Judgment is instinctual. We cannot help ourselves. Judgment has already formed as you begin to read this post. The words I chose, even punctuation, or lack thereof, instantly casts a judgment. There is nothing wrong with judging, though, to embody our judgments can be troubling.
A wonderful person in my life reminds me, “Don’t believe everything you think”. We have the power with every thought to rewire our brain. Think about it, it makes sense. If you told/tell yourself that you are a worthless piece of shit every day, then you will begin to adhere to this belief. Sound extreme or farfetched? Well, sadly it is not. I know people, like myself from time to time, that believe the worst in themselves. Our negative thoughts become more popular than most anything else.
On the contrary, what if you, and I, stated our value to this world, to our loved ones. What if we welcomed happiness, health, and love to ourselves? I have been practicing with Metta the past year and it has allowed me to begin to shift my focus. Metta is simply a word, a phrase, or group of phrases that is used during meditation to help bring love to ourselves and others. Now, this does not simply have to be used in a meditation, but as one needs. It can simply be words of encouragement to help one through the day, the week, or life.
I was first introduced to Metta by my teacher and mentor, which I still use for myself to this day and that I often share with my students in yoga class and meditation. It is as follows,
“May I be happy,
May I be healthy,
May I be safe and live with ease.”
I like this Metta because every human being on Earth deserves a happy, healthy, safe, and easeful life, whether how kind or terrible one may be. It is our right. I always share with my students that if they only need one phrase or even one word from this, then stick with that. Or even create your own phrase or word that embodies this feeling. I had a student, now a friend, suggest a song lyric. With meditation, I suggested as long as you do not get to distracted and rock out, that works just fine, but many of us do not meditate, so rock on.
A whirlwind of trouble and confusion occurred in my teenage years. It completely changed my life and has affected the man I have become today. I continued to live, for years, waiting for the next shitty moment to occur. I had bad days, but that moment never came. I began to understand that I do not need to live my life with a negative outlook. Where attention goes, energy flows. My thinking slowly began to change. I embraced the blessing that my life was/is. Life can always be better, maybe, depends how you look at it.
Beyond the fact that I am alive, I have a lot to be grateful for everyday and so do you. Look through the heartbreak and struggle and see beyond. Life is precious and we must be grateful for every moment, no matter how difficult or easeful.
Back to our judgments, is there any chance that we can see the best in people before we see the worst? Are we able to take just a brief moment, one second, one breath, to be in someone else’s shoes? I am not asking for you to forgive everyone who has done you wrong because sometimes people are just awful, but to take a moment to reflect on their actions and why it may have occurred. You may be surprised what you find.