This past week, and many other times before, I’ve talked with truly honest and genuine inquirers who say this:
I am soooo angry, I am furious, I hate everything, I’m mad at my mate, my child, the traffic, my friends, everyone’s annoying, I am just so freakin’ judgmental, I can’t stand my own mind!
When you have this experience, and view the world through these pissy-irritable glasses, it’s not exactly fun.
Like a committee of screaming voices in the head that go from zero to hate in about one-quarter second.
Then you feel anxious, you hate yourself and your own thinking, and you lose.
As Byron Katie says….100% of the time. You lose.
You know it, right?
The loss feels horrible, you get depressed, explosive, you act ways you’d rather not act, you say snappy things to people you love, you become one of those negative complaining sorts.
The kind of person you don’t want to be.
I once was very close friends with someone who was exceptionally critical (my assessment, but he agreed).
We had long, long conversations about anger, death, what made us nervous, what we wanted, what was upsetting about life.
I noticed that this friend would often be at war with his own mind, hating the way it worked, trying to find a cure for his judgmental nature.
He should relax, he should calm down, he should stop being so critical, he is really afraid, he is so nervous and suspicious about everything under the sun…..
….but was that true?
Yes! He would feel a thousand percent better if he just chilled out a little, jeez. He should grow up, what a baby! He keeps wanting everything to be perfect, and it never will be.
Can I absolutely know that this is true?
Can I absolutely know he should stop having a mind like that, stop judging, stop carrying on, stop criticizing, stop being so horribly mean and nasty towards everyone and everything?
Yes! I’m positive he’d have a better life, and so would everyone around him!
Maybe judgment, criticism and nastiness all exist for a reason…..they are part of reality, after all.
Maybe he needs to be just as judgmental and rude as he is, for reasons I don’t even know.
I’ve felt that mean and critical before. I’ve been enraged, bossy, controlling.
Sigh. It may not be absolutely true that he shouldn’t be like that.
I know how I react when I believe the thought that anyone should be different, including MY OWN MIND.
I want order! I command that things go my way NOW!
It’s quite hopeless. Have you ever ordered your own mind to stop being so judgmental? Has it worked?
Who would I be without that thought? Without even being able to think that idea that he shouldn’t be so critical?
I wait, to answer this question. It takes a moment.
Without the thought that for the benefit of all, he should be different?
Dang. That is one mind-altering, crazy different way to look at this.
But I realize, I’d be…..less angry. Lighter. I might move away from him, towards a quieter place under the trees. I might give him a hug and tell him I care about him.
If he pushed me away, I would not take it personally. I might realize he’s feeling the way I’ve felt so many times before. I’d leave him alone.
“It is in the arena of personal relationships that the illusion of a separate self clings most tenaciously and insidiously. Indeed, there is nothing that derails more spiritual seekers than the grasping at and attaching to personal relationships.” ~ Adyashanti
I turn the thoughts around to the opposites: he should NOT stop being the judgy way he’s being, he should keep on doing what he’s doing, I should stop being the way I am being when I’m looking at him, I should stop being so critical of myself.
Could I allow my own critical mind, and his critical mind….to be as they are? No need to change them?
No need to fix anything. At all. Whatsoever.
Including my own mental analysis, criticism, judgment and overwhelm.
Inside I feel an inner sobbing, a welling up of release, freedom, letting go, defeat, surrender.
Acceptance of all that is, including criticisms and judgments and Huge Committee Voices that appear to attack the world non-stop, whether in his head or my own.
“All that happiness is already supplied. But the unquestioned mind is so loud, you don’t realize the happiness underneath the mind.” ~ Byron Katie
Today, if you could really sit with the ultimate turnarounds to the thoughts that generate out like a machine when you’re upset, anxious about the future, disappointed about the past…
….could the opposites be as true, or truer, than your original beliefs?
I am soooo supported, I am ecstatic, I love everything, I’m connected to my mate, my child, the traffic, my friends, everyone’s incredible, I am just so freakin’ accepting, I absolutely love my own mind!
I love my own mind?
“You know why I care about loving someone? It hurts until I do. I am someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn’t. I discovered what masochism really is, and that discovery left me as someone who loves you…..If you hate me, you hate you. If you love me, you love you.” ~ Byron Katie
Today, I love my own mind. I love that it is such a busy-bee.
I notice that when I love it, instead of waging war on it for being a judgment machine….
….it gets much, much quieter.
And sort of, well, friendly.
“All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors.” ~ Nisargadatta
Much love, Grace