Following on from my post in December about values, I’ve been thinking about how we judge others according to our own values.
For a long time I looked at others through the lens of my spiritual values. If people weren’t seeking the “Kingdom of Heaven within” then I felt they were wasting their lives – selling a diamond for the price of spinach – and mentally I condemned them.
Over time I decided that my point of view was reasonable (I’m sure everyone thinks their view is reasonable!) but my attitude was wrong. There is no need to condemn anybody, no need to be self-righteous.
Frequently, I meet people who judge me according to their values. It is only natural and I don’t blame them – I do it myself. But now I see the pain that judgement brings – the duality of success/failure, rich/poor, fat/thin, intelligent/stupid. It instantly creates a life of boundaries and fears for the person who sees life this way.
When we say this is good and that is bad, then we create the tendency to run away from bad and chase good. The problem is that just by making these distinctions we make our lives divided, troubled and restless. The knowledge of good and evil takes us out of the Garden of Eden.
So what do you do if you are faced with something you don’t like? Like alcoholism in yourself or another, or criticism, or the shape of your ears? Simple. Dr D. says to write a list of 20-1000 reasons why the thing you don’t like benefits you. Write why it supports your highest values. You may be thinking that there are no benefits, but there are. There are always benefits.
There are many people who will say that the best thing that ever happened to them was being fired or a heart-attack or being dumped or beaten-up. It’s just a matter of getting a helpful perspective. You don’t have much choice in the matter. Either see it in a good light or be bitter and resentful. How do you want to feel?
So how do you want to feel about your cauliflower ears? Writing out a few benefits will quickly change your attitude. Perhaps your ears makes you less judgemental of others, more compassionate, less vain, makes you look beyond appearances, challenges you to learn how to accept things, shifts your focus to more important things in life, lets people know about your interest in rugby….
After a few reasons you’ll think that they’re not good or bad, that they just are. But if you write lots of reasons you’ll become grateful – so grateful that you will feel blessed and wouldn’t want it any other way.
This method applies to any aspect of life that we resist. It takes time and effort, but it is worthwhile. Being able to see the good in the bad and the bad in the good will neutralize any polarity. And when you are no longer bound by these dualities, then you will find a freedom that you have never known before.