Mum glanced across to where the squad of police were pulling aside random travellers, asking them questions, checking their luggage.
Finding seats at 5.00am in a crowded airport is easier said than done. Everywhere we looked, exhausted travellers huddled. Some stared blearily at the announcement screen. Others, draped over seats, were either fast asleep or pretending to be. Eventually Mum’s partner beckoned to me, pointing at a row of spare chairs.
“I thought you weren’t supposed to leave bags unattended?” I yawned.
“You’re not supposed to.” Mum’s partner said, standing up. “Listen, we’re just going to shoot across to the chemist. Can you wait with the bags for a minute?”
“Yep, no problem.”
I watched everyone wander off, then turned back, letting my gaze rest upon the unattended luggage.
Then something happened.
All I can say is this; my overactive imagination, mixed with no sleep and the after effects of motorway driving began to take it’s toll.
What if there really is a bomb in one of those bags? I began to think.
What if there’s been a bomb threat and that’s why all the police are here?
Turns out I wasn’t the only one who had noticed the suspicious bags. Two scowling policemen wandered over. The first spoke into his radio. The other scanned the area for luggage-less travellers. Next came an announcement over the tanoid, requesting that the owners of the bags come forward. No one came.
You know that horrible feeling when time suddenly slows down to a crawl? A flush of adrenaline surged through my body. I glanced at Rowan and Aysha playing next to me, then back to the policemen.
Then, after what seemed like ages, a woman hurried over from the sushi bar. She looked embarrassed and apologetic as the police scolded her for being so irresponsible. I let out a sigh of relief and sunk back into my chair. Thank God that was over. The bags weren’t bombs. Now maybe I could relax and just chill out a bit. Maybe now my holiday could begin.
That’s when I noticed It.
Packed full, slightly scuffed on one side, it oozed suspiciousness. And it was sitting just two seats up from me.
Oh God. This was the final straw. My brain fizzled into full blown neurosis. I grabbed the kids, heaved up everyone’s luggage and dragged it all away from the seats. Passing the policeman, I shouted “there’s an unattended rucksack over there!” then lurched onward like a psychotic bag-lady.
Returning from the chemist, Mum and her partner found me mid-airport, white as a sheet. “What happened? Why are you moving? Was it something to do with that luggage?” asked Mum’s partner. “We went and told the police that it was there,” he added.
I shook my head. “They weren’t the problem. It was this black rucksack on the seat next to us …”
He looked at me, horrified.
“That’s exactly how I felt,” I cried. “And it was just sat there the whole time! Just sitting there.”
“Course it was Bethan,” Mum’s other half spluttered. “That bag is MY hand luggage!”
When we are frightened we over-react. We see normal things as massive threats to our physical or emotional well being. When we are frightened it’s hard to think straight and as our perceptions become become increasingly warped. So do our judgements.
Then we take outrageous actions to try and get away from the danger.
There are many “bombs” that threaten our emotional safety, but for most people the Judgement Bomb is scariest of all. Whether it’s judgement from other people or judgement from ourselves, to be judged is to be condemned.
How often do you judge yourself for not being good enough?
What lengths do you go to in an attempt to avoid negative judgement?
Do you seek other’s approval, or do you try to prove that you are “good enough” by over achieving or being competitive with others?
In truth, we are all born gorgeous. We are all “enough”. We haven’t lost our gorgeousness. We never stopped being enough. What stops us from experiencing our gorgeousness – our feeling of being enough – is the multiple layers of negative self judgement that we’ve accumulated through life.
Similar to a light bulb that has become stained and yellow with time, self judgement creates barriers that stop our true gorgeousness from shining through. We believe that we aren’t good enough, then in an attempt to cover stop people seeing the “truth” about us, we start taking unnecessary actions to try and compensate.
How often have you avoided expressing how you feel because you are scared of being judged?
How often have you stayed in a painful relationship because you are scared of how people will see you if your leave?
How often have you berated yourself for not being good enough, confident enough, successful enough, content enough, strong enough, determined enough?
If you spoke to someone else out aloud in the way that you speak to yourself, how would you come across?
If you are ready to soar over the oceans of self judgement and touch on your true gorgeousness, then grab your journal, get some tissues (yes … tissues) and then find yourself a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed.
To begin …
Sit comfortably and take a deep breath. As you breath out say the word “relax” in your mind. Repeat this three times. Breath in. Breath out and relax. Relax. Relax. Now imagine that you are standing in front of a low, deserted building. It’s a grey, miserable place. The door is hanging on it’s hinges and the windows have been smashed out, leaving jagged shards of glass.
Imagine yourself walking forward, through the doorway and into the building. Once inside you realise this was once a public toilet. The doors of each cubicle have been ripped off and inside the lavatories are cobwebby and broken. You continue walking until you get the the final cubicle. Here there is rubble all over the floor and where the toilet once stood there is nothing but a deep dark hole.
Peer into the hole …
And you will see that it stretches down, far away into nothingness. Standing on a ledge, a few metres into the darkness, is a person. This person is clinging to the wall. They look frightened, desperate and utterly lost. You offer to help the person up. You reach down a hand, but they reply “no, I can’t. I can’t get up! I can’t do it! I’m weak, I’m hopeless.”
You realise now …
The person in the hole is you. He/she is the part of you that you have judged and condemned. This person is the “weakness”, the “failure”, the “small”, “voiceless” person. As you look at this part of you, feel how it feels when you are in the pit of self judgement. Do you know that feeling?
Tell this person in the hole that you are going to help them. You are going to lift away all of the darkness, the rubble, the tightness that they are locked in. Ask yourself, “do you want me to help you?” If the answer is yes, then imagine that you and the person in the hole are one.
Feel a force of love and light …
Reaching down and beginning to peel off the layers that have been stuck to you. Let your intuition guide you as to what these layers of judgement look like. They may be pieces of armour. They may be petals. To me they are like photographic slides that are yellowed and stained with tar. At first these layers are dark and grimy, but as they are removed, imagine them becoming clearer, more transparent. With each layer that is removed, the concrete building around you dissolves.
This peeling process until you intuitively feel that you have done enough and the dark tunnel has vanished completely. You are no longer trapped in self judgement. You are a column of You-ness. Like a diamond untouched by humankind’s perception, you are neither worthy nor worthless; you are neither good nor bad; you aren’t high or low; top or bottom; a success or a failure. You are simply WHAT YOU ARE.
And what you are is Gorgeousness.