Why Do I Do That?

Over time I have come to realise that I engage in the same or similar behaviours that I judge or dislike in other people. I am also becoming more aware of where and when I do this. The next question that arises is, “Why do I do that?”

Coming out of the arrogance of “I don’t do that!” to the curiosity and humbling of “Where do I do that?,” into the understanding of “Why do I do that?” helps me get on top of my judgment of others by addressing what it is within me that needs to be looked at.

This process is a great step towards self-responsibility as I learn to understand myself and others more deeply. Asking myself these questions allows more intimacy to develop in my relationship with myself and others, which over time cuts out any comparison, judgment or competition and clears the way for me to see where I also engage in the same unloving behaviours that I was once judging others for.

For example:

When I find myself judging another person as being ‘needy,’ I have noticed just how much ugliness and vitriol I have been capable of verbally throwing their way or even worse, thinking about them, that then taints every single interaction I have with the person I have judged so harshly.

This is the arrogant “I don’t do that!” stage.

The more I connect to my body and listen to how it feels as a result of my choosing this kind of judgment and ugly behaviour, the more I can feel it taking its toll on my body and this awareness is what starts to break my defences down. This is when the question “Where do I do that?” comes into the picture.

Over time, having repeated this behaviour I have gained a greater awareness of where I act in a needy way and have learnt that it is by going back and connecting to myself that I am able feel how these behaviours are affecting my body and other people.

This is the part that eventually allows me to ask myself the all-important question, “Why do I do that?” In this space there is an invitation to be deeply honest with myself, and in the case of being needy I have come to realise that it has stemmed from a deep hurt of not being seen as a child for who I had innately felt myself to be, and the feeling of a deep sadness in disconnecting from that knowing of myself at an early age. I have come to understand that the neediness is a seeking, but the connection that will truly stop the search is the connection within myself. I left myself and then sought others to fill what I refused to fulfil within myself.

While this is a work in progress in reducing my need of others and connecting deeper within, I find that this understanding of myself wipes away the judgment that then gets dumped onto others and taints all relationships.

I often ask myself questions such as: “What responsibility am I avoiding?”… or, “What is my responsibility?”… because underneath all my unloving expression is a divinity that I am responsible for showing and shining into the world. These behaviours are never about uncovering my rotten core, for there isn’t one. They are the consequences of me ignoring and rejecting the divinity that can be found equally within each and every one of us. So, if I live, holding my divinity as precious beyond words, I am communicating to others… “This divinity is acceptable and accessible and the truth of who we innately are and how we can live”… and it is this I have come to realise that I have been avoiding – the holding of this inner knowing of who I truly am for all to feel.

So then… why do I do that?

Coming to this answer I have to be honest, connect to my body and go deeper and feel the depths of self-rejection, as a way of understanding why I do what I do. It could be that I have held onto a hurt from a past expectation not being met: I could be holding onto a belief that I, others or life should be different and thus I am trying to make it into what I believe it should be over and above what the truth of the matter is at the time.

All this rejection and avoidance is foreign to that which is within me; it is not naturally a part of me. Being open and honest in this way helps bring an understanding to my own and others’ behaviours, for when I am not acting from who I know myself to truly be I tend to take things personally – which hurts me – so to come to this understanding feels liberating as I no longer feel held in the cycle of berating myself for something that is not even truly from me in the first place. It exposes where I have lived in a false light of who I am and not in accordance to the divine light within me.

Asking myself “Why do I do that?” and other like questions comes in when I have chosen to be honest, raw and real with what is truly driving me to do what I do in life. It is a great tool of self-reflection and helps bring a greater understanding to myself, others and life situations.

By Leigh Matson, Learning Disability Support Worker, UK

Related Reading:
The Science of Reflection – what is it reflecting to us?
Reviewing, reflecting and appreciating our choices
Is change possible? Understanding the choices we make and why!

131 thoughts on “Why Do I Do That?

  1. Why do I do that is a great question yet one that few of us ask, preferring not to lift the lid on our own behaviours, but this is how we learn and grow or more correctly stated evolve.

  2. Until recently, I would have been in the “I don’t do that” brigade, but I am learning that unless I am willing to be honest and be willing to look at things, then nothing changes and I am stuck. Being honest with oneself is a great beginning.

