beautiful experience to stop and look at myself in another – to see and feel the behaviours and energy that make up me in another. It has shown me that we are not truly individual and that we are connected.” …to learn and grow together and live the love that we are from.

    1. Henrietta, I have discovered that we are all here for a reason myself, I have been part of a group for a few years now and we come together for an hour or two every 2 weeks. Being part of this group has shown me how powerful we are as a group and that we all bring something different and these different reflections on life make up the group. It’s like a puzzle, by all of us contributing our own flavour we make up a part of an even bigger puzzle. There is no need to be an individual as this makes us lesser and prevents us from being part of the magnificence of the whole.

  6. The greatest clue to knowing that I do indeed do what I think I don’t do is if I am reacting to something or someone doing something. This is actually quite hilarious to realise the denial we can be in – and yet it is a gift that we deny ourselves simply as it offers us awareness and growth. Hence now any reaction is a great reason to grab the moment and learn from it.

  7. As long as we are stuck in the arrogant stance of judging others for their imperfections (which implies that we have none ourselves) we will not learn anything and alienate a lot of people along the way!

  8. It’s humbling to become aware of our own reactions and honest enough to look at ourselves, instead of the other person. It’s the Soul’s way of messaging us of our own inner disharmony. If we listen and choose to understand, we deepen and bring into being a new cycle where we choose to respond differently when things don’t go our way or meet expectations.

  9. There’s so much to learn when we allow ourselves to fully observe. We may go into judgment, but again, we can observe that too. There’s much to be appreciated in every moment if only we let ourselves, and what I am learning right now is that without taking that moment in full I am somewhat left half-baked for what is to come next and I get pushed back to learn the same lesson again and again.

    1. I understand what you are saying Fumiyo Egashira I am finding that to truly observe is to sit back and just watch what is being played out in front of us. I may not have an understanding but if I stay open the answer will be given to me. If I step in and judge from my own ideals and beliefs of what should or should not be, I have lost the opportunity for a greater understanding of the energies at play.

  10. Leigh – I love your honesty and willingness to learn about yourself from the reflections that are offered from others.

  11. Everything that another reflects back to us is a point of learning and potentially an offering for evolution, not a reason to self judge or self bash.

  12. We never live in isolation and whatever we see is a reflection of where we as humanity are. It is a great suggestion to reflect on “where do I do that” whenever I see something I recognise as not okay. Such a reflection, even if I have to look at my past to find an example, is a great way to expand my understanding and awareness of what is going on and to deepen the level of my love and responsibility.

    1. Good point Golnaz, we may not even still do the behaviour or our own flavour. But can we say that we have never done it? This isn’t a question to dismiss and say “yeah, of course, everyone did that at Uni” or similar but to reflect and understand why we did what we did.

  13. Having the two experiences now (judging or learning) I can say it is much healthier to learn from anothers reflection than it is to judge and avoid what is being shown. We are mirrors for each other.

  14. We may relate to images of them instead of relating to them, but we have to ask whether we are also relating to and from images of self which are not true. Images are always easier to see compared to what is real. Yet, images always stand in our way to any relationship.

    1. So true Eduardo. If we relate to ourselves based on an image that we hold it’s a guarantee that we’ll be relating to others from the same distorted angle. Using how our body feels is the way to get underneath these false images and into the deeper truth.

    1. Having the space to ask such a question comes after we open up to our sensitivity that says that judgement isn’t true or that there is more to life underneath judgement.

  15. Realising that we can fall prey to exactly what others who we have judged can fall prey to is awesome …we immediately have a greater understanding and acceptance of others and can drop the judgement.

  16. This is a cunning game of our spirit that we play to avoid taking responsibility ourselves for whatever is being reflected back to us. The “I don’t do that” wall is a protection no different to any other protective hardness towards ourselves and life that we might adopt. There is not an ounce of “I don’t do that” arrogance in our Soul.

  17. Recently I’ve learnt that, while I’ve told this reflecting on my actions before, when giving advice to another there’s no point acting on the back of past situations but rather on lived, fresh, and built upon experiences.

  18. This is the beauty of reflections we get from other people. It is always offering us the opportunity to see ‘where do I do that?’ I have found that lately the person I most react to and felt I was not like them at all, is reflecting a part of me that I was unable to see until it was pointed out by a practitioner. This feels like love, to be shown where you not living the love that you are and come from and the impact it has on others.

    1. We see that impact and feel it as our reflected person is that way with us. We get to experience both giving and receiving. It is a blessing because then we can ask ourselves “why do I do that?” If having it come back around doesn’t feel loving.

    2. I have worked in many environments where there has been a lot of blame and accusations flying around, it can feel a bit like being in a shooting gallery and this is how most of us live, both at work and at home. We shoot each other with accusations and complaints whilst all the while refusing to see that we’ve pretty much always played a part in whatever it is that’s going on and so we set up a state of ‘stale mate’, no one’s able to move on and the situation basically escalates with both or all parties hoping that eventually they will get proved ‘right’ and the other person punished or reprimanded in some way. When we’re willing to see our part in a situation then there is a sense of ease and movement that comes in and our bodies are able to let go, rather than holding ourselves rigid in a state of either defence or attack or both.

  19. Every moment is there for us to learn from. The more open we are to these moments the more we see. Sometimes we can feel uncomfortable with these moments, sometimes we can react but no matter what its still all learning and we will always be presented with these opportunities.

    1. Jennifer how true I have just been presented with a moment myself where it felt uncomfortable to say something that I felt needed to be said because I feared it would bring up a reaction in the other person. I said what I felt needed to be said anyway and I surprised myself because what I had to say had no judgement and came from an understanding. The other person didn’t go into a reaction, we were both able to see it is not about us as individuals but what has been presented that we can all grow from.

  20. I love your experimental approach to life Leigh, and I think you are absolutely correct in that everything that bothers us or we judge in another we do ourselves somewhere in our life. I definitely would like to experiment in my life more with this to see where I might be judging myself and others. I also love how this takes away the focus from the other person and firmly places it back on ourselves – what a great opportunity to learn.

      1. Yeh it’s the blame and critical part that really weighs us down – it’s a much lighter path if we understand we’re here to learn and that we are not perfect.

  21. When I find myself judging or criticising someone I stop and ask myself “when do I do that?” and I nearly always find that the judgment comes from something similar that I do myself, but have not been honest to see it. It is a great way to learn, 1, to not judge and 2, to see where in my life I have either done that or still do it, this brings a much deeper understanding to every situation.

  22. If we flip it around and appreciate our imperfections as something we can learn from it changes the whole game.

      1. Very true Victoria for when we judge someone or something we immediately close the door to understanding what exactly is playing out in front of us.

  23. Do we react and blame the other for ‘their’ behaviour, or do we go deeper and open our eyes to why we’re reacting: what judgment or expectation are we putting on the other, that they’re not meeting and we are reacting against? And why are we expecting it needing them to be different to who they are and how they are behaving at that moment in time? When we open up to ourselves first in this way, learning to observe and not react to our own reactions, it supports us to be with others in that way, too- and brings the opportunity for deeper connections and relationships through that understanding without judgment.

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