Friday, August 29, 2014

Letting Go of Judgments

September in Leo's Sea Change program (Zen Habits), is letting go of being judgmental month.  Wow!  That's a challenge for me, for sure.

I really learned at an early age that criticizing everything was a nice change from my constant internal criticizing of myself.  I've spent most of my adult life with judgments taking up most of my mind.

In recovery I've learned that a judgmental mind is an unhappy mind and have worked at changing my thinking.  The first step was just to notice it.  Then I worked on substituting acceptance which was a whole lot harder.  But...then...recently...I noticed that it's likely most of my judgments are incorrect.  Wow!  that's really scary. 

I had thought I was probably correct in most of my judgments of other people and myself, but that I probably shouldn't do it and should accept instead. That's what a nice, spiritual person would do. But then I noticed that when other people judged me, they were doing it on the basis of what they thought they themselves would be doing if they were me and they were so far off base that it was actually funny.

Of course, I then realized that I was doing the exact same thing - basing my judgments of others on myself.  If those other folks are totally wrong in their judgments of me, I'm probably just as incorrect in my judgments of them.  That really helps with letting go of judgments.  Why would I want to keep them if they're basically bullshit?!

For example, I've judged myself harshly (and I think other people have also), for sleeping and resting too much.  I have trouble keeping commitments because I am likely to suddenly need to lie down.  Some have hinted and others have said outright that they thought I was undisciplined and basically a lazy person.  I thought so too and felt like a bum.

It wasn't until in recent years that I was diagnosed with PTSD and one of the symptoms in my case is that my nervous system is just used up so to speak.  When my ability to process incoming information is used up (and that happens with very little input), my body just shuts down and I have no choice but to stop functioning for awhile.

The whole thing annoys me and other people as well.  I finally decided to quit kicking myself for being impaired.  I don't know if anyone else will change their minds, but it's okay if they don't.  I'm working on not judging them for being judgmental.  (By the way, that's a subtle joke.)

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