Have you ever heard this saying? If so, have you ever really given thought to it's meaning?
It's so easy to criticize others - to judge others for not acting/behaving/thinking/doing in a way we think is best. (key word - we, not them).
It's also easy to judge those we don't know. It's even easier to judge when we are safely seated behind a monitor or screen with no way to see the impact of our words.
And for many of us, our days are spent judging others, especially our loved ones.
I like to call this conditional love. "I love you, but only when you think/behave/act/choose in the way that I think you should. And when you don't, I will yell, ignore, manipulate, withhold and pull out a variety of passive aggressive behavior until I get my way. Then I'll be happy and love you again."
There are many who argue that unconditional love is impossible.
I would argue that it's not. It's not always easy and it's not what we were taught, however.
Most of us learn by example; we mimic what we see. And what many of us see is gossip, backstabbing, judging, criticism. It's EVERYWHERE. It's all over TV, movies, magazines, around the water cooler, etc, etc.
We see our family and friends criticizing the choices of our family and friends.
How much of our day is consumed by playing Judge, Jury, and Executioner?
We don't allow others the freedom to be who they are. The freedom to choose for themselves.
It's my humble opinion, but I truly believe if someone is happy, and not harming another, who am I to say what they should/shouldn't do? Who they should/shouldn't date?
Why is it any of my business when I'm not the one who has to sleep with my decision? The one who has to look myself in the mirror every morning and be okay with my choices?
That's why I believe that the one thing that should consume a majority of our time is looking at ourselves.
Am I happy with my choices? Am I okay with my decisions? What is it that I want in life? How many ways are there for me to receive it? Am I taking action or just wishing and praying for a change? If I'm not taking action, what's stopping me? What can I do to remove that limitation so I can actually take action on what it is I want?
As you can see, there are a lot of questions and possibilities there for us to consider, and not one is dependent on judging what another is doing or not doing.
Now some may argue that they aren't happy because someone is not giving them what they want, or they aren't happy when their partner chooses to go out with friends after work, or they don't want to watch someone suffer, so they have to step in.
We don't have to agree with what someone chooses, but it is not our job to change it. If someone, like our partner, is not giving us what we want, why aren't we looking for other ways to have that? Or if our partner has repeated behavior that we don't like, why are we staying in that relationship? Why aren't we devoting our time to finding someone who has similar traits and behaves more in a way that contributes to us?
As for watching another suffer, some of the greatest gifts and the biggest blessings come after a difficult period. It usually takes being in a situation that we really don't want to learn what we do want, and I believe one of the most selfish things we can do is step in to 'save someone', denying them their own experience.
Acting as if we are God or the Jury and Executioner deciding what's right and what's wrong. What should happen and what shouldn't.
Acting as if we are the one (how's that for our ego?) who will change someone's life and make it better because we know best. Meanwhile, we may be depriving them of the greatest gift that they will ever receive. And they'll never see it because we have decided we don't want them to go through that.
Unconditional love is allowing someone their choices and loving them anyway. That doesn't mean we have to step in and save them every time they fail (which is just as bad as not allowing them space to try in the first place because now they become dependent on us....which is a whole other blog).
Unconditional love is loving someone regardless of what they choose and whether we think it's a good idea or not. Because guess what? We've made some pretty poor choices throughout our own lives and I'm fairly certain that most of us resented those who judged us, tried to stop us, or told us what to do.
Allow others the space and freedom to be who they are.
Give up the need to judge, criticize, make wrong, condemn and punish those who think and act differently than us.
Imagine how much better relationships will be when people are honored for who they are, rather than criticized for who they're not.
Imagine how much better our lives will be when we shift our focus from judging everyone one else to actually looking at ourselves and creating the life we desire.
It's not selfish. It's self awareness, and it's the only thing we have the power to change.
I hated 'divine timing.'
You know - everything happens for a reason. Everything is working out. If it's meant to be, it will be.
I knew what I wanted. I knew the Universe delivered (ask and receive). I knew about the law of attraction.
So I didn't understand why I couldn't have what I wanted right now? Didn't the Universe know how happy it would make me?
When things didn't work out the way I thought they should (i.e. applying for the job that was the perfect fit and not getting it), I blamed bad karma. Past life. Ancient curses.
I spent the next few years (and thousands and thousands of dollars) to find out what was wrong with me, so I could clear it and have what I wanted.
I did past life regressions, healing upon healing modality, hypnosis, self help seminars, self help programs, and it wasn't until recently that I finally realized something.
There was never anything wrong with me, nothing that I had to fix.
It really was all about divine timing (and law of attraction).
I have one example that I always refer to when I think about why things work out the way they do. When I lost everything and was starting over from scratch, I decided to relocate to NYC.
I spent hours applying and interviewing for jobs. Month after month passed with no leads, no prospects, nothing.
I was really angry with the Universe. I cried. I cursed. I sulked. (and I was still in the space of trying to figure out what was wrong with me that I couldn't create something that felt so intuitively good to do!)
