Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Most of us have probably been brought up to be ‘good’ people and to display only our acceptable attributes. This has had a detrimental affect throughout our lives, causing us to feel inadequate and ashamed of ourselves when we are only displaying the full range of human behaviours.
We are socially conditioned to do what other people deem as acceptable behaviour, be good, don’t cry, don’t be greedy, don’t shout and so on. These natural behaviours are taken out of context, and we have been made to feel guilt and shame for exhibiting them.
As humans we know life through the duality of things; hot and cold, tall and small, good and bad. We have decided that one is better than the other rather than seeing both as part of the same whole. We cannot know one without knowing the other, so rather than judging one as better than another, perhaps changing the way you view the situation would be more productive.
When we find ourselves in challenging situations that we prefer to be otherwise, we become identified by it. We can feel bad, and ponder that bad things always happen to me. However, it is not the circumstance themselves that bother us and cause us our problems, it is our reaction to them.
In the same vein, if we judge another for displaying behaviours we have been scorned for, we become superior in our attitude to them and blame them for being terrible people, rather than acknowledging that you are capable of being that way too.
When we embrace all of who we are, knowing that we are all capable of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ deeds we can be more compassionate to ourselves. Some of us seem to exhibit behaviours without and consciousness or self awareness, however, we all act from where we are with the circumstances and knowledge available to us.
Rather than thinking in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, perhaps seeing situations as learning opportunities and instead of being down on yourself, think of it as you did the best you could at that time. This brings consciousness and mindfulness into our actions, and helps us to break the reactionary patterns.
If we consider that all we are ever dealing with are thoughts, then it is up to us change them and to decide whether we believe those thoughts. This opens up an awareness to explore where the thoughts originated from. What happened to make that thought automatic rather than a different thought?
When we can embrace all aspects of our self, we have nothing to be afraid of. We know who we are, we are not afraid to be who we are, and we accept others for who they are.