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Activating Other People’s Pain (It’s Not You!)

Today, something happened that I would have (and have) reacted to differently before. I went to a shop and bought a whole bunch of art supplies. I know that creativity needs to be a part of my life and I feel like visual expression is one of its rawest forms… I just want to express myself. So after completing a big project today, I treated myself to some supplies, a few different things to try out.

When I paid at the cash, there was this unmistakable “look” from two of the people there. This look of measuring me up and down and deciding that I shouldn’t be on this side of the counter buying a whole bunch of stuff.

Now, this was a study day for me. I had curly hair, no makeup… I didn’t look like your regular twenty-something these days, and I know that people give themselves to judge others, especially women, based on appearance.

This type of look: the “you don’t deserve this” look is one I used to get ALL the time when I lived in a beautiful apartment with an underground pathway of shops I used to visit frequently (for daily shopping needs). I would get these bitter looks all the time, and I remember almost feeling sorry that I was in what they perceived to be such a much better position than they (and honestly, things were amazing for me, so I probably was).

I would go to the point of avoiding one of the shops where I would buy makeup/hygiene products because of the bitter looks by a group of women who by then recognized me.

When I got that same old look today, I realized what it was. It was me activating someone else’s pain system, someone who lives in a dark loop of deserving/non-deserving, someone who is necessarily not filled with their own life…

And I made the conscious choice not to let anything other than love enter my heart and to let it go. The idea that someone else might not deserve what they have, the idea that we might be more deserving of what someone else has… What are these dumb ideas?

We are all deserving…

I also took this as a chance to see whether there were any parallels in my life, and there were. There have been times when I’ve seen someone and in my distorted judgment I’ve thought, she/he doesn’t deserve what they have.

 

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