I have a confession to make. I struggle with judgement. It hurts to even write it, but sometimes I look out into the world and it hurts my heart. I say to myself who in their right mind could say or do that. How did they get so cold hearted? What is wrong with them? I know it sound self-righteous and vicious but it is how I feel sometimes.
It happened last night. I was at a dinner party and the gentleman across the table from me was going on and on about politics. He was pretty far right in the spectrum of politics and had outspoken opinions about current affairs. I tried my best not to engage hoping that the conversation would steer in a different direction. I even tried changing the subject to something as benign as how delicious the food was on our plates. Nothing worked. Finally out of anger I cracked. I climbed up on my soap box and began lecturing the man. I won’t go into the topic because it doesn’t really matter.
My point is that I slipped into judgement. I slipped into right and wrong thinking. I slipped into good vs bad. I made this man wrong by believing that I was right. And, it didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel good to argue. It didn’t feel good to put him in his place. It didn’t feel good to even believe that I was right. It all felt off and wrong.
This morning I was upset with myself for judging him. I should know better I thought. I am a spiritual person. I know we are all souls having a human experience. I even have the ability to tap into energy. I can view a person’s soul-journey and understand the path that they are on in this life. Taking all this into consideration how could I stoop to judging him?
Then I stopped and realized I was judging myself. Using the same right/wrong thinking on me. Good grief! Back in the judging loop again. So, I paused and thought what am I really reaching for? What do I really want? Out of the ethers drifted the words—unconditional love. Love for me and love for the man across the table last night.
How do I do that? By finding a way to love despite our self-imposed flaws. Loving me through my struggle and loving him through his. Finding something to love about the person even while in the midst of the unfolding. Compassion for others and self.
My mind is telling me that this sounds hard. Compassion for all the “jerks” in the world? How do I do that? By letting them (and me) off the hook for being human. You see, we are all eternal beings who are currently having a physical life. We are all bright lights of energy who want an earthly adventure. With that adventure comes a bit of struggle; it is part of the ride. The human struggle helps to refine us into something more. Something so much more that we can’t understand it from our human perspective.
So, now what to do?
Remember. Remember we are souls in the middle of humanness. By remembering this broad perspective it helps me to find compassion for the human in front of me. It helps me to appreciate his journey. It helps me to understand mine. This remembering is my new practice. I am pretty sure I will forget to see life through this broad perspective and have to begin again but that may just be part of my struggle.