Sunday 8-4-13 Who am I to judge them?

Happy Sunday!

“When you judge another, you don’t define them, you define yourself!”  ~ Wayne Dyer
I felt full of joy and hope when I read the headline earlier this week, that in response to the question of gay priests, Pope Francis responded “who am I to judge them?”  I thought that this was the first Christ like act that I could recall a Pope making.  I thought of Jesus and the story of his stopping town’s people from stoning a woman for adultery by asking of them that “he who is without sin can cast the first stone”.  As we know from the story, the woman went home safely with Jesus’s message to sin no more.
So what was I feeling joyful and hopeful about?
I was joyful that this was a sign of change. I do want so much to see the world to change, for humans to know and express LOVE.  We have it in us.  I want to see an end to our condemning others just because they are different from ourselves.  To me, if someone lives a life that causes no harm to others then “who am I to judge them”?  My hope is that all those people with limited vision, who solely rely on their religion for instruction, would think that if the Pope can humble himself to not judge, they may follow this Christ like behavior.  Jesus did not judge.  He took meals with all the retched of the period; the tax collector, the prostitute, Romans, Sumarians.  He went to those who were ready to hear his message of Love and Truth.
Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is within you.”
We humans try to feel better about ourselves by using the tool of judgement.  If we judge the failings of someone else we elevate ourselves – that is the understanding of the ego.  When you listen to to your own heart, instead of your head, you know that you are not bettering yourself by this behavior.  When you look out into the world for those people who shine with the light of God, they did not become elevated through judgement of others – the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, as examples.
My own story is evidence that the discovery of self awareness is the path to God.  The deeper I have journeyed into understand my true nature the closer my relationship to God has become.  My yoga, meditation, writing, spiritual reading, and inspirational media all keep me connected to Love which brings me Peace.  I believe this is the path to what Jesus referred to as the kingdom of heaven.
I also go through my day paying attention to my behavior towards others.  I give thought to each person I meet and that our brief interaction may affect our day in a positive or negative way, so for my part I try to be attentive and happy.  If I see or hear someone troubled and angry, my first reaction is to judge, but I do catch myself these days and say a prayer for that person.  Not being judgmental is very hard work but it is the way I want to behave.
So this is the work Jesus gave us when he said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”  This is the path to peace – to work with the system that we are part of.
Marianne Williamson has used the analogy of relating the cancer cell to those people, and groups, who struggle against life (struggle being any fear based behavior from taking power and control others to thinking little of yourself that you cannot function). We are a cell in the body that is God.  When we Love the whole body and the cells around us, the whole system thrives and is at peace.  When we, as a cell, struggle against the system, we damage those next to us and hurt the whole.  A Cancer.
Today I will appreciate my self.
Today I will Love God.
Today I will express my Love to all that I meet.
Buddha said, “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

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