Ram Dass says, “if you think you’re enlightened go live with your family for a week.” Most days I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned from my loved ones. But some days, I’d rather be left alone.
Recently I had an opportunity to examine my own judgment from a situation that occurred. In my opinion, one of my family members, let’s call him Dave, had intentionally hurt another human being. I was deeply bothered by this.
The act seemed selfish and irrational and I was having a really hard time getting beyond it.
The phrase that kept repeating in my mind was, “ you can’t just kick people to the curb.”
I actually got angry about it and purposefully distanced myself, choosing not to be around Dave. Then unexpectedly, he pulled into my driveway embodying everything that I felt like I didn’t stand for, selfishness, inauthenticity, and selling out. I struggled to plaster a smile on my face and couldn’t wait for him to leave.
5 minutes later I walked into my house ranting. “How could he… this is why I am the way I am…”
The knowing voice inside kept reminding me that I had to let it go.
This was his choice. It was his life. I had to forgive Dave but it was hard! I was clinging intensely to my own self-righteousness.
The next morning in my meditation, I received a teaching to release judgment for the day. I decided to embrace this lesson and have a judge free day.
There would be no “I like.”
No “What is he thinking?”
No “that was a silly choice…”
And I did!
It was wonderful. I felt free and light, clear and present. Later in the afternoon, I thought about Dave and suddenly realized I wasn’t angry anymore. It had floated away during my judge free day because after all, that’s what it was, my judgment of his behavior, my righteousness and desire to make his actions wrong.
Then something amazing happened.
Dave approached me having realized he was not proud of his behavior. We had an amazing heart to heart talk. I was able to say through love what I had observed and how it made me feel. And Dave could hear me because I wasn’t judging him, making him wrong or angry.
Because I forgave him, healing took place.
This never would have happened if I hadn’t released my own anger, judgment and righteousness. I felt so much gratitude for the entire event. Because what I was reminded of is that we never know the big picture, God’s plan. Maybe Dave needed that experience to finally stop a life long pattern. Maybe the (in my opinion) wronged person needed to learn something too. I’ll never know. I’m just grateful that I was able to show up open heartedly when the moment arose and love my family member completely.
Have you ever felt frustrated by a member of your family? What happened?
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