Two nights ago my boys and I watched a TV show called Mega Families. It was a National Geographic documentary on families with 16 or more kids. Not my favorite kind of show and I was in and out of the room while the boys watched. It was kind of hard to watch actually, because I found myself making all kinds of judgments about the choices those families had made.
I awoke in the middle of the night thinking about those judgments. Well, more like thinking about myself having made them. I felt awful. How arrogant of me to think I have any idea about parenting 16 children or why someone would want to. And even if I did, I can never know exactly what goes on for them or in their hearts or minds.
And what was the judging providing for me or anyone else? Nothing but closure, constriction, and an energy drain. At 4:30 am as I lay there staring at the ceiling thinking of other ways I judge, I was all too glad to release those ways and to surrender myself to the open spacious ways of love and acceptance.
These days I’m all about openness. Being open-hearted, open-handed, and open-minded. There are beautiful things for me to learn from these mega families. There are also numerous ways for me to watch and decide what I don’t want and what I do want, without needing to make myself better than someone else.
Consider these words:
Which set of words describe the experience you want to have in life?
The left side comes with openness, with acceptance, and with love.
The right comes with judgment, fear, and comparison.
I’ve come to realize that no one and nothing can hurt me. I am complete and whole and doing just fine. When I feel lack or need, I’m more likely to engage in the practice of declaring someone else as “less than” or “wrong”. I’m more likely to decide that my ways are better or decide that what I don’t understand about the other is foolish.
Gosh, why can’t we all just honor the other? In this moment, as I am writing this, I have such a clear glimpse of what a heavenly gift that acceptance and openness is.
I see a world full of diversity and color and abundance. Where everyone gives their gift fully and where we all SEE the other in a spirit of allowance and release.
The next time you notice yourself, even in some slight way, thinking of another as less than, notice how you feel. Notice what is going on in your body. Do you feel open or closed?
Think about what path you are paving with your judgment? Where are you going with it? It might be judging someone’s driving on the freeway or criticizing someone’s way of leading or relating.
I’m realizing more and more that each day, with each thought, with each word, and with each action, I create the future. I sow into the world and community that I desire to live in. I want peace. I want abundance for all. I want kindness and compassion among nations and neighbors.
So I ask myself again….why do I judge? In light of my vision, I can’t think of any reason that makes any sense.
Oh may we be open people! Allowing people. Trusting people. Accepting one another and things we do not understand.
So I’m giving up. Giving up the pride. Giving up being right. Over and over as long as it takes.
Will you join me? For the sake of your well-being and that of others?
Life is GOOD! There is so much to enjoy and taste and admire—let’s not waste that for a moment!