And then my dad died.
I realized that if had I received any of those jobs, moved to a new apartment and started building my life in a strange city when that happened, I wouldn't have had the time and space needed to grieve. I would have been given a set amount of bereavement time (assuming a company offered it, otherwise it would have been unpaid time off). And even though this loss was expected, it didn't make it hurt any less.
I was receiving unemployment at the time, so I had money coming in. I had moved into my parent's basement when I lost my home, so I was with my mom and family. I could help her organize what needed to be done, without worrying about income to pay my bills. I had the space and freedom to heal and help my mom heal.
When I was ready to start looking for a job again and devote time to my own life, I found one instantly. And everything else started falling into place after that.
Divine timing is truly a blessing. The Universe can see all. We only get to see one teeny, tiny speck of the whole. And we don't know what we don't know.
We don't know that someone else has to be hired in a new company to free up the perfect job that we are asking for. We don't know that someone doesn't really want to be married (because they say they do, or at least they say nothing so we assume they do), so we are hurt when they finally leave, even though there is someone else so much more perfect asking for us too.
When things aren't working out the way you expect, it's not because there is something wrong with you or you are cursed.
It could be that all the other pieces aren't in place yet for you to have what it is you are asking for.
And we have one important job to do as we sit and 'wait' for what we are asking for to be delivered, and it has absolutely nothing to do with checking something off a list.
Law of Attraction says like attracts like. It's important for us to not sit frustrated that we want isn't showing up or we will find more reasons to be frustrated (as I learned). It's not because we are being punished (or something is wrong with us either). It's because it's law.
So it's crucial for us to enjoy ourselves as much as possible - play, dance, sing, embrace whatever brings us joy - knowing that we are asking for will arrive.....in divine timing.
I've met so many people who are single and looking, and each one of them has a similar mentality.
"All the good ones are taken."
"There's only creeps on apps."
While some of these may be true (there are creeps EVERYWHERE), the more we buy into these beliefs - by repeating them to ourselves and others - the more we will create that as our reality.
If you've followed me at all, you know that I am huge believer in the Law of Attraction.
I'm a huge believer because it works. (And if you don't believe me, experiment for yourself.....but if you already know it's not going to work and nothing is going to change that, and you're only trying it out so you can prove it doesn't work and prove me wrong, congratulations! You win. The Law of Attraction will make that happen too).
Anyway.....if we are saying that 'all the good ones are taken' or 'dating sucks', how much fun are we actually going to have?
Not a whole lot. And the Universe (via the Law of Attraction) will deliver us people that fit our belief that dating sucks or there are no good ones left.
I took 2 years off from dating after my last long term relationship. I needed time to figure things out and figure out who I was without a relationship. When I was ready to start dating again, I knew enough of the Law of Attraction to know that I had to let all those common-held beliefs go (yes, I had them too).
I decided to make dating as much fun as possible. It became my little playground, and not at the expense of another person. It became a place for me to play with what I wanted and have fun with how it showed up.
First, I got really clear on what I required from a partner. I wrote down a list of all the qualities I wanted in my relationship.
I let go of the superficial things (6'3", muscular, brown eyes). I was willing to allow the Universe to deliver me the person I was asking for - regardless of what I thought he should look like.
I listed qualities like honest, intelligent, compassionate, sexually compatible (this is a super neglected area in most people's lives and one that is so important....IMHO).
I believed that this person was out there, so now that I had my list of what I was looking for, it was the Universe's job to allow them to show up. I just had to do my part by showing up as well. (But if you don't believe there is someone for you, you may want to take a look at that and see how far you'll get with that belief...I'm just saying)
I signed up for dating apps; I exchanged numbers with people I met in person.
I went on dates!
Prior to my 2 year hiatus from dating, I used to find someone I thought was attractive and that I was attracted to and try to fit them into my world. I overlooked the qualities that didn't match and focused on the ones that did. Truth be told - I didn't even know what qualities I wanted either. I just knew I wanted a relationship.
Terrible mistake. I learned that what I was doing was basically settling for the first person that came along and tried to make them "the one," just so that I could be in a "relationship."
So when I started dating this time around, I treated it like an interview process, which is essentially what it was. I was dating perspective guys to see if they matched those qualities that I desired in a relationship. If more than one was missing, I let them go with gratitude (and a message to the Universe of, "Next!")
I chose to go on dates to restaurants I had been wanting to try or activities I had been wanting to do. I chose to make it fun with no expectation or pressure of making this 'till death do us part.'
I stopped making the other person's opinion more valuable than mine.
You see, when I used to date, I was always more concerned with what my date would think. Was my make up smooth? Was I bloated? Was I being awkward instead of funny? What would he think if I ate this?"
But after 2 years of working on me, I wasn't about to let that happen again. I didn't care what my date thought. (I actually had a date once beg me not to order garlic fries from the menu.....which is exactly what I ordered. Naturally, there was no second date and I was saved from a relationship where someone feels it's okay to tell me what to do.)
