don’t judge your journey: whether you came from a loving home/past, or an abusive home/past, it is ALL relative
I have worked with people who say to me (with some embarrassment and self-judgement) that the very worst thing they have ever been through in life is not getting into their college of choice, and that it truly “ruined their life”. we are often quick to judge others who have not “had it bad enough” or whom we would judge as not being able to relate to our “difficult” circumstances in life. well, it is ALL relative. I have had to let these folks know, the ones who say something like the opening sentence in this paragraph, that their feelings are INDEED valid. and, it goes deeper than that…if the only thing we ever know is support, loving kindness and ease in life at the good graces of our families or those around us, then what happens when those people go away/physically die or are not there to “remind” us of our value? deep panic and darkness can ensue when we have not had to learn how to remind OUR SELF of that value.
I used to look at seemingly carefree, stress-free, and “happy” women on the train and think “man, what would it be like to be that woman? what would my life look like without experiencing so much trauma and abuse and struggle and judgement and sadness? I WISH I could have a taste of that life”. I also judged my own process because part of me blamed myself for my past, which was like a dirty secret that I hid from those I deemed “healthy”, and over-shared with those who I felt were equally broken at some point. I also felt incredible GUILT each and every time I saw a homeless person, or someone who I felt I had “more” than. the guilt often felt crippling, and it contributed to some of the settling I did in my life during that time. what I didn’t understand at the time was the RELATIVE nature of life’s experiences. perhaps I did NOT actually want that carefree, stress-free and happy woman on the train’s life (the present-day irony is that I now look like that carefree, stress-free and happy woman on the train). did my friends who had very stable, supportive and loving families and experiences make me feel good to be around? yes and no. yes because the vibration of love, stability and strength felt aligned with my core. no because the vibration of love, stability and strength felt so opposed to my experience, and thus scary (literally scary – I can remember eating a holiday dinner at my boyfriend’s house and having to leave the table to go cry in the bathroom because I didn’t feel “worthy” of the normalcy and love that I was experiencing at the table. my ego was in freak-out mode). however, I also noticed that when something “went wrong” in the life of one of these people I aspired to be like or feel like, that even with all of the “proper” support in the world, the internal world of the person I would have described as having an “easier” time in life became no different than what my internal world felt like on a fairly frequent basis. in fact, given the CONTRAST between their past experience and their then-current relative struggle, they might have been touching upon a very deep and sudden pain.
people (friends and patients) have said to me things like, “I feel like my journey doesn’t really count, or my transformation can’t be that big, because I haven’t had it as hard as you. your journey has been so much more difficult than mine, therefore how can things really change for me?”. that is totally bogus, and it is also self-judgement. who is to say that my journey or anyone else’s has been more difficult than that of the person who has had EVERYTHING that they have wanted up until a certain point in life, has been “yes-ed” to death, and suddenly the script flips or changes, even in the mildest of ways? when the script flips or changes (for “better” or for “worse”, by the way), we are in a big ego death. there is no measure or judgement on the relativity of one person’s process against another person’s process. yet, we each seem to judge our processes and compare and contrast against others’…
sooner or later we are each forced to acknowledge our own value. the Universe will teach this in a variety of ways. one way it will teach us our own value is by having that value invalidated CONSTANTLY. for example, if we grow up in a chaotic, abusive and all-around unsupportive home and with people who make us feel like shit, what is happening is that we are being FORCED to acknowledge our own value. because clearly it is NOT coming from an outside source (this is such a gift by the way, even when it feels torturous). in fact, we are being tested to develop an even stronger and earlier sense of self (if we can navigate the process, pass the tests to see through the illusions of the abuse and understand why it is happening/has happened) than the average person. what a huge blessing! the greatest gift I have ever received from the Universe is the gift of my OWN inner value and truth, separate from the opinions of anyone around me. it did NOT come from being honored, respected, yes-ed to death or any such experience.
conversely, the Universe will teach us our own value by giving us archetypal support/love from family, friends and the like. we may have a fairly “easy” life, and we may rely on those around us because we have never really faced adversity – however, that in and of itself IS adversity. adversity is always waiting at the door for us so that we can expand our consciousness. one day, one time, at some point, we will find ourselves in a situation that can not be fixed or filled by our former life of “ease”. we may notice that when our parents or siblings or loved ones die, that our sense of self and value and validation completely went with them. if our husband or wife suddenly leaves us and we have no immediate physical being to validate our existence, we may “lose” it. this singular experience may actually be relative to a lifetime of struggle to “find oneself”. being in a position where we never learn to fish because that is the way the Universe has set things up for us, can really test us when those who feed us disappear for some reason. separately, we may also notice that “normal” every day hardships seem to be so much harder for us to deal with than more “hardship-seasoned” peers or friends, and we may struggle more to recover from certain experiences. this does not make us weak! it makes us part of a divine plan of life experience and soul evolution.
there are blessings in the curses of each above “archetypal” scenario. I have always said that each human being gets the SAME deck of cards in life with a completely DIFFERENT hand. with whatever hand we get, I suggest looking to people we admire who have been through similar hardships (or lack thereof). this will help keep us out of self-judgement and/or judgement of those around us. things have been relative since the beginning of time. don’t judge your journey: whether you came from a loving home/past, or an abusive home/past, it is ALL relative.