The first step in the process of doing The Work is to write a worksheet judging a particular person in our lives.
I remembered many years ago, I was invited to give a introductory talk to a group of Reiki Masters, a group of ladies that does hands-on healing. When I started talking about judging people, I saw absolute resistance, shocked, fear on their faces. “I don’t want to attract the dark, negative energy into my life”, “I don’t like to judge people”, “why do something so unproductive like judging?” these were the comments and feedback I got about writing a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.
I could relate to all these beliefs and why they see such resistance to judging others. However, the work is about writing the judgement down on paper, one doesn’t have to confront the person he/she is judging. We do that to enlighten ourselves from the untrue stories that is keeping us separated from the other person.
The truth is, we judge ANYWAY, whether we like it or not, although we may not want to admit to that! 😉
“What if they know what we are thinking about them?”
This thought would bring out a lot of fears in people who are afraid they will lose something like love, approval, acceptance from others. Yes, it is very normal to have fears. Until we are willing to risk, to rather be authentic with ourselves and others, we will continue wearing the mask to get what we want from others without knowing that we could have that otherwise.
For many years, I termed myself as a truth seeker and Buddhism has been the foundation of where I learned most of my life principles from. However, the more I knew, the more painful my life was. A simple teaching that says, “True seekers never see mistakes in others” – in chinese 若真修道人,不见他人过 was the killer. I knew in my mind that I was not supposed to see mistakes in other, but, I saw that in everyone that is around me and I couldn’t stop myself from judging them pettily in my mind, which made me even more mad with myself. How could I still judge and see mistakes in others after being a Buddhist for so long!!! I couldn’t find a way out of my misery.
And when I found The Work, I really saw how it was helping me to live the principles – not by mind control or denial or by force. It was through answering the 4 questions and slowly, gently, come to see that I am a human being. It’s through the mirror on the outside that I come to know my very own self. It takes a lot of courage and willingness to be vulnerable as the ego starts to loosen and not be the center of my life.
So, what does it take to have truth as the foundation of your life? I remembered those days when I already have The Work in my life, I would go to my friends and ask them, “if you can say anything about me without worrying about me getting upset, angry or unfriend you, what would that be, what would you say?” I would really listen as they said what they said, and really go inside and feel if there is any uneasy feelings around what I hear. I wanted to allow people to share what is true for them, I wanted to hear their truth, not what I want to hear. I became so courageous because I knew what to do if I notice any hurt feelings, feeling of wanting to run away, feeling of being victimised, feeling of being misunderstood, feeling of separation.
Through The Work and many worksheets that I did, I come to realized for myself that it is never what a person says that hurts me, it is what I think he says that is hurting me. Instead of taking it personally, trying to hide or suppress my feelings, and cut the person out from my life, I question what I think he/she is saying. People no longer have to hide or careful with words around me, they get to be themselves. And I never have to do that to myself and others either. Relationship becomes very simple, authentic and open.
So, if you feel it is very scary to hear the truth about what someone thinks about you, question your thinking. That’s all it takes. It’s a fun ride and there is so much freedom on the other side of the ride.
As I look out of my window, I feel a sense of gratitude for life itself.
The mind looks and wants to find if something happens that is the cause of this feeling. Did someone say something, did I see something…
The answer is: I don’t know, nothing unusual… the sun always comes into the room in the morning and the breeze too. What is different this time is, I get to sit myself down beside my bed and take a moment to feel the sense of peace and joy that is always available in each moment.
I notice that no stressful thoughts come up to oppose this moment… not yet…. not yet……
And I am always open to seeing them for I now know what to do with these honorable guests. 😉
I had a big realization today.
I felt a joy inside of me today. The joy came from me being kind to people I love. I love how I talk to my nephews, how I encourage Jaden, how I let him know that he is the best violinist, that I am so proud of him, how I tell Danny what is happening when he is not around, hahaha…
I realized that it didn’t come from people being kind to me. And I remembered times when people were “trying” to be kind to me, I didn’t even notice it, and when I did, I couldn’t even take it in.
The bottom line is:
I love me when I am kind to you.
I love me when I am kind to myself.
“If you move into situations of loss in a spirit of surrender to what is, all you experience is a profound sweetness and an excitement about what can come out of the apparent loss. You see that the worst loss you’ve experienced is the greatest gift you can have. ” — Byron Katie
As I read about the mass shooting of adults and over 20 young children in an elementary school in Connecticut, I thought about what gifts that was to this world. The amount of hearts that this event will break open. I have a thought that if I speak this outloud, I may be scorned upon as cruel and emotionless.
I remembered a few years back, a participant in my Singapore workshop came to work on her massive sadness with the passing of her dog. “He shouldn’t die” and when turnaround to “He should die”, she was shocked and was angry with that turnaround and had judgements about The Work at that time. And a few months back when we got to catch up over tea, she told me that what got her through the sadness was to see the gift of his death, of how this apparent loss was the greatest gift she has ever had. The gratitude she felt just changed her life and all she is left with is gratitude for what is.