I just wanted to let you know that I’ve got a new blog/website, which is a bit more profesh and snazzy. So if you’d like to have a look it’s http://www.jadedoherty.com
Lots of love,
I just wanted to let you know that I’ve got a new blog/website, which is a bit more profesh and snazzy. So if you’d like to have a look it’s http://www.jadedoherty.com
Lots of love,
One thing I’ve noticed recently is where I haven’t been making myself wrong, and as a result I’m starting to be aware of how often I try to make myself wrong. Personally, I find it easier if I’m the one who’s in the wrong. If I’m wrong, I can change, or apologise or ‘work on myself’. But if someone else is wrong? Then what? Maybe they won’t change, maybe they won’t apologise and maybe they won’t work on their stuff.
I had an example of this on Friday morning. The 12th of October is a holiday in Spain, like it is in the USA, related to Christopher Columbus (or Cristobal Colon as they call him here). It’s basically National Spain Day, and as a result everyone gets a day off and a in this case, a long weekend. Apart from me! I don’t get Bank Holidays off, so, as I was leaving my building to totter off to work, I was greeted by the evidence of someone’s night out. Apparently it was a wild, or at least a drunken one, as in the lobby was a huge, steaming pile of sick!
Dodging the sick, and being careful not to get any on my beloved, glittery boots, I went off to work hoping that by the time I got home it would have been cleaned up. Mais non. It was still there. And it was still there on Saturday. And today.
This is such an obvious example of someone being out of order. Firstly, don’t vom in the lobby. It’s not cool. Vom in your house all you want, but not in the communal areas, okay? And secondly, if you do vomit everywhere, I guess it could happen to the best of us, clean it up!
I was aware that normally I’d try to find ways to excuse it away, to stop the phantom vomiter from being wrong. Or more than being wrong, I’d try to absolve them of their responsibility for their actions. I’d think things like ‘Oh, they must not have realised that their sick is proudly displayed for everyone to enjoy’, or ‘They must have gone away for the weekend and haven’t had the chance to clean it up’, or any other situation I could think of to prevent myself from feeling that the other person was out of order.
And, even more than not trying to make the other person right, I complained about it! Now, us British people usually suffer everything with a stiff upper lip. We complain, but to each other, never to the person who ‘wronged’ us, nor to a person in a position of power. We might, if we are raging about something, write a strongly worded letter. But that’s about it.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw myself sending a text to my landlady (still didn’t have the balls to do it over the phone, but it’s a start!) telling her that there’s sick in the entrance, it’s disgusting, and asking when is it going to be cleaned up. Even when she called me and tried to sidetrack me by telling me not to leave the main door open, I stayed strong, and told that I don’t, but with the vomit on the floor I might have to so that the building doesn’t stink.
I know it might sound really small and obvious, but for me it was quite a difference. I normally feel like I absorb the responsibility of a situation to either prevent the other person from having deal with their responsibility or to prevent a situation from (as I see it) falling apart.
Over responsibility is most definitely one of my ‘things’, which means that I either get left with, or in some way take on, the responsibility in any given situation. In fact, in my family we laugh that when my parents used to ask ‘who made this mess/broke this glass/did something else that we’re angry about’, and when it wasn’t me, I used to say ‘It wasn’t me, but you can blame me if you want’. See, I’ve been over responsible and a bit pious since day one!
This over responsibility means that I’m often ‘right’, and nearly always have the moral high ground, but equally end up feeling heavy and annoyed at feeling like I have to do things I don’t want to or pick up the slack when others have dropped the ball.
But in this situation, and in a few others that have occurred during the last week or so, I haven’t. I felt like I left the responsibility, in the form of sick, right where it was and didn’t claim it as my own. Of course I could have cleaned it up, but it didn’t feel like mine to clean up.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this. In life, we all play roles. One of mine is being responsible, and because of this I very often get paired with people who are irresponsible. Which means they get to play out being irresponsible, whilst I play out my normal role of being responsible. And it’s really not a role that I like. Playing this role makes me feel very unimportant, untaken care of and very put upon.
Most of the women I know play at being responsible too. In their relationships and in general. And I think we especially play out this over responsibility/not allowing the other person to be wrong, with people we know.
When we know someone, when we know their history and their experiences, it’s very easy to explain away their behaviour by referring to their history; ‘oh, he’s not rude, it’s just that his dad didn’t hug him’, or ‘it’s not that she’s being a bitch, it’s just that her last boyfriend was an idiot’. Have you noticed that we don’t do this the other way around? We never try to negate someone’s being awesome by referring to their history. When was the last time you said ‘oh, it’s not that he has integrity, it’s just that his dad brought him up really well’ or ‘she’s not a good person, she just has a really nice life’?!
If you’re going to discount someone’s lameness by blaming it on their history, at least be consistent and discount someone’s awesomeness by blaming it on their history too!
