By Suma Varughese
When one recognises that everyone is doing the best they can in the given moment, judgements flee and understanding dawns, says Suma Varughese
|Suma Varughese is a thinker, writer, seeker, latent crusader and Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org|
On the whole, I would not call myself a very judgemental person. Nevertheless, judgements ran through my mind practically non-stop. I reacted, resisted, labelled and rejected. There were scores of people who met with my disapproval or even dislike. Thieves, scamsters, posers, pretenders, MNCs, the West, people who had hurt me, or hurt someone close to me, all fell into that category. But no more.
More and more, I am realising that each time I judge or label, I am adding to the negativity within me. And I am not willing to do that anymore. I intend to safeguard my inner spaces and keep it clean and wholesome, as far as possible. Which means an active commitment to accept what comes my way and who comes my way without resistance.
The one thought that helps me immensely in this effort is the realisation that everyone is doing the best they can at the given moment. If they could do any better, they would. When I look back at my own chequered life, I have done umpteen things I am not proud of. Each time, I have anguished over them and tried my best to make reparation. I knew that if I could have done any better I would have. But I could not at that point – and so the angry words were said, or the impetuous deed done.
Moreover, each of us is the sum total of a long life history – perhaps of poor parenting, deprived childhoods, or traumatic early experiences. Almost inevitably, when we know why people behave the way they do, resentment and judgement flees and understanding dawns. Can we really hold a child’s brattish behviour against her when we learn that her parents are at daggers drawn with each other? Can we criticise someone’s overbearing ways when we learn that she has had to take care of her family since the age of 10, when her father passed away?
|The one thought that helps me in this effort is the realisation that everyone is doing the best they can at the given moment.|
Can we hold someone’s boorish behavior against them when we learn that he is out of a job and that the family is going through a financial crisis? Life is hard, excruciatingly hard, and all of us have our story. Recognising that any behavior they manifest is only the symptom of a deeper malaise, will stop us from labelling that person on the basis of that malaise. There is a whole history there that we may not be privy too, but we can be sure it has shaped the people they are and their behaviour. And finally I try to remember that none of this is the real person. The real person is whole and perfect, just as I am – an embodiment of the Divine. Everything else is provisional and temporary, a result of conditioning.
Applying this wisdom to anyone who shows up in my head as not being quite kosher is helping me to pretty much vacuum clean my resentments or reservations. It is easy then to forgive them and to drop my judgements. Not only is my head much freer of the discordant memories they brought about in me, but I am also feeling a lot happier. No one is to blame for anything at all; if they could have done it better they would have. And so I let it go and send them my love instead. I feel sure that this love will heal whatever it is that brought about our discord and enable me to operate from a space of acceptance and understanding.
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