What I thought was most important this time around. What I thought of them as a person - were they kind? Were they funny? Was there chemistry? Did they match the qualities I was asking for?
Of course, I couldn't tell all these things on a first date, which is why I found it exciting to make it to a second and third date. I could discover more about this person to see if they were a match to what I was asking for!
That person did show up. It was not the person I expected, and because I was willing to let go of what I thought my guy had to look like (all those physical characteristics that we make so important), I was able to let my guy in to create the relationship that we were both asking for.
You see, that's how the Law of Attraction works. Whatever you are asking for, there is a match somewhere out there. We just have to be open to allow the Universe to deliver.
A long, long, time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile....
One of my favorite songs (with brilliant song writing) that popped into my head as I started this blog. If you don't know it, do yourself a favor and check it out.....I'll leave a bit of mystery and let you find out what song it is.
You see, it was a long, long time ago when I had no idea what emotions were for.
I knew I reacted to people and situations. I was happy, sad, angry, frustrated. It was all dependent on what was happening outside of me, you know - everybody else in existence. They were the ones responsible for my emotions and mood - not me.
I used to complain that if other people just weren't so stupid, if they used their heads a bit, didn't they know?? (Sound familiar?)
I had expectations for people and situations. And when those people and situations didn't turn out the way I had planned, the way I had dreamed, and the way I had expected, I grew angry, frustrated, sad.
It was because of them, not me.
But years of soul searching, attempting to understand what was going on in my life so I could make it better, led me to one fact, over and over and over again: No one is responsible for our emotions, except ourselves.
Seems crazy, right? How can we control our emotions when it's everyone else that's the problem?
But it's only crazy because we've been taught (or rather, haven't been taught) what emotions are really about.
Emotions are there to guide to us, not control us.
Emotions are how the Universe communicates with us.
You may be thinking, I don't believe in that hooey crap.
And yet, whether you believe or not, there is evidence of these Universal laws at play in your own life (Law of Attraction, for example).
Each of us is unique, with our own interests, hobbies and desires. (And thank goodness because I, for one, could never build a computer. I cannot sit still to program and invent things. My brain does not work that way, and I am so grateful for the people here who do love to dabble in technology and programming, since I do enjoy using it.)
That uniqueness, those dreams and desires, are what we were brought forth onto this planet to do. The reason so many of us are so dissatisfied by life is because we have leaned so far away from what we truly dreamed about. That discontent is deep seated and no amount of superficial success will alleviate it.
So when emotions such as anger or frustration pop up, it's the Universe's way of saying, "Hey! Not this way. What you want is the other way!"
How does the Universe communicate that we are 'on track?'
We are happy! We are joyful and life just seems to work.
It's not always easy to look at life this way. It's way easier to get caught up in the story of why we feel this way (what someone else did or didn't do; what we expected that did or didn't happen).
But when we can take a bird's eye view and look at, "I'm really frustrated because I need more money right now" we can actually locate different possibilities at creating it.
How can we create it? Follow the joy.
Because according to the Law of Attraction, if we attempt to create anything from that frustrated state, guess what we'll get? Yup, more things to be frustrated about.
You may not believe me that it is that easy, and that's fine. You don't have to.
I would encourage you to play with this in your own life, however.
Take an area where you are experiencing a heavier emotion (such as anger, sadness or frustration) and look at what is really going on.
We can be frustrated when we are sick, for example, because we want to be well and do the things we want to do.
But our frustration will not create health and when we attempt to create better health from that frustrated state, what do we get? More frustration because we are stressed that things aren't going our way, we still aren't getting better, we are tired, etc, etc.
If we look at it from the perspective that emotions are data, the data is simply that we want to feel healthy and where we are focusing is not creating that.
Maybe we are focusing on our limitations or on everything we lost. Instead we should try asking, "Hey, Universe, I want to feel better. What can I do to change this?"
See what shows up - maybe someone mentions an acupuncturist or we read an article about a new treatment that's relevant to our condition.
Now, the key is to not buy into whatever shows up as the gospel truth that will magically fix everything. We are on a journey on this earth and each step leads us to the next. Oftentimes, we can't get to what we want until we do this thing first because this thing is what leads us to the next. We would have never gotten there any other way.
But if we get frustrated that yet another thing didn't work, we are taking ourselves out of the health game, for example. We can't control outcomes.
We can only control ourselves: our thoughts, our feelings, and our emotions.
This why our emotions are so crucial. They have a ton of information if we are willing to receive it.
I tried to fit in to this reality; I did everything I was 'supposed' to do: went to college, got a job, bought a house. And I was absolutely miserable. It was went I lost everything that I found the greatest gift. I found myself. I went back to my roots and explored all things 'hooey,' weird, and 'out there.' I embraced my psychic gifts and started using my intuition again, which allowed me to re-discover the magic and mystery that does exist in this life (when we are brave enough to embrace it).