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 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).