I finally achieved what I desired when starting Your Mother Knows But Won't Tell You. I got the depth of feeling, reaction, conviction, discussion, and sharing that I hoped would benefit all of us. Who knew that it would be someone like Michael Vick who opened the gates for us to deepen our understanding and views of what it takes to be a Real Human Being?
Or, perhaps it was me being honest and sharing that I struggle with feeling judgmental and attempting to avoid it. The challenges of becoming more aware of myself and my thoughts. Being more on-guard as to what can happen when I leave my thoughts unattended and allow them to run about willy-nilly causing who knows what sort of chaos.
Perhaps it was the blend of both. Whatever the reason, thank you for spending so much time and thought on your comments about that last post. Truly. You have made a significant difference. I am positive that I am on the right path...which I'll share in a moment. I also believe, all of us are better for having shared our viewpoints on that complicated topic.
You are amazing. Really! I need to thank Caroline for suggesting the topic, because I have to admit, that entire post is not one that I would have tackled- it wouldn't have occurred to me to write it if Caroline hadn't asked what I felt about it. And, going forward, I hope that if you have a topic or an idea that you'd like me to weigh in on, you'll let me know.
Today, I find that I am much more at peace with this whole question of judging and judgment. And, what I say here may not be the answer for you, but I know that it is for me. I have been liberated. I'll still need to be vigilant, but I am more at peace and open to my own monkey-mind and my natural curiosity. I don't think those are things I'd want to change; I believe they may be one of my strongest gifts given by a loving Spirit.
Spotted Wolf asked if the insights readers shared were enough for me to go on, and Dear Wolf, I say, "Yes!" Here's where I sit with regard to judgment: If I am parsing and dissecting a situation to make sense of the facts and the issues, that is not judgment. But, if I am doing those things, to weigh how I feel another Human Being is behaving or operating within those facts and issues...it's getting close to, if not, judging.
Any situation where I end up feeling I know better than the people involved, is a slippery slope. If I find that I am comparing an individual to me and how I would do things, and finding them less-than or wanting...I'm certain that's judging. That's not my place.
If I walk away from a situation feeling smug, superior, or better-than another Human Being, I'm caught in the destructive cycle of judgment and need to call a halt as soon as I am aware of it.
If I am simply asking questions about an individual or situation out of curiosity or to learn more about myself or how others think, I believe that's fact finding and mind expansion...life experience...and that's all right. Or, if I am asking these questions because there's a chance I can help or improve things...I believe that's a good thing, too. But, here again, I need to have caution; there's a huge difference between helping and interfering!
Michael used to tell Evan & Melissa, "They say that experience is the best teacher; but the truth is, someone else's experience is the best teacher!" I'm beginning to understand that there's a great deal of wisdom in his statement.
We're here to learn. To do. To Be. To expand. To grow. To become Real. Sometimes we learn through doing; other times we learn through observing and questioning. And, we'll make a great many missteps along the way. Most will have to do with how we treated, or perhaps mistreated another Human Being. Judging others, to my mind, is one of the most insidious ways of doing harm. To the other for certain, but more so, to ourselves. It's time to become more aware of how many ways we are harming ourselves by judging.
There are many points of Divine wisdom in your comments. And, I'll be re-reading them often. One in particular stands out, written by a young woman who must have an old and wise spirit. It was Stephanie who wrote, "You don't have to understand everything around you in order to accept it."
Why is this such an important thing for me to hear? Because I am a fact finder and a truth teller. And, I spend my life trying to boil things down to their essence in the hope of understanding and so, growing. I do it for myself, but also to try and help others as well.
The problem, I've come to learn, is that I often stall my own spiritual growth because I refuse to simply accept some things as they are said, done, or given. I'm always digging into things as though, if I understand it all, it'll make something hard easier to swallow.
It doesn't. It just stalls the process and I can stay stuck for a long time in a loop that is pretty sad. I know I'm not the only one who does it.
So, thank you Stephanie for reminding me that I don't have to know the whys of things or people like Michael Vick. I simply have to accept it, and that is not dependent on understanding it. As we often say, "It is what it is." Sometimes that's the only answer.
Here's the final bit of understanding that I have about judging- if I stay in the moment, I can ask all the questions I want about the current moment...I can wonder about it...I can compare my life experiences against it...I can be curious and probing about the Human Beings involved. All these lead us to what Arcta Firebringer said about it being our job while on earth to learn Good Judgment. That's how we learn it.
The most important learning is that this assessment must stay in the moment. You can't carry it over. Once it's past, you must let go and move on. None of that pondering becomes the ill of judgment unless, after the moment has past, you hold people in a negative, or less-than state. So long as you move on, even when you don't agree, and wish those individuals well...you will have learned without the weight of judgment. I hope you'll take me up on that possibility.
Pete and Neil said, "There's a difference between forgiveness and redemption." And, I couldn't agree more. One is given. While the other is earned by right living after living wrongly. A person can seek redemption without forgiveness, but I believe it is more likely that an individual will wish to do the hard work of redeeming their Self, once they've felt the healing grace of forgiveness wash over them.
I believe that people can't be handled as simple facts that are right or wrong, yes/no, saint or villain. We are combination of any and all. So, we can't be accurately and authentically viewed from the narrow margin of our life perspective. Anything that complicated probably has to be viewed with faith. Which can be difficult.
As it says in the bible, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." So much of any Human Being remains hidden from our frail vision.
To that end, I pray that for every Human Being I encounter...no matter how bad, or smelly, or vile, or bad behaving, I always find it in me to hold hope for them and have faith that there is more to them than I realize. Hope that they begin to understand that they have worth, value, and a role to play in Spirit's plan. And, I hope that I have the faith and wisdom to recognize that it is the 'worst' among us who have the potential to teach us the best about being Real Human Beings.
Namaste' Till Next Time,
5 hours ago