Are You . . . ?

By Harold Stearley at Earthwalking

There’s a lot to be said for living on the road.

In motion.

Breaking free from all of those forces we allow to hold us down.  Those voices that tell us that we can’t fly.

To live in the moment.  See, hear, feel, smell, and even taste those expansive vistas that take us to other worlds.  That show us there is so much more to life than just a material existence.

And while we are breathing in such vastness in the physical and metaphysical worlds, there is also a lot of time for introspection.  Visiting that inner, mental world.   Of equal breadth.  Time for looking deep within, into our brilliance and our shadows and . . . judging.

Who is that judge?

That most critical of all voices.

Where does it come from?  Why is it present?

And really, doesn’t that voice seem to surface most often when directed outwardly?  Incessantly pronouncing and projecting all sorts of mayhem upon everything and everybody.

Or is it?

It’s been said that when we judge others, we are merely seeing and criticizing those now named “defects” in ourselves.  Gazing into the mirror that reflects back those qualities we don’t like to admit belong to us.   In comparison to . . .

To what?

Where does all of this comparison come from.  For to judge something as bad or wrong or inferior, we must have been taught that some opposite is good or right or superior.

Are there some arbitrary, immortal standards out there?  The “rules?”  The “guideposts?”  And who is gifted with such great power as to determine all of society’s “shoulds?”  Those fictitious measuring staffs.

The right way you should appear in public.  The right way to act in certain situations.  When to speak up.  When to shut up.  The “right” things we should desire.

The “judge,” when focusing on our inner darkness, our so-called “shadow side,” can be convicting and sentencing us to a mental prison.  A gloomy, jaundiced, even nugatory, interpretation of our worthiness compared to those artificial standards.

How will we ever measure up?  And how will we ever break free of these eternal, self-inflicted condemnations?

After all, this shadow-side is supposed to be composed of those “primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and the striving for power.”  Or as Carl Jung has said, “such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions.”

Experiences are intensified when we eliminate all of the distractions.  And I find that when I’m on the road, those interferences have been lifted.  So that internal skirmishing can become a no-holds-barred fight.  A struggle of the self.

To find identity.  Validity.  To purify.  To evolve.

And boiling down all this pondering, the question that I find myself faced with is simply this,

“Am I worthy?”

Worthy of what?  Fill in the blank.

It could be anything and everything.  Just what is your value?  How do you see yourself in the great scheme of things?  In the tiniest aspect of something?  Or perhaps to someone else?

And many times, I have answered this question in the negative.  Although, I’m not sure I have a good reason why.

So, eliminate the many distractions in your life and give up the pretense that you are judging others.   Ask yourself that question of all questions today.

“Are you worthy?”

Then ask yourself, in comparison to what?  And why would you even question so?

In Metta


Photo:  Does the flower judge the bee that takes its nectar?  Does the flower know the bee pollinates and propagates the flower’s species?  To pass judgment we have to begin with a pretense that we actually know something and its true valve.


19 thoughts on “Are You . . . ?”

  1. Am I worthy? Good question my friend. The full question can only be one thing and one thing only as I see it. Am I worthy — Of life!

    Am I experiencing all that life allows me? Or hiding in self-pity, self-indulgence, self-destruction and within the follies of my human tendencies for greed, want and control. Am I a part of this incredible beauty of nature on this planet, or am I indifferent, dismissive, perhaps even destructive towards it. Am I a good person or bad, compassionate or hurtful, with empathy or uncaring.

    Have I embraced life, experienced it fully, traveled the roads that are mine alone, not with expectation but with acceptance and curiosity. Has the trials and tribulations along the way dragged me down unending, or have merely been bumps in the road that I have overcome.

    Am I? Was I? Worthy of life? A question we will ask ourselves, too late, while on our deathbeds. Perhaps asking it now? — will lead to a different answer — then?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! I’ve found myself pondering this regarding a lot of contexts including past relationships. I always wonder why the baseline judgment of ourselves is often so critical (excluding narcissists, of course). It seems we are programmed at an early age to devalue ourselves, and this taints our entire outlook on the world

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think so. It’s been said that childhood is what we spend the rest of our lives getting over. I think that is very true. The myth of a “carefree” childhood is just that – a myth. I know our parents did the best they could with what they knew at that point in time. We are so blessed to be living in this age when we can get help, and help ourselves, if we choose to do so. Personally, I don’t see anything positive in dragging around old baggage. Love the wisdom in your posts, Harold.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this blog! Strange how time has a way of changing perceptions. Had I been asked that question as a young person, there would have been a long, apprehensive and complex answer lolol! We seem to spend our youth comparing our life to others’ lives and most often are left with a feeling of inadequacy. Ask me that same question today now that I am much older and I find that I am more accepting of myself . There is comfort in just being, living, embracing life as it is, moment by moment. Thank you again for always posting such thought-provoking blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much ! And thanks for sharing your insights. I agree. Now that I’m older I’m becoming more accepting of myself, and I wonder about all that past angst. We do need to embrace life here and now, and I’ve received some reminders of that on this trip – another story 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You Stated — ” For to judge something as bad or wrong or inferior, we must have been taught that some opposite is good or right or superior.”

    My Response — Your statement is true in some cases but not true all the time.

    We can easily judge something as bad or wrong simply because it causes a negative effect on our own personal wellbeing. We can do this without having ever been told it’s right or wrong.

    You Stated — “this shadow-side is supposed to be composed of those “primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage”

    My Response — Rage has no agency and belongs to no given side. It’s more like a hammer, a tool that in the right hands can solve a problem. If a person goes into a rage against an attacker then it’s to the benefit of self-preservation. How can it then be seen as negative?

    The brain doesn’t hold any special place for one emotion over another, they are all just neuro-pathways activated to best deal with a physical world challenge or need. There is no “Dark” or “Light” to emotions from a chemical perspective.

    You Asked — “Am I worthy?”

    My Answer — This can only be determined by the challenge. We can only know if someone is worthy after they engage and then complete the task assigned.

    Example: If you pull the sword from the stone then you are worthy.

    Just a thought

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading any your insights. Yes, one can certainly look at these terms in different contexts, and one can certainly channel energies in different ways. Arguably, there is no right or wrong, there just is. But that is not the general message from society. The relegation of rage to the shadow-side was an example used by others – in context, it is unprovoked and uncontrolled explosive violence directed toward another, or perhaps minorly provoked and the raging person has no control or was simply looking for a fight. Road rage can be an example. I wouldn’t put self-defense, per se, in the same category as rage but your point is well taken. Some might challenge the entire concept of neural pathways and say all of consciousness is divorced from the mind, even if chemical and electrical activity in the brain does follow certain pathways. Are such pathways controlled by us or do they control us. And I don’t associate tasks with a global evaluation of a person’s worthiness at all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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