It’s not that I think we should blame everything on other people, or that we should be irresponsible just to prove a point. It’s more about not making yourself wrong. If someone is rude or horrible to me, I always try to find out what I must have done to have provoked such a reaction, try to see it from their point of view, or tried to see where they were acting unconsciously due to whatever reasons they may have. Or, and this is the one I do most often, to say ‘well, they’re entitled to act how they want, but why am I affected? Why do I care?’.
Which on the one hand does mean that I get to address loads of things, but it also means that I often get treated in ways that I don’t want to be treated, don’t stand up for myself, never have a go at someone for being rude to me and always end up absorbing the situation. By which I mean if someone says something nasty to me, instead of calling them on it, asking them why they said it, bursting into tears or telling them to ‘fuck off’, I carry the situation, I’m the one who feels bad about it and the other person never experiences my true reaction, and as such never takes responsibility for what they did.
Well not anymore! Now that I’ve said it on the internet it means it’s true! No longer shall I take responsibility for things that aren’t mine. If someone drops the ball, or loses something, or fucks up, and I don’t genuinely want to help, I won’t. I naturally like helping people, but doing it when you don’t want to is just another way of being dishonest, except it’s to yourself. Next time someone says something that I find rude, or out of order, I’m going to tell them. Not necessarily in a harsh and rude way, but I’m not going to carry the burden of their aggression.
I often find wisdom in football, and this week has been no exception. Spain is super into football gossip, and the newspapers have been reporting that in Real Madrid (one of the biggest teams in the world for those of you not well versed in football), the manager, Jose Mourinho, and the vice-captain Sergio Ramos don’t get on. That Sergio Ramos has been telling Jose Mourinho that he’s not happy with how he’s doing things and so on. About this subject, Sergio Ramos said something along the lines of ‘well, if I don’t like something, or have someothing to say, why would I shut myself up?’. So thank you Señor Ramos. Indeed, why would you shut yourself up?
It’s not noble or good to not tell people what you think. Maybe you end up being out of order, maybe you end up upsetting the other person, maybe you end up falling out, but I think firstly it’s a risk we have to take, and secondly you do yourself a a disservice by keeping everything in, and you end up being a liar. To others, but more importantly to yourself.
So, going back to the title of this post, stop making yourself wrong. Stop taking responsibility for things that aren’t yours. Of course use any time you have a reaction to something as an opportunity to look at why, but don’t use self inquiry as an excuse to not confront someone about something. Take responsibility for your feelings, but not for the rest of the world’s.
There’s nothing good, or holy about never having a go at someone. You’re not a better person because you don’t express anger, or sadness. Your journal isn’t the one who upset you, so don’t let your journal be the only one you tell!
It’s a risk. If, like me, you’ve never it before, you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. I know how a situation will end if I take responsibility for it, or if I’m the one who’s wrong. It’s the same as what always happens. The status quo is maintained and a false sense of everything being okay continues. But equally, I feel unhappy in the situation and any potential intimacy that either was there, or could have developed, is lost due to my dishonesty in the situation.
So people, I have a challenge for you. This week I’m going to try to be really aware of where I make myself wrong, or where I try to explain away other people’s actions. And stop. It’s a bit scary, and I might not always notice, or, if and when I express something outwards rather than internalising it, it might be a bit clumsy because I’m not used to it, but I need to get the hang of not being responsible for everything and letting a situation unfold as it naturally would and letting people experience the natural consequences of their actions.
And I’d like to invite you to do the same. If you’re overly responsible, join me in letting go of the responsibility and not making yourself wrong.
And if you’ve already mastered this, then look for another pattern that you’ve got, another role that you play and try seeing what happens when you don’t play it.
Night night, and good luck!
So, about 2 weeks ago I was meandering around Seville when I saw them. The most wonderful, fabulous, glittery boots I had ever seen. It was love at first sight. Unfortunately, my monetary means didn’t match my love for the best boots in the world, so I vowed to return when I had the funds to liberate the boots from the boring confinement of the shop, and to explore the world with them.
That day was Wednesday. Straight after work, I skipped along the yellow brick road, all the way to the shop (it’s called Fosco if anyone’s interested) and bought the boots my heart had been hankering after for 2 long weeks! They were everything I’d hoped they’d be; comfy, awesome and glittery.
The next day I proudly wore them to work and not so subtly brought them up in every conversation.It went a bit like this:
“Hi Jade. How are you?”
“Good. I have new boots! LOOK!!!”
I’m so smooth and subtle.
But one thing I’d hadn’t banked on was what they would do to my walk, in and to turn to how I feel and act.
You see, I have a problem with my feet where they go in on the inner part of the foot much more than they should. This has a knock on affect on my knees and hips, and I think causes my hips to be kind of closed. I do sometimes wear insoles but for the past 5 years or so I’ve spent my time convincing myself it’s not a problem.
