Like my last post, I had a pretty cool experience with some new information. This experience I’m about to relate happened a week after my experience with the perfection seed being planted. I know they’re related and intertwined, like everything in life-but I struggle to put into words what it all means. Both experiences and “one-liners” were heaven sent and have been changing my view of the world. But I didn’t just embrace them both and run with it…I had to mull it over-a lot. I wondered how it could be and how it could fit into my understanding of life up to this point. Anyhow, here’s what happened…
I was talking to a woman about judging and I was telling her how I struggle with judging-that I didn’t want to judge others and knew it was wrong, but it was a struggle for me. She said, “Stop judging yourself.” Ok imagine hallelujah, clouds departing and angels singing. Which isn’t what I saw, but in hind sight-I felt like it was a pivotal moment for me that would alter my world big time. But it was a totally new idea for me. I argued with her for a bit, “I know I shouldn’t judge others-but if I don’t judge myself, who will keep me in line? How will I behave??” She reminded me there is only one judge and it’s not me.
I know this information came at exactly the right time. The year before, I had thought God was harsh and punishing, and I’d been learning how wonderfully wrong I was. I felt like I’d been on a love journey with the divine and was getting glimpses of how loving and kind our Father is. I saw the cover of a book the other day that said, “God’s Message to the World”, and the cover had a picture of the earth with a sticky note that said, “You’ve got me all wrong.” I haven’t read the book but I was in love with the cover-and could say “Amen!” to that. I am so glad I got Him all wrong. I can’t get enough of Him!
Well I knew I needed the “Stop judging yourself” message. This made sense to me, and yet I had spoken this judging language with myself for so long-learning to release judgment with myself has been like learning a new language. It’s been several months since this message and with time and practice, I’m starting to grasp it. The more I think this way-the more love I feel in my life. I keep catching myself since it was previously my go-to way of thinking. Wow, I can’t believe how much this changes things. Here I was trying not to judge the world, but was judging myself constantly. Of course the way I see myself would be projected onto how I see the world-how could I stop judging the world if I couldn’t stop judging myself? It all started making perfect sense. I was looking at everything as good and bad, right and wrong. And when something was going “wrong”, I would so quickly look inward and wonder what I did to cause this problem. I often saw in terms of bad=punishment, good=reward. I worried if I ever caused suffering or made mistakes-that I needed to suffer. But I was forgetting my dear Savior and His Atonement. I feel like I’m learning to release all the energy I was putting into the good/bad and right/wrong…and just leave it alone. This frees me from the temptation to blame. I wanted to find reasons for pain, misery and suffering in the world. But I feel invited to leave judgment and blame alone. Focus on my Savior, focus on following His Spirit. And leave things alone that take away the light. Who’s right and who’s wrong are irrelevant.
I feel like my regrets are fading. And my memories are healing. I feel free to observe life, memories, and people as I get judgment out of the way. And there is so much light everywhere! And truth! With opposition in all things there is also darkness and lies-and it’s all essential and part of our glorious journey. I feel like I’m seeing things “as they really are” and I’m shedding a lot of heavy baggage beliefs that I don’t need to carry anymore. When the scriptures talk about denying ourselves of all ungodliness, I’m seeing what this means to me personally. I can add judgment to guilt, shame, fear, and whatever else keeps me from Him. Those things are heavy, achy and blah! I used to think, “If only I knew then, what I know now. I would have done things differently.” And I felt sad about the wasted time. But without judgment, I feel like it’s all good. Everything-even those times I was searching and searching for peace and happiness-and looking everywhere but up, because I was too afraid. Even then. I love that I’m learning more of the nature of God this way-the bitter to know the sweet. To learn what isn’t Him, to find Him. Everything has a purpose. As my husband reminds me, I wouldn’t be the same person without all these experiences.
Life is quite a journey. I feel like the Savior is teaching me to release this judgment mantle I’ve taken on myself. I imagine it to be this totally uncomfortable heavy wooden vine that consists of old dead wood. It’s kind of tangled around me and it’s hard to get anywhere with it. He lifts it from me. Sometimes He has to remind me again and again-to let Him take this. And it feels so good. And in return, He gives me a precious shimmering jewel in my hand. “How is this done? How is this possible?” My precious Savior, dear Redeemer. Again and again-He saves me.