  3. It is a quantum leap to stop seeing circumstances as things that are just annoying or a pain in the butt but to actually start seeing them as opportunities and reflections to support us to grow and learn something about ourselves.

  4. “Over time I have come to realise that I engage in the same or similar behaviours that I judge or dislike in other people.” To judge others, we first have to have that same judgement of ourselves. How harsh are we being in life if we critique and judge ourselves so? We need to develop kindness and cherishing of ourselves as an anti-dote to such behaviour.

  5. I love the intelligence in your approach Leigh, I can feel how it is not the lineal A to B intelligence that we are all taught is intelligence but rather something spherical in nature, an intelligence without built-in limits. With each question you dig deeper seeking the root cause. This is how we avoid being stuck in a rut for decades and actually evolve ourselves instead.

  6. Yes, for a long time I have a question I ask myself “What is my part in all this?” with which I probe myself in order to get a fuller picture. The key is to do so openly and lovingly without judgement but a true desire to to unravel and move forwards.

  7. ‘It exposes where I have lived in a false light of who I am and not in accordance to the divine light within me.’ How many of us in the world are currently living this and more importantly why?

  8. When we ask ourselves the question, ‘why do I do that?’ with an openness and willingness to learn, it supports us to grow and be more aware of our choices but if we ask with judgement and regret it does the opposite.

  9. Understanding ourselves is great learning, and these types of questions deepen that understanding. It’s not always comfortable but great to look at so we can change our behaviours too.

    1. I agree Gill, and these types of questions are great when we are willing to take responsibility for our choices.

  10. ‘When I find myself judging another person as being ‘needy,’ I have noticed just how much ugliness and vitriol I have been capable of verbally throwing their way or even worse, thinking about them, that then taints every single interaction I have with the person I have judged so harshly.’ mmmm how often do we do this (and pretend we don’t!!!) that is judge someone and hold them in a certain way/picture and imprison them in this picture. When we do this we are projecting onto that person and not allowing them just to be. It is us that is creating the image about the person not them. It will be great when we all learn not to do this. Having said that we can observe and allow ourselves to feel what is going on with someone without judging. Learning to be discerning is a great thing to do. I wish I knew that word more when I was younger … discerning and allowed myself to discern.

  11. The more we ask ‘why’ the closer we get to feeling and appreciating that all our thoughts, intentions and actions come from another source, leaving us with the simple choice of which quality of source do I wish align to, Love or a poor imitation.

  12. It is crucial to bring understanding to our behaviour. Why exactly is it that we do/ don’t do something. What in us wants to go there, bring something in our lives – regardless of whether it’s a positive or a negative, there’s a reason why we decide to do what we do and only our understanding of it can ensure that we keep doing it or never do it again.

  13. When we ask ourselves ‘Why do I do that?’, our answers are many and varied. There will come a time when our collective answers are similar, if not the same. Our answers will be along the lines of ‘to reflect God in everything that I do’ of ‘to serve God in all aspects of my life’. Our answers will be a reflection of our collective merging rather than the fragmented state that we currently live in.

  14. Why we behave as we do makes no sense, unless we consider that energy is occurring with every moment, as we choose to be aligned to the energy source of our choice.

  15. ‘Over time I have come to realise that I engage in the same or similar behaviours that I judge or dislike in other people’. One of the reasons why we may potentially dislike these behaviours in others is because they reflect back to us areas we need to work on ourselves. It is much easier to deflect the resultant feeling of discomfort back onto another than to honestly address what is there to be looked at. If there were no judgment or discomfort, then we would simply be able to observe that behaviour in love and understanding. If there is unease there then it is a super indicator that we need to look deeper personally into the cause.

  16. Interesting that some of our most vitriolic reactions towards others are caused by the behaviours that we have not understood within our selves. It is such an awesome revelation when we expose those habits, attitudes and beliefs that are not a part of our divine essence, just something we have learnt along the way.

  17. There is no doubt that when I bring judgement towards another back to myself and take the responsibility needed for my reaction it opens the door for intimacy in the relationship. What is the purpose of a relationship? – To evolve and deepen and become transparent with one another or is it to resist and fight, comparing ourselves to each other fighting what we have been offered?

