People do things. Often enough people do things I don't like. I used to give a lot of attention to internally grumbling about all the things I would think people were doing, why they shouldn't, and what they should be doing instead.
One day a coconut hit me on the head, I saw a tunnel of scintillating light which filled me with a peace beyond all imagining, and my disease of judgment was permanently and forever cured.
Okay, not really. Actually, none of that happened.
I gradually became aware that all the judgments of different sizes and shapes were basically pissing away my life-force, and with it my happiness. A tremendous amount of the energy being cultivated by my spiritual practices was being eaten up by the energy of judgment.
One day nearly two years ago I decided to do something about it. As a Capricorn, I tend to like structures. Not confining structures, not imposed structures, but strong, supportive structures that I can stand on and see farther, stretch my wings a little wider.
I'd heard about A Course in Miracles for years, and after reading another book that references the Course through and through called "The Disappearance of the Universe" by Gary Renard, I was sold. The Course, in particular its Workbook, lays out one year of short, daily lessons that lead the sincere practitioner through reasons not to judge, the power of forgiveness, and ultimately the realization that nothing ever happened to forgive in the first place. It reveals that the idea of something being wrong in the first place is a flaw in perception, and that by healing perception, one is free from judgment.
I diligently went through the daily lessons, practicing these points of view for the entire year. And yesterday, I got to see some of the fruit of all this practicing.
For the last three-plus years, I've been trekking out to Desert Hot Springs to teach at We Care Spa and do private healing sessions with the guests. People come from all over the world to cleanse, detoxify, heal, and retreat.
After teaching the morning breath-work class, I had some extra time between sessions and saw a voicemail on my iPhone from my mom. Something's up, I thought. Likely something intense.
Sure enough, Mom left a very emotional voicemail informing me that she'd just been told by her relationship partner of 20 years (and husband of 14 years), that he'd been having an affair for some time. He'd brought this woman into their home of 10 years more than once when my Mom was away. All this on top of being driven by very old wounds into addictive and reckless patterns of spending.
She's my mom. I love her. And I can be very protective, at the cost of my own life-force, over those I love. At least that's how it's been in the past.
Somewhere within five to seven minutes of sitting with this revelation, I let go. It was crystal clear that I was not going to help anyone, solve anything, or serve up some brand of equalizing justice by going into judgment and negative emotion. These weren't mere thoughts, I felt them. And I could feel my heart recognizing and choosing love. Love for this man. Love for my mother. Love for myself. Love.
I do not like what happened. I don't wish it for anyone. I do not like lying of any sort. My mom reminded me over and over again, while raising me, that she'd rather have me tell her the worst true thing I might have done than tell her the smallest lie. "The truth," she says, "I can do something with. A lie isn't real, so I can't do anything with it at all."
Within a short time, I was in back-to-back private sessions. I wasn't going to cancel the sessions, as people were counting on the healing. Nor did I need to cancel them. I don't need to be perfect or wait for the perfect conditions to help anyone heal. I have the tools.
I could feel the visceral support of all my past practices rising up to be recognized, and engaged to stay open, to anchor deeper into love, to let all the swirling thought forms and emotions move. As I continued to breathe, soften my body, and remain present, all the inner dialogue about my stepfather just melted into pure energy.
I know in my bones that he didn't choose the affair to consciously be malicious. Just as his spending patterns were not consciously chosen. His past unhealed pain, the insecurity he carries and hasn't released, manipulates his thoughts and emotions into actions that promise freedom, release, happiness, and pleasure, but only lead to more suffering and tighter bondage around his life and his heart.
How do I know all of this? I'm human. I've watched the same patterns in myself and thousands of people. Have you stopped to notice that we're not all that different from one another? There really aren't that many different varieties, just variations on a number of similar themes.
All in all, I was still a bit shocked, pleasantly shocked, but shocked nonetheless at the peace and freedom I was feeling with all of this. Not only that, but I was vibrating more intensely with energy than ever. And all of this was completely relevant in various ways to the healing sessions that day.
When I got to speak with my mom, I let her know I was holding a space for her to feel whatever would arise emotionally. I also encouraged her to notice and release the urges to project anger and judgment or any attempts to exact pain or revenge in subtle or obvious ways. "There's a heavy psychic cost to that way of operating," I told her, "And if it's freedom you want, if it's love you want, it's got to start with how you walk through this. Feel your feelings without suppressing anything. And remember all the good times you had together. Those really happened. Don't shred those, use them to anchor in your choices to be peaceful and come from love. From these perspectives, you're going to have a much easier time knowing what to do, when to do it, and how. You'll have much clearer, stronger boundaries and guidance from intuition as you're taking the steps to starting your new life."
I also encouraged her to ask all the people she's sharing the stories with to choose to send positive prayers out to this man. Sending anger and judgment will only magnify the cause of the addictions and lying into other future dramas.
She'll have easy moments with this, and challenging moments. I'm certain that this is one of the best things that could happen to her. The universe doesn't mess with people for sport. Egos do that. With all the tremendous grace that's circling around my mom from friends, family, and colleagues, she'll come out of this a new woman. She'll emerge from this fire as the expansive phoenix that's been living within her all along. She's brave, beautiful, powerful, and gifted.
People do things. We like some things, we don't like other things. Perspective is everything.
Seeing the good takes cojones. Practice makes it easier.