There's a saying that our outer world is merely a reflection of our inner world.
If that's true (and I believe it is), everything you perceive is essentially the world constantly reflecting back at you - your strengths, truths, and yep, even the not-so-pretty 'shadow-y' bits. The light and the dark.
The latter - to say the least - can be extremely confronting.
What I've learned - and am still learning - is the each mirror reflecting back at me, is an opportunity for growth. When we teach ourselves to be with, sit with, learn and grow from what has come into our view, we transform.
A couple of years ago, I found myself consuming a lot online - and to be clear, I'm not saying that's necessary a negative thing, but I noticed two things come up for me:
1. I was allowing myself to get sucked into constant comparison. Any time your gaze is focused more on consumption than creation, it's driving you further and further away from what you actually want. There is a time for connecting, reading, learning - yes - but it's imperative that we make time for DOING. Straight up creation - without questioning ourselves, without comparing our words to so-and-so's, without the fear of what others may think of us.
2. I found myself irritated and annoyed by what I viewed as 'inauthentic". Or, more accurately, people online who I had labelled as "inauthentic".
While that judgment swirled around in my mind, I knew I needed to take a step back.
I needed to unhook myself from my ego and pry myself away from my judgments because when I allowed myself to get really honest, it was this question that rang through loud and clear: "Where are you being inauthentic, Allie?"
With the intention of taking a couple of weeks time to disconnect and enjoy life offline, that tumbled into months, and eventually, well over a year of self-examination and transformation. (That's a whole other story (or rather, a series of stories) that I could go on about for days - but let's stay on topic!)
Taking notice of my own reactions to others allowed me to shine a light on what was truly going on in me. The parts that are stubborn and hard-headed, times when I'm self-serving or holding back the truth. All those parts within ourselves that don't necessarily sit well. The parts we hide from, or shove down because it's too painful or uncomfortable to bear.
And so, if the world is a mirror, reflecting everything back at me, then those qualities that I judge in others, are also in me. It all circles back to a lesson in radical perspective-shifting.
The next time you cast judgments on those around you - I invite you to soften your gaze. Let awareness shine the light on truth, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Flip the switch from attack-mode to a lens of compassion. (TWEET THIS!)
Throw away the finger pointing, the blame-game, and the projections.
Everyone has their own set of dreams, hopes, joys, struggles, and failures. We're all putting forth our best effort to create lives we love, to make our dreams a reality. Start seeing the humanness in each other. Our hearts, our vulnerabilities - all of it.
When you judge those around you, you judge yourself by default. (TWEET THIS!)
By allowing compassion to take the wheel, you judge less. You find ways to relate, to be more generous, to reach out, to love more.
Instead of fighting with each other, judging, comparing, competing - investigate the ways you've been looking at things negatively and examine what you're making it mean. Because maybe somewhere deep within you, you're shadow is coming forth - to teach you, to show you the path of your own growth and evolution.
I'd love for you to examine - and share if you'd like - the ways you've been viewing things (people, your circumstances) negatively, and ask yourself what you're making it mean - is that actually the truth? Is there something deeper wanting to be known?
And if you think you know someone who would enjoy reading these words - I'd be so appreciative for any shares. Thank you xo