01 Mar It’s time to get vulnerable
I make a call to the family homeopathic doctor to enquire about an immuno-strengthening pack of medicine that I would like to purchase. The list includes Vitamin D, C and a few others which I’m unfamiliar with. I ask the receptionist to please provide me with the price as well as a list of exactly what the immune-strengthening pack contains. In addition, I ask her to explain what everything does. Not a long explanation but a one-liner so that I know exactly what I’ll be purchasing and what it does.
She starts listing each item and the first item is called something along the lines of “cell food drops”. I’m immediately confused and ask her what this is and what it does. Without hesitating, she utters words that makes my blood boil instantly and it goes a little something like this … “well, as the name implies…”. I don’t hear the rest. Why Karen? Why must you start your response in this way? Why add those harsh words “as the name implies”. I don’t know homeopathy as you do, just like you might not understand the neuroscience of learning, the way I do. That doesn’t give either of us the license to judge another person in such a harsh manner. She could have chosen any words but she put herself on a pedestal and said “well, as the name implies…”.
My anger surfaced and I immediately lashed out. I feel the physiological changes in my body. My fists clench, my jaw tenses and I start shuffling in my chair. I’m definitely speaking louder at this point and the tone in my voice is stone cold. I respond by telling her that I’m merely asking to gain clarity, as I have no idea what these things mean. In my head, I’m thinking, “girlfriend, now you’re going to get it from me”. There is no need to be so rude. Do I work in the medical field? How on earth am I meant to know what the hell cell food drops are? I saw her judgement and raised her one with my own judgement. The irony of my reaction, as someone who always talks about the danger of judgement, is not lost on me. At this point though, I’m triggered and have moved beyond rational thinking. Now we are at “an eye for an eye, a cheek for a cheek, judgement for judgement” kinda level.
After supper (a good curry does wonders for reflective thinking) I sit back and think about what I could do differently next time. And as an ambassador for curiosity, I find myself pondering some rather deep, reflective questions:
How can I invite curiosity to situations where I am deeply triggered?
How do I find the pause button “in the moment”?
How can I hold up the mirror to another person in a way that invites their curiosity?
How might curiosity show up differently for people in these moments?
The word “judgement” in itself seems to be a trigger for me. How might I invite my curiosity to sit opposite judgement like friends around a camp fire? What might these friends each teach me, in their own right?
What beauty exists in judgement, that I should open myself up to learn/for learning?
What hidden gems sit behind judgement?
What is judgement trying to teach me?
PS – as I’m typing this, I’m practicing real restraint as the last three questions really challenge me. On some level, I want to resist and not even entertain those questions but I believe in practicing what I preach. And I always say “curiosity over judgement”. So here I am making myself vulnerable and asking myself some tough questions.
That’s it for now. I’ll let these thoughts brew further.
Thank you lady at the doctor’s office for today’s painful, yet powerful, lesson.
Oh wait – this question just surfaced as I was ending this blog post. How might curiosity be a way for me to take my power back when I feel I’m being judged?
Boom! How’s that for a powerful ending.