This also affects the way I walk. I’ve been (rightly) accused of shuffling (thanks mum), and don’t really lift my feet up when I walk, giving me a childish, shuffly gait. Lovely.
But, with my new rootin’, tootin’ boots I walk like a WOMAN! I didn’t realise it at first, but then I caught sight of myself strutting my stuff around Seville, and thought “¡Olé! I’m totes walking like a woman and not a stroppy toddler!” I feel taller (well, that’s partly because of the heel), more confident and strangely enough, more present in my life.
I didn’t realise that such a simple, materialistic thing could make such a difference to how I feel about myself. Not because of the ‘new stuff rush’ one gets, or because they’ve momentarily sedated the burning pain of believing I’m a separate person, but because they’ve changed the way I move. The way I walk. And in turn, the way I feel.
They quite literally don’t allow me to shuffle. I try to slide shuffle and it just doesn’t work. In fact, it almost makes me fall over. But not shuffling and walking properly makes a massive difference to how I experience the world. I feel like an adult. You know, the kind of adult who would complain if their food was crap and send it back, rather than hide their head in shame when their mum does it.
You see, I’m 23. And whilst I’m not ‘old-old’, I’m definitely starting to knock on the door of adulthood. Quite a few people that I went to school with have children. My friends are starting to move in with their boyfriends. My students are generally younger than me (when I started teaching I was often the youngest person in the class. My students used to amazed that I was only 21 AND spoke such good English!). But I still feel like I’m about 16/17. So it’s definitely time to start toying with dressing, acting and walking like an adult.
I think we can often overlook very simple, and basic solutions to problems. I’m not saying that fabulous boots are the key to happiness and Enlightenment, but having good, basic items in your life definitely helps.
I’ve done tonnes of work on this whole growing up malarky. Hours of delving into what keeps me young, ranging from one off events at school to my relationship with my dad to karmic conditioning, and have always been reluctant/unable to adult up. And then, low and behold, these boots strut into my life and have pushed me into woman-ness.
Sometimes I think we overanalyse, and overspiritualise our lives. Like say if you have massive boobs. I mean massive to the point where they start to hurt your back and mess up your posture. You could spend years trying to come to peace with your big boobs, trying to see that they are not you they are just your body, or asking yourself why they annoy you. Or, you could get an industrial bra that supports them, or get them reduced. I’m not saying that every problem can be solved by plastic surgery, but sometimes it’s gotta help, and sometimes very physical solutions to problems work just as well as ‘deep’, spiritual ones.
Or, sometimes I notice myself being all moody and nihilistic, my normal way of handling this would be to take my ridiculous ramblings super seriously and conclude that the world is stupid. Or I could get a beer with a friend, have some tapas, have a laugh and remember that life is actually pretty fun and that the world isn’t such a bad place.
One thing I’ve noticed in Seville is that the people are very well-to-do and a bit conservative. In Spain, the sevillanos have a reputation of being ‘pijos’ and ‘chulos’, or ‘posh’ and ‘cocky’. And it’s kind of true. Men bop around with sideburns, light blue shirts and jumpers casually draped around their shoulders in an ‘anyone for tennis?’ kinda way. The women are nearly always immaculately put together, are rarely out of heels and always wear nicely cut clothes. And the children! You have not seen well dressed children until you’ve been to Seville on a Sunday. Little girls with cute dresses, nice shoes and colour coordinated bows in their well conditioned hair, whilst the boys look like little gentlemen in shirts, shoes and hair with a side parting.
But the thing is, for the most part, they seem happy. You see grandparents, their children and the grandkids sitting in a square all having a laugh. People don’t look rushed. The kids look happy. They are seriously unyogic; bullfighting’s still quite popular, a lot of people smoke and drink and football is as much a religion as Catholicism. But, they (or so I think) are happy.
So the point I’d like to make, asides from announcing my new boots to the internet, is that sometimes it’s the super simple things that can make a difference. Sometimes going out, flirting and dancing your arse off is more effective than a workshop on movement. Sometimes a beer and a relaxing chat with a friend is better than a session with a therapist. Sometimes we don’t have to travel miles to find a community, we can hang out with friends. And sometimes a new pair of boots can turn you into a woman.
My boots and I wish you all a happy Sunday,
Good Evening Cyber-Friends,
Today, I want to talk about a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and that topic is not being liked. Chances are we’ve all not been liked, and have in turn not liked, so are familiar with the concept.
Well, a few days ago I found out that someone I work with doesn’t like me. Cue shocked and horrified gasps, if you please. Apparently this person thinks I’m arrogant and rude because I walked away when he was talking to me, this one time. I don’t remember if I did or didn’t, so let’s presume that I did indeed walk away when this guy was talking to me, and let’s add “forgetful” to my list of faults for good measure.
