Through the Eyes of a Student
By Shalini Tewari
There is silence in the space as we wait for someone to begin the exercise. We are in the practice of sharing judgments about another and no one wants to be the first to start.
Last week we explored how to share withholds – the unspoken truths that we hold in connection to others that cause tension or contraction in their presence. Layered into this practice are the assumptions or conclusions we make about others that might go along with those withholds.
Even though we have learned that judgments are projections of ourselves and not necessarily truths about the other, it’s bringing up fear and hesitation in the group. No one wants to voice these parts of us for fear of being rejected or cause pain in another. Someone in the circle begins by sharing a ‘nice’ judgment. While the tension eases a little with this share, we are all aware that this is not the real practice.
Finally, a judgment that isn’t so easy to hear or deliver is shared.
‘I judge you to be the type of woman who cares a lot about what others think of you – as though your actions are being scrutinised and therefore you act in accordance to how you think others would like to receive you instead of being authentic.’
We all take a deep breath. The next step is to take ownership of that part in you that have yet to be integrated.
‘Just like me. As I share this with you, I notice the part of me that really cares how I am received. The difference is that there is a part in me that rebels and feels repulsed by being inauthentic, so I instead come off strong and act out bluntly.
What’s coming up for me is a memory of having shared my vulnerable truth as a child and not being received lovingly. Instead, I had those truths come back to bite me as a point of weakness and used later as examples of why others didn’t love me.’
The receiver of this judgment let’s out a sigh of relief. We are witnessing the importance of bringing our truths fully in this exercise. To really let go of the fear of sharing our withholds and judgments holds so much medicine for everyone involved. We are learning that our judgments about others are really about deeper truths and wounds from our own past.
The understanding that these shares do not have to hold any truth for the receiver also allows the space taker to speak openly and honestly. If something comes up for the receiver, it is a good indication of something in them that has yet to be integrated.
The circle is lit up by this process and one by one, the judgments start flowing more easily. It’s a liberating and profound experience.