Equal and Opposite
The biggest lesson that I learned from the Shaman (which probably changed my life the most) is the lesson of equal and opposite.
I found the way she described this concept really confusing at first, but as I’ve wrapped my head around it- I understand the importance of people being aware of it.
When the Shaman and I first met (as you might vaguely remember) I was very lost and insecure about everything.
I was aware of the traumas I had accumulated over the years, but I had no idea what to do with the knowledge that I was ‘traumatised’ and I had no idea how to effectively ‘heal’. I felt like an open wound just walking around trying to find a plaster or something to hide under, but also not wanting to hide because that way I would never get better.
I tried reiki, I tried ignoring it, I tried getting on with my life, I went to the doctors, I read up on psychology.
The shaman helped me to heal by teaching me a new way of seeing the world and giving me perspective.
That is how I think people genuinely heal. By being open to a new way of seeing things. That is why I write and read and learn so much.
This is the importance of Equal and Opposite.
To truly be free in this world (which is the main goal for
many of us)- you need to have experienced everything in order to be able to
choose what you want to be at this current moment.
That’s not to say you have to choose a way of being for the rest of your life, but in this very moment, here and now- until you choose you no longer want to be this way- what do you want to be?
Kind? Guarded? Independent? Open? Closed? Sociable? Co-operative? Easy going? Thorough? Mean?
To be able to choose what you want to be, you will need a familiarity with how to be all these things.
In life, we go through experiences that teach us things.
Hatred, fear, euphoria, confidence, generosity, gratitude, unconditional love, boundaries, etc.
The thing that makes us most upset is perceiving ourselves as a victim.
The thing that makes us most insecure is feeling as though we are unknown.
So the solution is to see yourself not as a label, but as a being- and to know yourself. Discover yourself in a way you haven’t understood before.
We will begin by talking about labelling situations as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
In retrospect, with understanding of what a situation has taught us- we lose these labels because we recognise that whatever we went through taught us a way of being. It gave us versatility, and range, and choice.
I will give an example.
In High School, in about year 7 and 8 I was bullied in a very intense way, which really destroyed my soul and haunted me for many years after.
I was afraid to be seen, I never spoke, I was a recluse, I just assumed that anyone I ever met would take a disliking to me and attack me for something, I thought people were doing me a favour by hanging about with me. I carried insecurity with me for years. It was really horrible and I hated it.
One day, I didn’t want to be a victim anymore, so I took myself out of the lives of those who bullied me and I decided to spend a lunch under the tree outside the art block with a friend I had in primary school. In doing that I met my best friends who I now consider family. They taught me laughter, and confidence, what I bring to other people, inclusion, my value and how to not take things seriously.
Once I left school, I realised that I never would have known the joy and comfort of friendship had I not been bullied. I understood the value of kindness, I understood what it was like to have social hierarchy as well as what it’s like to be the ‘underdog’.
Because I knew both ends of the spectrum, I realised that I had the freedom to make an educated choice on who I would be in this next stage of life. I ended up with an abundance of friends because they recognised this depth in me, and it made them feel comfortable.
From a higher perspective, that ‘bad’ experience was the best thing for me. My bullies gave me freedom, and they exposed to me insecurities in myself which I could now see and therefore be able to work through.
I can’t help but feel like somewhere along the line I must have chosen to go through that experience in order to learn about me.
To learn that the only opinion that defines me is my own.
The connotations of what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is what keeps people stuck.
Freedom is to know that ‘good karma’ and ‘bad karma’ are meaningless terms because in the end, it is all good for us.
The way people see us:
The same can be said for the way you are seen by other people. If people disapprove of us, the response is to become insecure or defensive in some way. But when we react in this way, it’s because we don’t feel secure within ourselves. We don’t feel enough. We are open to the idea that this other person may be correct about us. And that boils down to distrust in ourselves.
When you know that you are entirely free in what you can feel- and when you are aware of this choice, the way other people see you becomes irrelevant.
When you are invested in knowing yourself, being yourself, serving yourself- external compliments and criticisms mean nothing to your self-concept.
You know that you have chosen to act a certain way, because it makes you happy. It serves its purpose for you. You choose to be chatty, or open, or vulnerable, or guarded, or unconcerned, mouthy, silent, however it is you have chosen to be. It fulfils you.
When people dislike the way you have chosen to be in that moment, you realise that it is not a reflection of who you are, because if you wanted to- you could switch it up. But you know that you would switch it up because you want to. Because you want to be a different way.
If you want to continue to be as you are because it fulfils you, you realise that other peoples response to you is a reflection of how they feel inside. You have provoked something within them.
You also know that their rejection of you will not affect you in any way. You’re still lovely, loveable and loved. You are the center of your universe and everything else is just noise.
So regardless of how much you may p*ss people off, unintentionally offend people, help people, awaken people- you’re doing them a favour because you are giving them the opportunity to discover why they feel that way.
You’re a harmless being. If you intend to be harmless, you’re doing exactly as you are meant to do regardless of whether people see it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
When a person calls you a name, they are freeing you- as they are giving you the ability to see yourself in a new way.
I have a meditation to help work through unpleasant emotions. I was taught it by the shaman.
One day I might do workshops to immerse people in this experience- the way the shaman does with me. If that time comes, I’ll share it and you will be welcome to have sessions with me.