I don’t want to talk about whether or not this guy is right to dislike me, he clearly has his own reasons and feels justified in not being my biggest fan, and neither do I want to “poor me” at you and make you feel sorry for me.
The truth is that I find it quite funny to not be liked. It sounds strange, but there’s something quite freeing about knowing that someone doesn’t like you. It makes me wonder how I can play with it. Should I always go and sit with this guy and disturb his alone time? Should I start a conversation and then abruptly leave it? Should I talk about how popular I am, or ask to borrow money? The possibilities are limitless!
I was surprised to notice that I didn’t take it personally. I just thought “if that one occasion is what he’s basing his opinion on, and not all the other the conversations or interactions that we’ve had, then it says more about him than it does about me”. I think I’m normally really nice to people (if all you’ve read are my recoveringyogi posts, I do, however, understand why you may beg to differ) so to be liked, to not have achieved my goal of putting everyone at ease, is kind of fun. The sky hasn’t fallen down, World War 3 hasn’t broken out, in fact nothing about my world has changed.
I’m not a better or a worse person that I was before I found this out, I’m not happier or sadder, or even nicer or less nice. Nothing in my world has changed. The only thing that’s different is that I know that there exists a big, fat ego that doesn’t like my big, fat ego. Which is fine.
The thing is, our likes and dislikes say much more about us, than they do the object of our attention. If we both see a tree, I might find it ugly and you might find it beautiful, but the tree itself is exactly the same, and that we’re discussing is how we relate to the tree, rather than anything intrinsic to the tree. Like art, we generally accept that art makes different people see or feel difference things, but that the artwork in question is neither better nor worse depending on people’s reactions. In that sense, I think people are a lot like a work of art. They provoke different reactions in different people, even when they act in exactly the same way.
I read in an Adyashanti book (I don’t remember which one) about this very topic. In it, he said that when someone says “I love you”, they are actually talking more about their internal state than than they are about you and your lovability.
If I say “I love you” I’m expressing something about me, not about you. Whilst it is nice to know that we are loved, my loving you doesn’t make you better or worse, and “I love you” a statement that only gives information about the speaker. Kind of like saying “I’m hot” or “I’m hungry”, we’re just expressing something about us, not about the other person.
All this leads me to believe that life really isn’t that personal. Everyone’s just poodling about, trying to live their lives as best they can, carrying a fuckload of conditioning and beliefs with them, that are sometimes hurt and sometimes soothed by the other sets of well meaning, conditioning carrying people that they meet.
So next time you don’t like someone, remember that this is more about you than them and ask yourself why rather than just deciding that they’re a bitch. And next time someone doesn’t like you remember that their opinion doesn’t make a tiny bit of difference to who you are.
Poo, I can’t work out how to reply to stuff. But to everyone who’s commented or followed my blog, thank you ever so much! Jade xx
So, I have this thing where I feel that I HAVE to what I think people want me to do. If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. This sounds good right? Keeping my word and all.
I call it integrity, and get all uppity when other people don’t have the same levels of ‘integrity’ as me. But it’s beginning to seem like what I’m calling integrity is actually sticking to the ‘rules’ no matter what, and not actually listening to myself. Integrity is a good word, but I’m realising that I really need to have integrity towards myself first and foremost.
I remember when I was an English Teacher, teaching a class and needing to be sick for about an hour. Instead of excusing myself, or ending the class early, I taught the whole class, fixed smile in place, vomit just behind it. As soon as the class finished I legged it to the bathroom and vommed my little stomach out. My rigid “I must do everything right’ belief was masquerading as being a good, integrity-full person. Actually, I was scared of getting in trouble and choose to value the lesson and how I thought the student might feel over myself and how I actually felt.
Today at work, I was really sick. Like actually sick. As in ‘bleeeugggh’ sick. So I went home. Normally I’d have spent all day with my hand on my head, feeling sorry for myself, but safe in the knowledge that I was beyond reproach, I’d done everything right.
And what a relief it was to go home. To listen to myself and my needs and to honest. To take my personal needs seriously, and but not to take my (misplaced) importance in the world too seriously. So far as I know, the summer camp I work at is ok, children still got to play football, the sky didn’t fall down and I’m not a bad person.
So let’s all take ourselves a bit more seriously and listen to ourselves, after all no one else can hear our internal needs, but take our external image and beliefs a bit less seriously. They’re probably not true anyway!
So, first things first, welcome to my blog.
I decided to make a blog after writing an article for recoveringyogi.com and found that I quite liked putting my thoughts out there. And, getting a positive reception was ever so cool.
Here’s a link to my article, it’s about pious, so called spiritual people, and all the reason why I don’t like them!
Did I mention I’m contributor of the month for August, respect please!
Boozal over and out!