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

402 thoughts on “Where Do I Do That?

  1. “Where do I do that ?” – a simple question but a total game changer that firmly puts the ball back in our court and our evolution in our hands.

  2. I love the fact that we can learn so much from relationships – for every relationship that presses our buttons, there is something for us to learn to express, to observe, to adjust and to love more deeply – but never to compromise or lessen who we or the other are.

    1. Sometimes the relationships that push our button the most are the ones that offer the most evolution. They can be annoying, but evolutionary.

      1. I’ve noticed that and those that irk me the most initially, after working on myself, we become very good friends or we may not but the appreciation I have for them outweighs anything they may do or say.

    2. Really great point Henrietta – always love more deeply, through the expression, the observation, the learning, the growth for all.

  3. Any reflection from another is a support for us – if it is something we have noticed that we do not like and are reacting to then there is a message in it for us as a learning and growth being offered, in other words an opportunity for us to be more of ourselves. And if it is something we have learned before and know not to do again, it is a great confirmation to realise we don’t do that, and an amazing opportunity to not judge nor criticize another for their choices. And finally if we see another doing something that is deeply inspiring – we are being offered an opportunity to know that that same quality lies within us too, only waiting to be awakened and lived again in full. Relationships are the blessing that we are given to support us in our growth and evolution back to Soul.

    1. I agree with you Henrietta, relationships are a blessing, and once we allow ourselves to see them as a support, things do start to change with regards to how we look at things. Especially, as often we can avoid those who reflect back to us something that we do not want to see.

  4. I love your willingness and curiosity to understand yourself Leigh – certainly the way to go and takes a great deal of honesty with self. I have found myself reacting to certain people and asking myself ‘why’ – not considering that I may also have a propensity to do those things too, so going to take a leaf out of your book and ask myself ‘where do I do that too’, thank-you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for this Sandra, I’ve been doing it for quite a while now and am finding it to be integrating into what I’d say is normal for me, but it hasn’t always been this way and has required a lot of work and experimenting playfully so.

  5. One of my favourite articles, it really does so simply eliminate judgement, comparison, blame and brings a respect and equality to life because we are willing first to look to ourselves before we judge another

  6. It’s fascinating when we are willing to be open and honest with ourselves how the little reflections come out to let us know -“hey buddy, it’s true you do that too, in your own way”. No biggie, simply observe and then the next moment appears to choose differently and clear out what is there to be cleared.

    1. It is indeed fascinating Sandra. When we are open and honest with ourselves, every moment is an opportunity to learn and to fall more in love with ourselves and with others.

      1. Gorgeous I love this Priscila, it brings a warm tingly smile out, ‘to fall more in love with us and others’, bring on the lessons.

  7. Leigh beautiful how you are willing to share how self honesty is the way to living in truth. We are constantly unfolding, learning and discovering.

  8. Hi Leigh, this is a great expose of the fact that all relationships are a reflection. It is our responsibility to see and look at what is getting reflected back to us and amend this in our self. This can be welcomed as a great joy for whatever presses our buttons can be acknowledged as the exact thing we need to work on next.

    1. It is a great point that whatever I observe is a perfect reflection for me otherwise it would not even be on my radar, and if I react to something it is showing me a state of disharmony within myself so that is a reflection too in itself on top of that.
      This maybe the last thing I want to admit when I am reacting to something. But how wise and how empowering to do so.

  9. Feeling the opportunity to learn from everything rather than dismiss it as not being relevant to us unlocks the potential we have to learn and evolve from every situation and person we encounter in life.

  10. The blog was mostly from the aspect of being reflected the what is not love so that we have a chance to see it and discard it in our own time. But I wonder about the reflections of love from those who live love. I reckon that’s a blog in its own right.

  11. I have had a tricky situation recently which I am dealing with. but I was talking to someone else in a similar situation, and could feel how reactive she was expressing her feelings to me. I was able to support her, and really appreciated how I am learning we can move on from anything that is given to us, So when i read your words this morning Leigh, “The less reaction and judgment in my life, the greater the appreciation for others”, your words really confirmed my feelings thank you.

  12. ‘What I am learning now is that remaining in the arrogance of “I don’t do that!” feels horrible in my body’ so true, I also feel that horribleness, in the way of a hardness and protection in my physical body and a lack of surrender and acceptance that we all have things to learn from each other. It’s a waste of time and energy, it is so much more supportive to let the fight go and accept the reflection.

    1. Judgement has never got me anywhere, only harder and more critical. Saying thank you to the reflection for the opportunity brings far more freedom in life. I feel like my conversations and relationships have more space than those based on blame, moaning and judgement.

  13. A very real and supportive understanding of” where do i do that “instead of reacting and judging and offers us so much more to learn from and see for ourselves and the healing ,honesty and surrender that can come from this so beautifully expressed.

  14. How important it is to look in the mirror, with honesty, see what there is to be seen, and Love and Appreciate the learning of whatever is there in the reflection.

  15. It can be very easy to keep the focus outside of ourselves and blame others, but there is always a reflection that is for us and being deeply honest with ourselves is a great way to heal.

  16. Thank you Leigh for bringing such understanding and clarity to the subject of judgement – although blaming others has become less a part of my life as I learn to accept myself more I can still feel judgement lingering. With new insight I feel I can now go forward – and not feel stuck in just waiting……I can look and bring a greater depth of understanding and love. When we learn to accept ourselves without perfection we expand our perception of life and flow with greater harmony embracing all as we walk through life.

  17. I had the most gorgeous experience the other day where I saw the beauty of someone and could swear I was looking at an Angel as I could feel such beauty deep within and then turned around and realised she was overweight and deeply disregarding of herself. I came away realising what it really means to not have judgement in your life for how can you when you feel and know someone else’s beauty deep within?

