Friday, July 09, 2004

To Judge or Forgive

All children are taught to make judgments from early childhood and on.
We are called to use our feelings and conscience, our observations and foresight, our learning and values to judge right and wrong, better or worse, being good or bad. We learn to read other’s behavior as well as our own to see whether someone is telling the truth or using deception. We learn to listen to our own feelings, when making decisions about what is fair and honest or unfair and dishonest. Our minds are programmed to learn what is good art, the right answer, the fair decision and the honorable deed.

If we are spiritually called to let go of our judgments and trust in our inner voice, how do we decide what to believe?
If we learn from great teachers that love forgives all things, how do we know what to forgive and overlook, when to realize the truth and take action?
How can we tell what the underlying intention and motivation, beliefs and values, are of an individual?
How do we know what and who to believe and what and who practices to deceive?

Am I to stay separate and in denial from my culture and social values, when I practice loving everyone?
Or do I love enough to share the truth, the perception, the beliefs and values I hold?
And do I honor and encourage others to share their viewpoint, though it may be in opposition to mine?

Spiritual greatness is found in encouraging everyone to share. We need not make others wrong to share our viewpoint.
In daring to share we expose our own biases and blindness to ourselves.

An experiment has been done with individuals continuing to share their judgments for hours, until all that was left within was, “I love you.” If you were encouraged to share it all—both positive and negative judgments—can you imagine coming to the experience of only LOVE?

My judgments of my behavior and others is limited.
It is based on what I currently know or hold in my awareness.
When I have limited awareness and knowledge, my judgments and decisions are limited.
When my mind is already valuing or believing a certain viewpoint, I will unconsciously block out of my awareness contradictory evidence and information. The more strongly I hold my own prejudice and viewpoint, the more blind or limited I become in my openness to see things differently or even to acknowledge the validity of others.

Forgiveness is the great mental cleanser that opens my mind to see things differently.
Forgiveness is the opportunity to lay my limited judgments and narrow perspective aside and look beneath the apparency.
I have strong viewpoints both politically (What is the Highest Good for All People?) and spiritually (What is the direction of Divine Will or my inner voice?) Still I am called to listen to everyone’s viewpoint who would share their story with me. As I listen I find that each one of us is strongly effected by our family of origin…as well as our emotional history.
What happened when someone didn’t tell the truth?
How did the members of the household discuss?
How were people rewarded or punished?
Who won the arguments?
What was “fair”?
How were decisions made?
Who held the “right” answer?
What were the power struggles?
How was the family effected by the authority of one?

When I forgive my own surface judgments and open to my inner knowing and spiritual guidance,
I can hear and know, feel and respond with what is helpful, healing with certainty and confidence.

I can respond to those who hold views different than mine with respect and value their shared perspective.
I can still be true to what I know and feel within, while maintaining respect for those who see differently.
Positions are meant to be held for as long as they have value to educate, inspire and transform.
When they begin to antagonize, divide and create rigidity, I forgive and let go.
I trust the most conscious individual to make choices to be open-minded, appreciative and respectful.

Loving us all as we learn from one another,
Betty Lue