Judging the Judging Self

I have these neighbors that I cannot seem to wrap my heart around, and it is bothering me more and more each day.  It's not what they are doing that is bugging me; it’s how I am reacting to this situation that is. I don’t like seeing this in myself.  I don’t want to be the person that feels like this toward others, but I cannot seem to stop myself.

My neighbors are parents with three young children.  The husband is in the Navy, and the wife home-schools the kids. She and these little people are home all day long, all the time, every day and night. They rarely leave the neighborhood, and often the two older kids are responsible for caring for their younger sibling (who is five years younger) and a dog.

I could write a long list of what both bothers and concerns me about this family, but I will stick to one thing: the kids don’t look happy. This boils my blood. They live in paradise, and they rarely get out to explore or enjoy it.

I can hear my teachers' voices echoing in my head constantly. I can hear Sharon say, “Mind YOUR business and no one else’s;" or “How you treat your teachers is how others will treat you”.

I hear this, but I don’t know how to change the way I feel. I don’t know how not to judge. There are people that live in this world who are capable of non-judgment. They are walking saints on this planet, operating at a higher level that seems beyond my reach.

We study the teachings and are meant to practice seeing one another as formless, as seamless, as parts of a whole. Every single being. And when I find myself acting in any manner contrary to this, I feel small and wonder how I managed to sink myself down into this pit again. "I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be this person."

The truth is that it is this part of me that judges others who deserves my kindness and my compassion. In the Bhagavad Gita and in many spiritual texts, there is an undeniable teaching that within us lives a mixture of bad and good, light and dark.  We have both aspects within us.

The masters say that the type of battle that hurts and destroys others is not worth fighting, but the battle to destroy your own smallness is. This is the sacred battle, the battle worth fighting, and we are all engaged in this fight. This is where you need your Krishna, your spiritual guide, when you are just about to pull yourself down, back to that place and into the smallness. This is exactly when you need a higher source.

All spiritual paths tell us to see both the light and the dark inside us, acknowledge that both are present, and then to consciously cultivate light amidst the darkness. To substitute the negative with the positive.

See this in yourself and say to yourself, "I want to be expansive." And let that yearning and longing to be expansive be the voice that leads you. Then and only then does the real practice begin... and perhaps you’ll sleep better at night.

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