But what literally brought me to my knees that evening in the garden that I have been speaking to you about in the last several posts was the realization of how it is I treat others when I am engaged in the self-destructive cycle of trying to make me different, i.e. “right for God!”
I saw how I speak and treat others when I'm caught up in the downward spiraling dynamic of demanding, remaking and berating myself for not being what I think I should be to deserve the benevolences of Source. My knees buckled and gave way when I saw how I demand, blame and attempt to control others when I am out of harmony with myself.
What I saw is that the pain created in me by my refusal to accept myself as I am becomes so unbearable that sooner or later I must escape it. The way I escape that terrible self-annihilation is by turning my judgments of failure to someone else and focus on their short-comings.
In other words, the way I get relief from the way I beat myself up for not living up to my idealized image is by projecting my negative judgments against myself onto someone else – usually someone close to me, like my husband, for instance. (Ain't he the lucky fella?! :))
Here's what I saw myself doing:
In order to help me feel better about my own failure to attain perfection, I start picking someone else apart. I move from the “I should be different” dictum to one that says, “HE (they, she) should be different!”
In other words, I unconsciously invite someone from my life to participate with me on the victim triangle by persecuting them (sometimes only in my mind and other times out loud) for not being the way I think THEY should be. I transfer my image of self-perfection to the other person and start demanding that they be what I've failed to make myself into being.
I then try to change them by trying to fix, control, or manipulate them: for instance, with my husband, I might offer helpful suggestions, all in the spirit of being for his highest good, taking it for granted that I know how he should be, of course. I spot in him the changes I secretly think I need to make and then try to get him to make those same changes in himself. (No wonder Byron Katie reminds us that the advice we give others is really for us!)
In other words, I try to make him fit the mold I am failing to shape myself into becoming!This effort to change him is me in the role of rescuer on the triangle. He has now become my victim, my “fixer-upper,” my own personal “pet-project.”
Of course sooner or later those we project our judgments to are bound to feel like we are trying to control them and they end up feeling mistreated, disapproved of, etc. Sooner or later they will start resisting our efforts to make them into something different and balk and then round the triangle we go together, ad nauseum.
So I realized that not only do I try to bully myself into becoming some mind-conceived and impossible ideal but I also simultaneously try to bully those around me into becoming what they are not either! What an exercise in futility! And what but misery can come from such efforts?
I became aware that I was lying on the ground on my garden path now with my cheek to the earth in a posture of surrender to these dawning realizations and in my mind on tha evening I heard thoughts that,transcribed into words, went something like this:
(speaking to me) “Your job is not to change yourself (or anybody else for that matter) into fitting this concept you've dreamed up of who you (and they) should be. I am the One who created you as you are and I am THAT which prompts your movement, not you.
Should you choose to line up with Me then yours can be a path of joy, of minimal resistance, of acceptance (of yourself and others), of grace. But if you fight my design for your life you will generate resistance that can only result in misery for you and for those around you.
There were other thoughts too that came to me that evening on my garden path regarding the reality of who we are … I will share them next in one final post on my revelations in the garden. Stay tuned.