Questioning Judgements. How to break free
“I’m worthless. I’m unlovable. Why do people treat me this way?”
I was my own harshest critic, this much I had always known. Over the years my inner voice had told me that I was not good enough, that I let others down, was a disappointment to those I cared about, that others disapproved of me, everything was my fault and, worst of all, I didn’t know or believe I could be or feel any different. That’s an awful lot of negative baggage to carry around.
That was my story, my reasons for behaving as I did, for my anger, for my unexplained hurt, for the wall I built around me, for the excuses, for those I blamed, for not always looking after myself and for the constant searching. I didn’t allow myself to show my feelings, to be vulnerable, to really be true to myself. I had a consistent and persistent knowing that all was not well in me. I was confused, felt lost and was too busy trying, and failing, to please others, even those who didn’t really matter. I lived in fear of being my true self and of what others thought of me. I needed help.
Others’ behaviour towards me, my expectations of them and how this reinforced my judgements about myself was leaving me in a continual cycle of self-hatred and anger towards them and myself and around and around I went. Most of this was happening on an unconscious level whilst I got on with the business of living.
It’s said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. There have been many such teachers and lessons throughout my life that have all offered opportunities for growth and for me to delve deeper. In Clare Walters I recognised a kindred spirit and wanted to know more about the work she has developed. I signed myself up for an Intensive workshop along with a small group of unknown but, thankfully, like-minded and equally suffering and struggling individuals. We were all seeking something.
What a revelation this workshop was!
I’ve always been a deep-thinker, trying to understand others and would internally question but interestingly this wasn’t something I applied to myself in a wholly compassionate way. How could I? I was too busy applying my flawed logic, my ‘baggage’, my beliefs and sabotaging myself, my needs and my deepest longings.
With Clare’s expertise, guidance and questioning judgements exercises, I was able to look at who and what causes my pain and to recognise how this affects my feelings and my thoughts towards others and myself. Eureka!
The techniques enabled me to notice what I was feeling when I believed the worst about myself, to look at how others should act towards me and what I needed them to feel, think and hear. That’s the easy bit. Wanting the other person to change, to be what we want and need … not so easy. In fact, how can we expect someone else to change if we’re not willing to work on ourselves, to question our own judgements? This is the work, to look inside and to finally be honest, vulnerable and open.
I now see myself and others more clearly and compassionately. I know that what I believed about myself isn’t real and isn’t true. I’m able to notice if any of my old patterns, my judgements, take over and cloud my thinking, trigger old feelings and take me back to my old ways of being, with myself and others. With this enhanced awareness and clarity, I have been set free.
Any change takes time and practice and the need to remind ourselves of what we’ve learned. I continue to use these techniques but now find that I have less need as time goes on. I actually love who I am and am finally taking responsibility for my own way of being and not looking to others to fulfil me or to blame.
Who am I? What do I want? What do I need? What is the meaning of life? Happiness, success, money, marriage, children, career, home ownership? Sometimes it feels like a never-ending search and an unanswerable question. What about love, acceptance, peace of mind, finding your true reason for being, finding joy?
Ultimately, survival is the name of the game but none of us can escape our ultimate destination, at least not yet or depending on your beliefs. Literally, and from our deepest primaeval instincts, survival at a base level is having enough water, food and shelter. Western modern society, on the other hand, dictates that we should strive for material wealth and success to give security in our old age and meaning to our lives until our inevitable end.
In the meantime, what are we to do with the time we have on this earth? How are we to live? How do we find what it means to be human, to live a fulfilling life, to find meaning? If you’re reading this then you’ve already embarked on a journey of self-discovery and are looking for answers as to why things don’t go your way, why you’re not happy or why something feels off or is missing from your life.
Clare is so intuitive and sees and knows the potential and wisdom we have within each of us. This workshop gives incredible insight and potential for growth. I would highly recommend it to all of you out there, to those of you who are suffering. Its time to be your own best friend, to give yourself this gift.