Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm learning a lot from some challenging situations lately ... that others really cannot hurt me ... that others' opinions are just that, and nothing more. And, perhaps most importantly, that if this message, that God loves and saves everyone, doesn't transform the way I see and experience and relate to others -- then it's worthless. If I allow myself to take offense at others, even when they're outright unkind, if I lash back with the same energy or dysfunction (i.e., my ego), then I become part of the problem. This has been hard, hard, hard, as I want to point out how *wrong* they are (which is precisely what they believe they're doing with me, LOL!). I like what Einstein says, "you cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that caused the problem in the first place." I find that to be true...

So, this whole experience has been about transforming ME, and if anything I share is remotely helpful to someone else, perhaps in planting a seed, or in modeling that it's ok to question and explore, then that's a bonus.

I read something this morning that helps me understand this better:

So much of the lack of happiness that we feel in our lives emerges from our judgments. We tend to judge everything. The people around us, the circumstances they present, the events of the moment, and, of course, ourselves.

Some folks don't miss a single opportunity to get into their place of judgment. It's almost as if life itself is on trial. Constantly.

What is especially interesting about most human judgment is that people do not even use an objective measure with which to make their determinations. They mostly use a previous experience, their own ideas, their own "story" as a basis upon which to decide about another.

It never occurs to them, of course, that it could possibly be their experience, their ideas, their "story" that might be a bit askew. I've watched this from a distance enough to conclude that I am probably doing it, too - more than I realize. So, I've made a real effort to move into self-reflection as a replacement for judgment of others.

When I am tempted to be judgmental, I look inside to see when it was that I acted that way in my life, where it was that I produced such outcomes in my life, how it was possible that I made such mistakes in my life. Suddenly, compassion rushes in, pushing judgment aside -- and making condemnation impossible.

What I am saying here is that judgment has no place in a loving heart. Yet remember, judgment is not discernment, and observation is not judgment. It is perfectly healthy to be discerning, and it is perfectly natural to make an observation. An "observation" says "what's so." A judgment says "so what?"

Know that the twists and turns that remove us from the path that we thought we would be taking are not detours at all, but the fastest path from where we are to where we truly want to be -- otherwise we wouldn't be taking it.

Remember that very often when life seems to be falling apart, it may actually be falling together for the first time.

Trust that God knows what God is doing. Know that life is always conspiring in your favor. All things work together for your good... all things. For you are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

And, if you saw you as God sees you, you would smile a lot...

Dare to pray:

Dear God, I thank you today for that which is in my world and in my life. I rest my heart in the knowing that I will yet see pain turn into joy, sorrow into gladness, and even death into everlasting life. Thank you for helping me to understand that this problem has already been solved for me. You are with me, even unto the end of time. As I experience the ever-present love of God, in me, I am becoming happier than I have ever been before. Thank You.

Shalom, Dena


JoJoBeans said...

It can be so hard to judge and how do discern judgement from observation.

Here's my issue lately... I've noticed this negative attitude towards children in the lives of friends and acquaintances. For example, I have a FB friend who is upset that her kids are out of school for a week because of the swine flu. Just today she made a comment on FB inquiring if it was ok to break out the wine at noon... completely implying that the only way she could get through the rest of her day with the kids home was to drink.

I hate this attitude. Why continue to have kids if you don't want them around!? Kwim?

So my observation is, is that these people only want their kids around on their terms. My observation disturbs me to the point of judging them. How do I not judge them?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dena, nice blog. I'm trying to leave a comment.

Dena said...

Hi JoJo ...

I find that I can stop judging when I start understanding. When I realize that either I, too, once had that same mindset, or that I can imagine having it. Then I have compassion, rather than judgment.

It's intentional ... and I can all too easily judge. I have to choose not to. I have to choose another perspective.

Shalom, Dena

Dena said...

Howdy, Anonymous!

Looks like you *did* leave a comment! ;)

Shalom, Dena