Saturday, May 30, 2009

You Are The Best

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'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 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 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 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,


Mel said...

Ah, mais non, mon cherie! It is YOU who I wish to thank....

I thank you from the bottom of my muddled and wandering Soul that you offer these beacons on the path; you make me think, you make me question, you make me *see* - and all in a gentle, wondering sort of way that's like cool lemonade on a hot day...a soothing clarity in the haze...

Thank you Dear One, thank YOU.

~much love~

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

I am writing down the last paragraph in my journal, Holly... as sage advice from a dear dear friend!

I need to be reminded of this when dealing with a few folks I know. Instead of just writing them off, I should continue to pray for their peace of mind. So much ugly that gets directed out, comes from the inner storm within, doesn't it? The ones screaming, "You! Him! Her! Them!" always anyone but "I", generally seem to be the most disturbed & lost people I know. All that turmoil gives the mind busywork because at the end of the day, it's hard to sit in silence with someone you don't like. Especially when that someone is yourself...

Thank you for these inspiring words. I have taken them to heart.

Love to my Queen Mother!

Opie said...

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." -Antoine De Saint-Exupery (The Little Prince)

beth said...

I'm so glad I had the chance to express myself in regards to your last post...
thank you for giving those of us who did, a chance to do so, in a safe environment !!!

Alison said...

Thank you so much Holly. I KNOW that I am judgemental at times and you have summarised things beautifully. I now have a mental checklist! I also think I will be able to deal better with some friends who don't have your wisdom. :-)

Lauren said...

Hi Holly,
I'm not exactly sure what the trail was that led me to your blog -- oh wait, I found you from Sema. All I know is that it is absolutely amazing how the Big Guy works -- leading me to you and to this message.

Over the last week I have found myself mired down by negative feelings for someone who hurt another person very close to me. Remarkably (in my opinion), the "hurtee" is not angry -- she is sad -- but holds no bad feelings for the "hurter." I kept saying she is a better person than I am (which she is) but I think I just needed to be reminded of the truth about judgement. I didn't realize that I was judging the hurter until I read your post. I thought I was reacting -- but the truth is I was judging.

In another circumstance this week, I was very taken back by someone who calls themself Christian -- but then attacked someone for choosing to divorce. My reaction to that person was -- "I am not an advocate for divorce -- but who are you to judge this couple? You don't know the truth about their relationship."

In that instance I caught myself judging her for judging others. I thought my words would, perhaps, help her...but who am I to think she needs help?

Judgement is a very tangled and complicated thing.

Thank you for giving me some food for thought and hopefully helping me to get past those things that have been weighing on my brain.
I look forward to reading more from you...and will definitely be back.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

In reading your post "I Am Conflicted", two things were sort of driven home to me. First, as an animal lover, I have to say I didn't actively seek out all the animals we now have. They sort of wound up here from other people because of our known love of animals. I don't understand the mind set of people who intentionally abuse these wonderful beings. I also wonder about people who abuse their possessions. Your post brought to mind my own weakness in judging others. Ignorance and intolerance really tick me off and send me over the edge quicker than anything else. In my area, I am surrounded by it. As Cam from "Journey Wildly" can tell you, it has nearly driven me into complete seclusion. So here's the rub: If the people I am familiar with are merely living what they know to the best of their abilities, shouldn't I just be more accepting of them? Yet, their negativity toward others is something I am having a very difficult time trying to not let stick to me. This is a great big conflict within me. Any suggestions?

Holly said...

I took a good couple of hours of thinking before I would answer this...because I'm not exactly certain I have the answer, and I'm concerned that my answer may sound a bit blunt and not supportive. Please know that it is...and take it for what it's worth...

We are in exactly the right place and time at any given moment of our lives. It's not an accident; not a punishment. It's an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and/or the Human condition.

I'm all for seclusion at times in life. A place far from the bright lights and glare of life. But, the only person who can drive us there is ourselves. The only one who can bring us back out into the light, is ourselves.

It's not those people around you who are driving you into seclusion. It's your inability to accept things as they are; decide how you've grown because of them; and your willingness to live your life the way you know to be correct apart from them.

When ever we say something is intolerant or ignorant, we've judged them and found them wanting. Less than our intelligence or life style.

If you could stop judging it and just say, "I wish you well," you'd realize that the weight of concerning yourself over the 'why are they like that,' will slip away.

As I said in my post, we don't have to understand anything in order to accept it. It is what it is, is the answer to, "WHY???"

Negativty is fear. Pure and simple. We tend to dismiss or diminish that which makes us aware that we should be doing better and don't. Or, anything that seems different and forces us to consider possibility.

If you fear that it will stick to you, then you too, are walking in fear. Fear is the mind killer. You need to figure out what about them worries you so. Stands in your light and casts shadows on your world.

You have a great possibility of learning a great deal as well as casting a great light for them. You can do this by living your life as you see fit, smiling at them and wishing them well.

I hope this helps...continue to ask me questions and we'll learn together.

Stephanie J. B. said...

Argh, this is a belated comment, but I'm really glad that my statement helps you navigate through this crazy world a bit easier. :] I think it's really rare for people to truly examine the way they view others, so don't be so hard on yourself; you're already a great person by default.

Someone Nice said...

Acceptance is so important and so counter-instinctive at times, isn't it?

I employ the "It just is what it is" method to things that seem greater than my ability to understand; and trust me when I say I employ it often.

Beautiful post.

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