  18. What you shared here Leigh really shows how powerful it is to let go of judgement in our lives by simply dropping back a little and becoming more of the observer of life, instead of needing it to fit into some picture that we had of how things should be or end up, which can lead to emotional reactions when things do go ‘as planned’ and inevitably lead to exhaustion because we are not accepting the reality of things. Then, when you approached your choices from a standpoint of ‘why did I do that’ with such beautiful honesty and humbleness, it allows an opening for a greater awareness of life to come to you naturally, which you can then learn from and adapt to later similar situations that arise.

  19. I’ve been reacting a bit to certain situations this week, each time allowing myself to feel more of the hurt of not being seen for the love that I am. Though I can understand I am the person who is unable to rescue them from their situation, their hurts etc. and they react without feeling and letting go of my hurts, their reactions get in. It’s through clearing my hurts that allows them the space to feel their pain and heal. Or they can choose to continue to blame and be angry but their choosing this is clear to me and clearer to them on some level.

  20. A question that when directed towards our selves can only serve to enable us to understand not only our own behaviour but everyone else’s too, which could go a long way to fundamentally evolving our global relations.

    1. Absolutely, Rowena. Humanity could do with a lot more of enabling ‘…us to understand not only our own behaviour but everyone else’s too…’ What a paradigm shift this would be for global relations indeed.

  21. ‘Asking myself these questions allows more intimacy to develop in my relationship with myself and others.’ I am finding this as well, Leigh. It’s the true meaning of intimacy that is being re-discovered here, an intimacy that comes from a love deep within that is shared with all equally so. The more self-love I am building, the more the gorgeousness of intimacy is given space. I used to believe intimacy was for a chosen other to be hoarded and kept – these days I experience intimacy in many moments during my day, whether with colleagues at work, my neighbours, my son, or during a fleeting and unexpected ‘good morning’ exchange with a fellow walker along the river.

  22. When we commit to lovingly understanding ourselves and then feel ourselves go into judgement we can see it as an opportunity to explore what is being reflected to us which completely changes our relationship with ourself and others.

  23. To consider why I do ‘that’ instead of something else is very important. Why hang on to old responses and reactions instead of letting go and being more of who we are?

  24. How different would life be if we used these steps in our every day. “Where do I do that?” – it not only brings the question but it dissolves the possible criticism of “I always do that” which gives us a door to look at the reason as to why we do it. Brilliant, thank you for writing.

  25. Imagine if this became the base line for many of our educational examinations, so that by the time we left school we would be very practiced in self-observation. What would an ‘A’ level or a Degree in this subject look like – if some of the young adults I meet today who have been raised with this question are anything to go by, it would be a very self-empowering and world changing subject to study.

  26. Why do I do that? Why do I choose to be less than who I am instead of be more of me? What am I choosing to invest in out side of me? No one would believe it could be to reject who we truly are………but it is.

    1. The whole concept of rejecting the enormity of who we are simply doesn’t make sense! Who would honestly say that they have actively chosen to negate the wonders of their divinity in favour of a reduced and functional life and yet we have chosen ignorance and function as a whole. The explanation for having done so is really quite simple, but in our denial we have convinced ourselves that function is simply how it is, thereby confirming our choice to be reduced and keep us there – quite comfortably so. In this nonsensical acceptance of how with think it is, the way to understanding how it is is to be open to the fact that there is much more at play in a universe that is all about energy and which is something we have also conveniently forgotten to be aware of, despite that fact that “everything is energy” (Serge Benhayon) is an inescapable fact of everyday living.

    2. ‘….to reject who we truly are…’ We have honed and refined this one to perfection. So much so that most of us aren’t even aware that this is what we are doing. It is what has been role modelled for us everywhere we turn and from every angle. Self-care is the first step up on the ladder of change, every rung offered an opportunity to re-claim more of who we truly are.

  27. The moment we realise we are not perfect ourselves and in fact we ‘do do that’ then we cannot judge others for their behaviours or imperfections.

    1. The realisation we “do do that’ brings humility – the gateway to accepting imperfections in others.

  28. I’m humbled by the way soul places us in situations that call us to be more honest about ourselves. In some instances when this happens and I feel it, I know there’s more work to be done. Talking acceptance and being non-judgemental, is not the same as walking it.

    1. We are constantly being offered opportunities to go deeper in our understanding and honesty with ourselves and then reflecting this in our movements.

