I was reflecting today on my dog Ringo, who died after being hit by a car when I was fifteen. As I ran to his side, he acknowledged my presence with one last wag of his tail. I was devastated. I blamed myself for his death. I also blamed my mom, who was at work. I believed that, if she’d been home, this never would have happened. I thought Ringo shouldn’t have died when he did.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience rather than humans with spirits. That’s a huge difference, so take a moment to let that sink in. We are eternal spiritual beings and our human experience is temporary. And, truth be told, we don’t know what anyone is here to learn nor do we know what circumstances will best provide spiritual growth in service to our highest good.
It’s precisely because we don’t know that it’s impossible to judge. When we think we know more than we do and we place a judgment on ourselves, on another, or on a situation, it feeds the ego, or the “small” self. The moment we enter into judgment, we’ve entered into duality, creating painful feelings of separation and suffering for ourselves.
It’s not the events in our lives that are the source of suffering. Said another way, it’s not what happens to us that causes us to suffer. We suffer because of the judgments we place. If we judge an event as “bad,” then we, too, feel bad. If we judge a situation as “horrible,” then we, too, feel horrible. Judgment is always at the root of an upset.
Have you ever noticed that making someone wrong disrupts inner peace? That’s because, as you separate yourself from someone through judgment, you’re disrupting your connection to your authentic nature, which is loving, accepting, kind, peaceful, generous, and compassionate. In Spiritual Psychology, we call this the Authentic Self, a state of consciousness beyond duality. It’s who you are beyond ego and personality. It’s the You that’s eternal.
Judgment is always at the root of inner disturbance. When our ideals are violated, for example, what’s violated is the way we think things should be, which is usually the way we were brought up, which we think is the right way. That’s not to condone bad behavior; it’s simply that, identifying the judgment and letting it go allows us to grow spiritually. Let me be clear: this doesn’t imply being a doormat.
Love is always available and always flowing. The question is, are we allowing it or blocking it? We block the flow of love and create unnecessary suffering when we judge ourselves, judge others, judge situations, or judge life. Self-forgiveness allows us to compassionately apply love to the places inside that hurt, allowing the flow of love. It’s a powerful tool in service to healing.
In part 2, I’ll demonstrate how to use compassionate self-forgiveness as a healing tool by modeling how I applied it to my experience with Ringo.
Copyright © 2009 by Irene Kendig