This one’s gonna get me in trouble.
Several years ago, I was on a walk around my neighborhood while listening to a Dr. John Demartini talk.
He said something that changed my whole life. Something that put me at ease, boosted my compassion for others, and made me more human.
Dr. Demartini explained how he had painstakingly gone through the entire English dictionary, looked up every single human trait and quality — the good ones and the “bad” ones — and affirmed one by one how he possessed each and every one of them.
It probably went something like this …
Arrogant. Mmm, hmm.
Cruel. At times.
Dishonest. Can be.
Immoral. Been that.
Prejudiced. Ugh … okay, I admit it.
On and on, it went, from A thru Z.
Over the course of this exercise, he was able to own all of his parts. Even the ones that he’d rather not look at.
In other words, Dr. Demartini got to know himself.
Instead of trying to operate in the world with only some of his parts, he took ownership of them all.
He became a whole person, not the fragmented version that he had been before. Rather than trying to be what he calls a “one-sided magnet,” he accepted the fact that he had both sides — kind and cruel, honest and deceptive, moral and unethical, light and dark.
Being someone who used to feel like I always had to be “good” — while at the same time being ill-tempered and cruel behind closed doors — I found this to be one of the most profound concepts ever.
After Demartini’s talk I read a book called The Dark Side of The Light Chasers by the late Debbie Ford.
One of the main premises of her book is that we all have shadows, parts of ourselves that we try our darnedest to sever and keep locked away.
In chapter 4, she writes:
“Some imperfect quality in other people activates some aspect of ourselves that wants our attention … Our indignation over the behavior of others is usually about unresolved parts of ourselves … When we have a trait that (we have not owned) we draw incidents into our lives to help us own and embrace that denied aspect.”
In other words, when we try to cut ourselves off from our perceived “negative” traits and qualities, we become easily offended and/or triggered when we see them in others.
Our disowned parts are like beachballs held underwater. At some point they erupt above the surface. Shocked by what we’ve said or done, we say things like, “that was so not me.”
But it was. That was definitely you. It was a part of you that you’d been trying to drown. It needed some air.
This is why people who wear their morality on their sleeves sometimes do the most dastardly things.
It’s why some of the most “anti-racist” people I know are also some of the most racist people I’ve ever met in my life. Not Klan-robe-racist, but the more common variety of bigotry. The bigotry of low expectations. They’re the ones who think people who look like me should be treated like toddlers who can’t do anything for themselves. There’s A LOT of that going on right now. But that’s a topic for another day.
Anyway, here’s the part that’s gonna get me in trouble…
Today on the podcast I reveal why the most triggering man in America has zero effect on me. Like, none.
The mere mention of his name may cause mass unfollows.
So let’s just call him … mmm, Ronald Stump.
To me, the way some people go way off the deep end over this guy makes me think about those beach balls.
Like Debbie Ford says above, his imperfect qualities activate some part of ourselves that wants our attention. Our indignation over his behavior is usually about unresolved parts of ourselves.
It doesn’t make some of his words and deeds okay; it makes them an opportunity to set our beach balls free so we can become our whole selves.
We can observe, un-triggered, and say, I am that.
I possess every trait and quality in Dr. Demartini’s dictionary.
I own all of my parts.
I am whole.
On today’s episode of the podcast, Dan Millmandives deep into this topic, showing you how to unlock your compassion, creativity, and much more by accepting all parts of you.
Enjoy today’s quote. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!