“We whip out the finger so quickly to attribute the source of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction to someone else and therefore they have to go and fix themselves rarely recognising that the fundamental source of anxiety is in our minds.”
We are told that knowing what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is of prime importance to live in a way that is socially acceptable, but in creating a dichotomy, we become mistrustful and judge the ‘wrongdoers’. The perpetrators become 'less than' our righteous selves. In the act of judgement, we move perilously close to pushing our beliefs on to another and become the missionaries of self-righteousness.
Suddenly, those that do not agree with our beliefs of 'good and bad' are beneath us, they are now the demonised 'other' and in creating an enemy, 'we' solidify and break away from our natural state of interconnectedness. There is now an 'us' and 'them'
Disconnection through self-righteousness can be witnessed on a global scale: the clash of superpowers, ideologies, and cultures that leads to mass strive and unrest. For time immemorial there has always been the primitives and the civilised, the impediments that challenge what is deemed to be proper and right. On a micro-scale this can also be witnessed in petty judgements of what it takes to be a yogi, a good mother, or the perfect spouse - basically a checklist of how to fulfil a role.
How we live our lives in each moment is the vital ingredient in creating a world in which we want to live. If we judge, we will be judged. If we are aggressive, we will receive aggression. If we self-loath, we will be loathed. If we pity, we will be pitied. If we victimise, we will be a victim. If we love, we will be loved. If we respect, we will be respected. If we tolerate, we will be tolerated. If we share, people will be sharing.
We are forever creating our own reality and as the Buddha said "All things are preceded by the mind, led by the mind, created by the mind.”
By primarily concentrating upon ourselves, action can be take from a place of introspection. Socially we're told to direct our attention to those around us, perhaps even to the point of being self-sacrificing and a martyr. As a by-product, this constant outward attention inevitably leads to a collective drive to 'fix' others whilst avoiding one's inner world.
It seems though that there is one vital ingredient that we choose not to incorporate in order to concentrate upon ourselves: trust.
For many, there are aspects of ourselves we do not trust or are critical of, and then reflect this mistrust to the outer world. The task of inner trust then becomes about trying to control others' actions through indirect (moral judgements) and direct (law) force. This lack of trust stimulates fear of those who are deemed 'counter' to ourselves and provide the perfect distraction to focus on what really matters, which is: Do I love and trust myself? How am I choosing to live?
Nothing just happens to us. We create our world through millions of choices that are made daily: thoughts, actions, speech - these generate our direction and input into our world, therefore, create an environment that reflects ourselves in this moment.
By turning on the awareness of internal workings and using this as a catalyst for our interactions, we move away from controlling and self-righteous judgements, and move towards directing ourselves in each moment. There may be accusations of being self-centred and selfish but are these actually bad things?
In being aware and present in this moment, as opposed to living in the past or future, our actions emanate from a place of inner-clarity and not from another's deed. We respond rather than react. We live in accordance with ourselves, not pushed and pulled by external constraints. We become who we are, not what we are told to be. We do not dictate, but live by example and trust others to live in accordance with themselves. We move from self-imposed separation and back to interconnection, our natural way.
And when we have knocked down the walls of separation, we know with every ounce of our being that there is no 'other' or 'them', only 'you, I and us' all sharing the same boat.
Shedding the guise of self-righteousness, we are missionaries for trust and connection.