Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.
- (198) Only my condemnation injures me.
My condemnation keeps my vision dark, and through my sightless eyes I cannot see the vision of my glory. Yet today I can behold this glory and be glad.
I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.
Condemnation? This is normal behavior for most of us. Everyone I know engages in it. Get a few people together, and it’s a condemnation party. In families, churches, at home, at work, at play – we spend part of getting together, enjoying each other’s company by ranting about others: The husband having an affair; the one who airs her dirty laundry on Facebook; the aunt who wouldn’t invite so-and-so to her birthday bash; the terrible mother, the lazy fellow whose kids wear used clothes; the coworker who watches Murder She Wrote on work time. It doesn’t stop. This one must be dealing drugs they go on so many vacations. What spoiled, rotten kids so-and so has! She must be licking the bottom of the barrel with that last low life she dragged to the family reunion. Someone should call ChildLine on her – letting her kid run all over the neighborhood like that. This one is a snob. That one is too friendly and flirty. This one’s dresses are too short; the other one looks like an Amish. My God, she must do nothing but work on her tan all weekend; Good Lord, look how white and pale he is, doesn’t he ever get outside? It never stops. We condemn our husbands and wives, kids, parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, bosses, preachers, choir directors, the president, the principal, the school counselor. And we injure ourselves.
When I began to awaken, Holy Spirit instructed me to speak evil of no one. But when I spoke only uplifting, nice things of others; I felt the phony, syrupy, like one of those goody-goodies who won’t speak the truth. I didn’t feel like myself. By not joining in the rumor mill speculations and case-building, I missed not being one of the gang. Sitting at my desk working while others grouped together chummily, whispering about this one and that one, felt lonely and odd and frightful – perhaps they were whispering about me. They would call me smug, holier-than-thou, Jesus Freak, or self-righteous reminding each other of how I might fool others but never them. Trapped by a past, it felt impossible to move forward to be my true Self.
And then there was my own inordinate desire to put in my two cents about any subject on the table, to come off as the expert – to psychoanalyze and judge; to point out where they went wrong; to expose their darkness. It is quite sickening to me when I am in my right mind, but when I am caught up in my ego – it seems imperative that people are informed. That they know how smart I am and how I have it all figured out!
Then something dreadful happened. Someone I dearly loved heard about the mean attitudes I held toward him but had only ever shared with other people. Why I did not go to him and talk to him instead of others can only be blamed on my being more comfortable hiding my failures behind his, being willing to throw him under the bus to avoid being thrown under myself. As dear as he has always been to me, I condemned him with my words, my thoughts, and my behaviors. I didn’t think the best of him; I believed the worst. I didn’t trust his process; judging him according to his behaviors and choices instead of who he was and is and will forever be. Losing his love, his trust, his confidence was the beginning of the end of condemnation for me. It was a hard lesson, but a necessary one.
My condemnation kept my vision dark, and by condemning my brother, I was unable to see who and what I really am. Today I can be glad, condemnation can injure me no more. Do I still condemn? Yes, I still fall into it, defeating for a time, my own true purpose.
The other day I referred to a holy Son of God as an “old fuck,” and I was not at peace until I asked forgiveness. “Well, they are an old fuck,” the other person said. “You were right. You don’t have to ask me for forgiveness.” They seemed to think it cute that sweet little old me would call it like that. But I could not accept cuteness for what I know is one of the biggest ploys of the ego. In undoing the ego’s dark hold upon me, I am willing to put myself out on a limb. “I am no longer using projection,” I said. “Instead of condemning others, I am bringing my own darkness to light.” There was stunned silence on the other end of the line. It wasn’t a chummy thing to say. I am no longer part of the party. I am being true to my Self.
It takes courage, this work. It is soul-baring. It is humbling. It makes me squirm. But oh the joy of being real and doing what is right.