As I was walking in nature, along the forest’s edge with farmland on the other side of the quiet road, out of nowhere a car went speeding by.
The driver was far exceeding the speed limit, maybe double. They were not being considerate of my dog and me walking on the side of the street. They did not slow down at all. The driver was not cognizant of all the animals, the wildlife that is in this area, regularly crossing the road.
I found my patterned thoughts arising which are, “Wow! How inconsiderate. How can he drive that fast, knowing that wildlife could cross the street at any time. He obviously doesn't care at all. He blew right past us, almost driving us off the road.”
Then, within just a split second as that is all it takes for that thought to pop into my mind, I did my love and acceptance practice. This is a practice where I look at what part of that behavior or situation really bothered me.
What was I judging?
The fascinating thing, is that whatever I was judging in that person’s actions or way of being is always something that I can find in myself.
Sometimes I have to look at it from different angles or dig a little deeper, but it is always present in some capacity or form.
Today, it was an easy one to identify with. I'm often in a rush, always “doing”, checking things off my list, even with self-care and healing practices.
That driver was not considerate of nature, anyone or anything around him.
He was missing the beauty, the magic.
(a view from my driveway starting out on my morning walks)
He was laser focused on getting where he wanted to go as fast as he could possibly get there. Maybe he was afraid he was going to miss out.
Can you relate? I know I can.
Maybe his value is tied up in all of his doing and checking one more thing off his list. In his mind, the faster he can get somewhere, the more value he can add to himself. Sound familiar?
It is likely that he just wasn’t conscious or aware of my dog and me walking along the side of the road. It wasn’t an intentional or hateful act on his part. I just labeled it as that. Maybe he was caught up in thought, a song, a worry.
How often have you been so caught up in accomplishing the next thing, or in a worry looping though your mind and been disconnected from your environment?
How often have you been so caught up in your mind, unable to even notice how your actions or even words are affecting others?
How often have you been so caught up in work on your computer that you miss or ignore the messages your own body is sending you: “take a bathroom break, relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, take a breath, go to bed, etc.”?
My point here is that whenever we feel judgment arising within us, we have a choice to sit and stay in that judgment or move out of it.
Comparison is judgement’s best bud, so when you find yourself sizing up another’s parenting choices, fashion style, education, athletic or other abilities, just notice.
If you look hard enough (and often it's on the surface), you will find inside of you the very thing for which you are judging the other person.
Do not then turn that judgement and criticism in on yourself. That just allows the bully in your head out to chide you. That doesn’t build up, help or heal anyone.
Instead, look at this as a gift.
You will soon come to realize, if you haven’t already, that your outside world is an opportunity for you to look in the mirror at your own inside environment. The world inside of you.
You get to see and meet the things that you haven't yet processed through. These are the parts of you and maybe experiences you’re ashamed of that need your love and acceptance.
When you judge others, it is pretty much guaranteed that the very thing you’re judging the other for and being triggered by is hiding out somewhere within you.
This has been my experience when I allow myself the gift of getting real with myself.
It’s a gift of humility and healing.
This healing is a lifelong process.
It becomes easier and more fluid with less of a charge or resistance the more you practice.
The process of identifying these parts of yourself that you’re judging and criticizing others for is a sacred one.
It requires a gentleness. B
These are the parts of you that you have stuffed, hidden and they haven’t felt safe surfacing in order to be released.
You becoming aware of them, giving them names and allowing yourself to sit with those uncomfortable feelings is where the deep and real healing begins.