“Oh, I see that I am judging someone. That is an interesting
Cloud passing through the sky of my awareness. I wonder
if I might be able to make another choice.”
What I learned
These simple sentences really made a difference for me. Their casual delivery helped me to step back. They helped me to relax my grip on judgment and the resultant guilt. They helped me to consider other options. Of course before this can happen I must be willing to notice when I am judging. I must be vigilant for my judgmental thoughts, words, and even the way my body feels when I judge.
I began practicing vigilance as I studied the Lessons in A Course in Miracles and at first all this vigilance felt like hard work, but soon it became second nature. Of course “soon” is a relative term. But it does get easier and even enjoyable. I have also noticed that the ego mind gets sneakier and so I have to be even more vigilant for the ways in which I hide my judgmental thoughts from myself by disguising them, or skipping over them so quickly I don’t even notice I did it. Also, the ego can be very compelling as it demands I notice how deserving the judgment is. It is easy to catch this, but not always easy to let it go.
“But I say unto you, anger is never justified.”
What I learned
This idea too, is made very clear in A Course in Miracles. This is pretty clear and doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Never seems to be the word that pops out for me. I am grateful for this kind of absolute, unyielding, unqualified, unconditional statement. It makes it so much easier that I do not have to decide when anger is justified. It simply isn’t. From there I can just get to work undoing the notion that it is ok to sometimes judge.
Jeshua also tells us that he understands we are going to be angry, but that we should stop fooling ourselves that there is some validity to it. I appreciate that statement, too. If the ego cannot stop this mad rush to awakening, it is going to slow it down if I let it. Guilt is sticky stuff that my feet get stuck in and suddenly, my mad rush is a slow painful movement. So I am relieved to be reminded that I don’t need to feel guilty for being angry, just remember that there is another way to see and all I need to do is ask the Holy Spirit to rise within me and correct my thinking.
Jeshua gives an example of seeing the one you are tempted to judge as one, “…who does not recognize their great power to create whatever they want in a way that is not hurtful to anyone” and goes on to say, “What if you chose to look upon them with compassion rather than reactivity.” I am immediately reminded of Sonny, the plumber. I can choose to judge him for his dishonesty and then suffer the pain that comes from judgment. Or I could choose differently, and see Sonny as one who does not know how to live in the world without being of the world. Frankly, I have no trouble seeing him this way because I can see myself failing to recognize my own great power and thinking the only way to defend myself is to hurt someone else. I have done it many times and yet I don’t think of myself as a bad person, just a frightened one.
All quotes are used by kind permission of the Shanti Christo Foundation. To buy a copy of this profound book visit their website at www.shantichristo.com. I invite your thoughts and comments.