“You spot it, You got it”, is one of my favorite catch phrases. It helps remind me that whatever I see in someone else, reflects how I feel about that quality or trait in myself. This is my barometer to uncover the unloved areas of myself that are in need of love.
To be honest, there is a part of me that likes to pick a side. Remembering this phrase when I find myself doing that creates opportunities for me to practice compassion and acceptance.
Let me use the current example of what happened at the Oscars between Will Smith and Chris Rock. I did not watch the Oscars. I did see the headlines the next morning and promptly clicked the article and watched the video. I got immersed in the drama. I immediately chose a side. Ding! Ding! Ding! Through exploring my judgements, I now had an opportunity to practice compassion and acceptance. Was I willing? YES!
Here are three judgements I had and my exploration around them:
Physical violence upsets me. It upsets me because I carry guilt about knowing that I can resort to that. Sometimes when I get really mad, I hit a wall, my steering wheel, or throw something. Thank goodness it happens once every few months. It used to happen on a daily basis. I have been embarrassed, ashamed and disowned that part of me. Is it in me to lash out physically? Yes. As a result, I judged Will Smith's actions and wanted him punished. Why? Because I wanted to continue punishing that angry/scared part of myself.
Responding initially as though everything is ok and then suddenly lashing out upsets me. It upsets me because I carry guilt about all the times that I pretended everything was ok, didn’t speak up, and then lashed out unexpectedly afterwards. In the past, I let my frustrations build to a breaking point. I wasn't willing to use my words. I cringed when I saw Will Smith do that because I still carry the guilt from doing that in my past. I wanted punishment to continue for that part of me.
Offering an apology that isn’t an apology bugs the crap out of me. Using an apology as a way to justify unkind behavior without taking full responsibility upsets me. During the acceptance speech Will Smith apologized to the Academy but not the person that he acted out against. Instead he said, "Love makes us do crazy things." Uh, Will, that's not love. And I was feeling embarrassed for all the times I justified my behavior in the guise of an apology. I was feeling guilty for my unwillingness to take full responsibility for my actions. I wanted to squish that part of me like a bug.
Not having compassion for those parts of myself, led to me making Will Smith the villain in my mind and wanting justice, I took a side that wanted him punished. Were his actions kind? No. What I do know is that I am capable of all the above things. When I resorted to those behaviors, it was because I was in pain. Can I hold compassion in my heart for that part of him that was in pain and that part of me that was in pain? Yes. Am I willing to? Yes.
Chris Rock appeared to show compassion for Will Smith. He did not press charges. Have I shown compassion for someone that has appeared to have wronged me in the past? Yes. I spotted qualities in Will Smith and Chris Rock that were also in me. The ones I disliked I wanted punished. The ones I liked, I appreciated.
Yep! That phrase, "You spot it, You got it", helped me shift from taking a side to being more compassionate.
My aspiration is to embody love and accept all the less than stellar parts of myself and others as they show up. For me, holding pain inside and not acknowledging it, has lead to physical violence and turning that violence inward has led me to lash out or sabotage my life. This practice helps me catch and release my judgments before they fester.
The only side I wish to choose is LOVE!