A brief definition of our ugly-side.
Ugly-Side (noun) -a dark, seamy, often hidden area or side. Synonym- Underbelly.
Our ugly-side is the part of us that we try to hide. It is our judgement, our impatience, our pride, lust, greed, and whatever other of the 7 deadly sins we are missing on the list.
It is the voice that shows up that keeps us separate. It creates a wall between “us” and “them”.
It is the part that is embarrassed when someone overhears what we said. The part that gossips, that cuts down others, that constantly thinks about how we can get ahead. It is a ruthless competitor.
And boy, do we try to hide our ugly. We push it down, we deny, we lie. But if truth is told, we all have an ugly. Some of us are painfully aware of our judgements. We dislike them, but we know that they are there none the less, and we do not know how to change them.
And some of us are completely oblivious to our ugly. It has become so ingrained in our actions and thoughts, that we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
So how do we reconcile with this part of ourselves? Is it something to be destroyed? Overcome?
Reconciling our ugly is not an easy task, because it first means that we take a look at where and how it shows up, and this requires some discomfort and honesty. Brutal honesty.
The old saying , “when you point a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you,” could not be more true.
Do not hate yourself for having this part, but do not become complicit with it either. You are human, it will exist, and it will evolve over time.
When your ugly shows up, I challenge you to take these steps:
Notice when your ugly is showing up. Notice if you are talking about someone else, if you are internally cutting someone down, if you are comparing yourself, trying to take shortcuts etc.
Sit with your ugly for a few moments. Don’t dwell, but take at least 2 minutes to notice the feelings coming up in your body when you realize your ugly.
Get curious. Ask:
Why is this showing up right now?
What circumstances led to the ugly coming out?
What am I trying to control or avoid?
What is this trying to compensate for?
What am I afraid of?
Where is your ugly coming from - what place of fear or insecurity is it arising from?
4. Have compassion for your ugly.
Think back to middle or elementary school for a second. The chances are high that you knew at least one bully. Research tells us that the majority of kids who bully others do so because they have been bullied, or abused. Look at that 9 year old bully with a bit more compassion, knowing that they were just a kid who was probably hurt. This is not an exercise in excusing bullying, but take that stance when it comes to yourself. By pointing out the flaws in others, are you trying to raise your own sense of worth?
The next time your ugly shows up, which will likely be within the hour, notice it , acknowledge it as something separate than yourself, “I see you,” get curious, be honest, and make peace.
You are not your ugly. Your ugly stems from a place of scarcity and insecurity, not your true self. It is okay that it exists, know that you and it are not one in the same.