Yesterday my mom and I were heading out, driving along the back alley of my old neighborhood away from her house. We passed a neighbor that has been living there since we moved in, over 20 years ago. I sped up quickly, as I automatically remembered the response for myself when I see this man - which is get away quickly, try not to engage or have him see me. My mother's response was much different - she attempted to say hello to him.
My reaction-action didn't give him the chance to respond to her. I looked at her, surprised by her change, as she also use to have the same reaction as me towards this man. She explained he's been very helpful with them as they are preparing to sell their house. She said she never knew him before, and now that she has spent some time with him, she really liked him. She says, "that's my buddy." She told me that she judged him before she even got to know him.
And so I was humbled in that moment, as I also have not spent any time getting to know him, but have always existed in the same reaction patterns towards him since I was a child. They were based on rumors, that he was perhaps a 'peeping tom', and everyone on the block seemed to have the same feeling towards him - a bit weary of him, keeping their distance, basically banishing him to the definition of a creep.
I don't know if the rumors were true that would go around, but based on those rumors and gossip, I accepted this is who he was and spent my whole life avoiding him if I saw him. And when I automatically responded to him the same way I always have, even after a year and a half living away, it was like that is just 'how it goes', that is just the pattern of how I've existed in relation to him - so I really didn't question it. Until my mom led by example of the fact that you cannot really know someone until you spend time with them, and communicate with them.
So thanks mom for being willing to lead by example, and remind me that you cannot judge others before you really know who they are. And it's a shame I allowed myself to continue to exist in such a pattern, completely unaware of what I was allowing, even after all these years. I thought I would know better. But alas, another reaction-pattern from the past I am now aware of, and can correct.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge others on who they are based on what other people say, and before I've spent anytime with them myself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust gossip and rumors so much so that I define people according to them... instead of perhaps seeing more so those that gossip and spread rumors, as well as myself for participating in rumors and gossip, as actually seeing who someone is rather than the person being talked about - the real 'issue' that should be talked about is not what is being said about the person not there, but about those participating in the gossip and rumors.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to carry onto past reactions towards people in my life, wherein even after years of not seeing them, still act out the response to them... as per the acceptances and allowances of the past
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge my neighbor based on what others said about him, instead of getting to know him myself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to never question the reactions I had towards my neighbor, but instead define him as what others said about him, and based on what others said about him, my reactions/experiences to the idea of what they said - trust that as a valid point to judge someone and resist/avoid them
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define my neighbor as a creep
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define my neighbor as weird
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to dismiss my neighbor every time I would see him as if to say you are worthless, and should not be a part of my existence
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to shut others out based on what other people say about them, instead of putting myself in their shoes, and doing to them what I would have done to me - which is NOT to be defined according to what others say about me, but to rather have them come to me, get to know me before they make any assumptions, judgments or definitions about who I am
I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to treat my neighbor as I would like to be treated, which is to be acknowledged and respected enough to honor them within my presence - to not be ignored, or dismissed, but to be seen within understanding, care, and consideration
I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to honor and respect other people, as I would like to be honored and respected equally, when I participate in gossip and spreading of rumors about people
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to talk about other people when they are not around - revealing more about myself as points to get clear on, then the people I'm talking about
I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to see, realize, and understand that others are me, living a different life, yet equal and one and so I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to embrace others within the context of seeing me - and taking responsibility for that which I see is me in others... so stopping all blame, judgments, assumptions, definitions, ideas, opinions and rather bringing it back to myself to see where I live the same, or express the same as that which I judge/blame/define/assume about others
When and as I see myself reacting automatically to people from my past, based on ideas of who they are, ESPECIALLY if it is a negative reaction, I stop and I breathe. I see, realize, and understand that if my ideas about this person are not based on me spending any time with them, but rather gossip and rumors accepted as truth, I must stop, as it's completely unacceptable to assume to know who a person is without spending any time and communication with them. And so I commit myself to not assume to know who anyone is until I've spent time getting to know them, and to within this, I commit myself to not judge others even after I've gotten to know them as I see, realize, and understand that judgments are useless and only reflect parts of myself.
I commit myself to practice understanding others rather than judgment towards others
When and as I see myself accepting rumors and gossip about others as fact, I stop and I breathe. I see, realize, and understand that to allow this is to not live the principle of 'do unto another as you would have done unto yourself', as I would not like others to gossip and spread rumors about me, so I should not inflict such a thing on another. I commit myself to stop trusting the words of third parties without doing my own investigation, to find out what is real, and what is not real... to then make a decision based on what I see, without judgments, reactions, blame, ideas, assumptions, but on real time physical feedback with that other person.
I commit myself to to slow down in moments of automatic reactions and to question where the reactions come from as getting to know myself, as well as taking responsibility for any mis-alignments within me in relation to others/my reality
I commit myself to live the principle of doing to others what I would have done to me
I commit myself to live the principle of love thy neighbor as thyself
I commit myself to see all others within equality - treating them as I would like to be treated, and not allowing anything less
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