  29. ‘I left myself and then sought others to fill what I refused to fullfil within myself.’ Self abandonment is a sickness, because when we do, all manner of ills and resentments step in to fill the void. Appreciating who we are including our failings and how far we’ve come, is an essential part. We can only continue to evolve if we do.

  30. ‘in the case of being needy I have come to realise that it has stemmed from a deep hurt of not being seen as a child for who I had innately felt myself to be’ – this feels like something that most people can relate to Leigh and in knowing that I chose my parents I can feel the responsibility and feel this is something that I needed to deeply heal and clear.

  31. Alongside asking ‘why did I do that’ is another factor to take into account and that is appreciation of the fact that I am asking the question at all, as all to many of us do not seek to explore how we are living.

  32. ‘Why do I do that?’ well each and every thing that we do, say and think we either carry out because we are being impulsed by an energetic source that is purely divine or an energetic source that is also divine but that is trying its hardest to be independent of its divine origins.

    1. Yes, it is always looking beyond the physical human reasons why we do things and consider the energetic forces at play as well, for these can give us greater insight as to why we do what we do and can support a shift in this.

  33. It is powerfully humbling to know it’s not another’s reaction or behaviour that is the problem, but how we respond to it.

  34. I love the honesty and openness that you engender here Leigh. The more able we are to take a step backwards and observe our behaviour in the world without criticism, the more we can recognize and relinquish the behaviours that do not nurture the love that resides within us all.

  35. The more we judge others because we see something the same in ourselves we build walls to protect our hurts and attacking others is an illusion to draw the attention away from us.

  36. It is so interesting to observe that what we dislike in others, we find is something we actually do ourselves. To receive this and know we also do it, may feel an exposing reflection, but that in itself, is a great learning.

  37. It is an immense question that we should learn from an early age and one that when honestly asked, as the power to transform the evil that we all too willingly allow to exist in this world.

  38. Why did I do that is a great question to consider when we notice we are not acting as we know ourselves to be. Being honest with our answer is key in this, no holds barred.

  39. “Asking myself these questions allows more intimacy to develop in my relationship with myself and others, which over time cuts out any comparison, judgment or competition…” It is very simple really and when we relinquish our need to be right, it opens the door for a beautiful self discovery and a wealth of treasures to be shared with all.

    1. I got to feel very clearly what my ‘need to be right’ felt like in my body. It felt all consuming, accompanied by a charging quality that lead me in dogged pursuit of being ‘the winner’. Which in actual fact guaranteed that I was the loser.

      1. I know that feeling very well too Alexis. Those little tell tale signs of the hands closing into fists and the torso leaning forward as we pursue our victory. It is amazing how our body always amplify our agendas.

      2. “It is amazing how our body always amplify our agendas”. Exactly right Rowena. We could turn the volume to life off completely and still know exactly what everyone was communicating simply by reading their body language.

    1. It has taken me quite some time to understand what this really means and I am still in the process of exploring this more practically. Whilst this has definitely become normal for me I feel that I have a way to go in embodying and living it.

  40. If we remembered that everyone else is just an extension of the One of Us then there wouldn’t be the perceived massive gulf that there is between us all and we would collectively and actively work together to lift one another up. As opposed to the way that most of us currently live, which is to constantly cut and undermine others, to be suspicious, aggressive, controlling, dismissive, jealous, bitchy, condescending, spiteful, hateful, resentful, vengeful and so many other things that are part and parcel of our everyday experiences of one another.

  41. I know the arrogance of the “I don’t do that!” stage so love the deepening of the where’s and the why’s you ask Leigh. As we understand the process, we can start to see where it has been serving us and why we have continued that behaviour.

  42. Teaching ourselves to look at the reflections we receive from others is far more beneficial than judging and blaming others for their behaviours, especially as things do not just happen for no reason. There is so much on a daily basis to observe and feel into, and all is presented so that we can evolve if we so choose.

    1. That’s a good point, Caroline, because often we can be so hard on ourselves and any smidgen of self-criticism is unloving. It’s good practice to observe our behaviour from a place of understanding with a willingness to be open and loving, as supposed to going into self-condemnation. After all wouldn’t we want to be as loving with yourself as we would be with others? This in itself takes practice and patience.

    2. This feels hugely significant, Caroline: “we can only evolve or change our ways where there is love.” Love is the key ingredient and yet, so much more than that. Love is the All.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.