    1. I’ve experienced similar and it happens more when I am connected to my own beauty and not judging myself first I then see beauty first then everything that is not from that essence in the person/myself.

  18. Just having the honesty and openness to ask ourselves the question – ‘where do I do that?’ is a great way to build a true relationship with ourselves.

  19. I am so much more aware of where I do that now, thanks to this blog Leigh. My pattern was reactions, not always external but still an internal feeling, but now I simply feel into what the pattern is triggering in what I also do, and it dissipates.

  20. I have read this a couple of times and it is a real value to look at life through such a reflective lens. I seem to be able to apply these principles in some areas but in others, I can only see the situation though hurt eyes. In truth nobody can hurt us, our hurt is our choice but it feels so real sometimes. So, this self-questioning is a very practical way to shift the thought train onto a more productive track.

  21. I have had a similar experience with my dog recently. He is a puppy and can get ‘pully’ on the lead and the other day I was getting frustrated about how much he was pulling and how he would not walk with me but only thought about himself and his nose!… and then I stopped and asked myself ‘ok what is this showing you?’ and I immediately realised that this is how I am with God and the universe – sometimes I walk in harmony with it all and sometimes I pull away and don’t want to be responsible and want to just make it about myself and my needs and this must feel like a bit of a drag to God! So a great lesson and reflection for me which completely cut any reaction I was feeling at the time.

    1. Ha – love the analogy Andrew – there is the magic of God playing with you! And yes, any waywardness is a drag on those around us, and when you put it as delightfully as you have, it makes us want to be in union at all times. What a blessing to see it this way!

  22. ‘Where do I do that?’ – The level of self-awareness that you are portraying in your sharing is something to truly reflect on – indeed, ‘Where do we all do that?’

  23. Accepting whatever occurs as a gift from heaven, does not let you ever react but ponder about, what is actually communicated or reflected in that moment. A beautiful, tender and open way to go through life.

  24. Knowing oneself to be imperfect without any judgment allows for humbleness and understanding with oneself and others equally so.

  25. Sometimes we can be blind to the things that we do and not realise it at all, and then one day when we are ready and willing to see things as they are, we get to see it. This is then our opportunity for change. But without the honesty and the willingness, we shut the door to opportunities.

    1. I call this willful blindness; we pretend we don’t know the responsibility we have in every interaction, and that our choices impact how things unfold for us and those around us. The ability to drop this facade is ours always.

  26. Awareness is the key to growth, but we have to first be willing to be aware, otherwise we tread blindly till such time that we choose to be aware.

  27. It is so great to open up and to see with such simple honesty that what is condemned in another, is often first experienced with ourselves. Humbleness is therefore our greatest ally throughout life, as it keeps us all as one, living and learning together.

  28. Great blog Leigh. ” The less reaction and judgment in my life, the greater the appreciation for others.” we need to look for the ‘beam’ in our own eye before looking at the ‘mote’ in others.

  29. Just lately certain people have been interrupting me in full purposeful speech, or others for that matter around me more than usual, even people who normally never do that and it has been a real eye opener to feel the reflection and my karma for having done this a lot. Ouch. Time to go to another level of self-respect and self worth I feel and stop dismissing myself.

    1. Thats awesome when things keep repeating and we look at them rather then keep brushing them aside. It’s like lessons in school once subject gets introduced, we work on it, struggle at times and then understand and move on to another subject or the same but a higher grade. However these life lessons go deeper in love rather than higher in gathering outside information but rather how much more love within me can I access and live my life by.

  30. Focusing on our imperfections and judging ourselves harshly causes us to also judge others when all we need is to is drop the judgement and embrace the opportunity to understand why we do what we do so that those things that are holding us back from being all that we are dissipate and we can step forward into the light of the day unencumbered by our own judgements.

  31. “Where do I do that ?”
    I am having some fun and being very playful as I am aware of how frequently I need to be asking myself this question now – the slightest twinge in my body is alerting me that there is some disharmony, judgment or arrogance there to be exposed and healed.

  32. ‘…the openness, curiosity and willingness to understand myself that asking “Where do I do that?” brings’ is properly inspiring and offers us great opportunities to change… I find that it means every interaction has something remarkable to offer and love the quality of humility we can access when we take responsibility for the part we play in everything.

  33. ‘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’ So true Leigh and great to reflect on the hurt that allows this reaction.

  34. Using the reflection of others to ask where we do those behaviours can be very confronting. Some things appear quite ugly and extreme, but there can be a common energy that you recognise in something you do or have done yourself. I find this reflection supports my understanding of myself and others and builds a stance of humility rather than judgment.

  35. “OR I have done the same but have yet to learn the full impact of what that choice has on others.” Yes it is not only looking at what we are doing right now but also the fact that we may have already let go of that behaviour but have to learn what it did to others just to fully complete it.

  36. Thank you Leigh, I need to have a thorough look at this again in myself! It’s so true that judgement does Not serve anyone including ourselves, and there are other ways to approach ourselves and others based on being open and willing to understand. The space you have created for appreciation by reflecting on the actions and behaviours of others in yourself is an amazing outcome.

  37. Self Reflection is something that is very much worth doing, I never used to but once I started to not look out and blame and be willing to see what I had chosen and offering myself the space to learn everything changed.

  38. It is lovely to read about such self-reflection and awareness, and written with a humbleness that is willing to see for the sake of everyone having the opportunity to see too, all the complicated little intricacies that make up our dynamics between each other, when really everything could be so simple and playful and light – even in the darkest and coldest of times.

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