Conversations with Jerry - self acceptance, life after death, and healing

I was reflecting recently on my dog Ringo, who died after being hit by a car. I was fifteen. As I ran to his side, he acknowledged my presence with one last wag of his tail. I was devastated. I blamed myself for his death. I also blamed my mom, who was at work. I believed that, if she'd been home, this never would have happened. I thought Ringo shouldn't have died when he did.

Truth be told, I don't know why I'm here or what circumstances will best support my learning. And, if I don't know this about myself, I'm certainly not in a position to judge. It’s precisely because we don't know that it’s impossible to judge. I know many people (myself included) whose greatest spiritual growth was the result of a deeply challenging event. I learned the healing nature of forgiveness, for example, as a result of being raped. Would I wish the event on someone? Absolutely not. Would I wish them the spiritual growth that resulted from the event? Absolutely. Spiritual growth results in greater acceptance, increased peace and joy, deep compassion, profound gratitude, and expanded access to innate wisdom.

This is important, so follow my drift: If we're not in a position to judge anyone, then we never have to forgive anyone for anything because they didn't do anything wrong. Said another way, "wrong" doesn't exist in actuality; it exists conceptually. If we don't know what anyone is here to learn, or what circumstances will best serve that person, then my judgment—however "right" I may think it is—is ill-founded and has no basis in truth. Take a moment to let that sink in because it’s an extraordinary concept.

You don’t have to forgive your spouse, your child, your parent, your relative or your friend because they didn't do anything wrong. When we think we know more than we do and we impose judgment on another, it feeds the ego, or the “small” self. The moment we enter into judgment, we’ve entered into duality, creating painful feelings of separation and suffering for ourselves. It's not the events in our lives that are the source of suffering; it's the judgments we impose on those events. If we judge an event as "bad," then we, too, feel bad. If we judge that something "shouldn't" have happened, then we're going to be in a losing battle with reality because whatever we think "shouldn't" have happened, already did. We can be right or we can be at peace. 

Have you ever noticed that making someone wrong disrupts inner peace? That’s because, as you separate yourself from someone through judgment, you’re disrupting your connection to your authentic nature, which is loving, accepting, kind, peaceful, generous, and compassionate. I call this the Authentic Self, a state of consciousness beyond ego, personality, and duality . . . it's our true nature. And our true nature does not have the capacity to judge.

Judgment is always at the root of inner disturbance. When our ideals are violated, for example, what’s violated is the way we think things should be, which is usually the way we were brought up to think is the right way. That’s not to condone bad behavior, nor does it imply being a doormat.  it’s simply to say that, identifying the judgment and letting it go allows us to grow spiritually. 

When I take one hundred percent responsibility for any disturbance going on within—without blaming it on anyone or anything outside—then the only person I ever have to forgive is myself—for any judgment I’ve imposed. It’s always about self-forgiveness because I'm the one who imposed the judgment in the first place, innocently believing I knew more than I did. 

Love is always available and always flowing. The question is, are we allowing it or blocking it? We block the flow of love and create unnecessary suffering when we judge. Self-forgiveness allows us to compassionately apply love to the places inside that hurt, allowing the flow of love. It’s a powerful tool in service to healing. Real forgiveness is like saying, "I understand now that you didn't do anything wrong. I forgive myself for having judged you." When you practice real forgiveness, it feels as if you've been washed clean. That's how you know real forgiveness has taken place; you feel it in your body.

In Part II, I'll demonstrate how to use self-forgiveness as a healing tool by modeling how I applied it to my experience with Ringo.

Copyright © 2009 by Irene Kendig

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Comment by Irene Kendig on October 1, 2010 at 1:11pm
You're so very welcome, L. By the way, everything we talked about is in my book. Check it out! :)
Comment by Talk 2 me Sesame on October 1, 2010 at 10:34am
Irene, Thank you so very much. Your answers are so concise I love it. Just knowing there are folks like you and Rhonda, makes my experience of life more hopeful. I'll get there, no doubt about that. Big Grin! Have an amazing day, L
Comment by Irene Kendig on October 1, 2010 at 10:18am
Oh, and I'm delighted that it's helpful and making a difference! :)
Comment by Irene Kendig on October 1, 2010 at 10:18am

Everything just "is." If what "is" doesn't feel good to you, then you have the freedom to change it. You don't even have to judge it as "wrong." :) And, since outer experience is a reflection of inner reality, whatever you see on the outside is also happening on the inside. If, for example, you see terrorism on the outside, look at how you are terrorizing yourself with a critical inner dialogue. If someone is stealing from you, look at where you might be short-changing yourself. Taking 100% responsibility for your experience without blaming anyone makes you the captain of your ship.
Comment by Talk 2 me Sesame on October 1, 2010 at 9:57am
Hi Irene, Yes this is very helpful, thank you. It makes a huge difference now. I don't feel guilty about my observations. Now the question is if I observe someone doing something wrong to me, am I not the one who has created the situation and when I find the reason why I am feeling irritated or robbed, should I not be the one to figure out my problem and release it? Because everyone is pure unconditional love expressing itself in human form for our experience, then the error must be in my perception of it, isn't that so?
Comment by Irene Kendig on September 29, 2010 at 9:57pm

Thanks for clarifying. Observing that someone has stolen from you isn't the same as judging them. If someone has stolen from you and you take measures to prevent it from happening, that's an example of evaluating the situation and making appropriate choices based on the information. If you said, "You're a bad person for stealing, and you deserve to be severely punished!" that would be an example of judging them.

If someone is insensitive to you and it doesn't feel good to be in their presence, then you remove yourself from that situation. This is an example of being discerning, not judgmental. If, instead, you judged them as wrong, mean, stupid, etc., you would have crossed the line into judgment.

There are two kinds of judgment:

1. wisdom judgment: when you're being discerning and evaluating a situation so that you can make appropriate choices and decisions
2. condemnation judgment: when you're making the other person wrong

I hope this is helpful!
Comment by Talk 2 me Sesame on September 29, 2010 at 9:34pm
Sorry about not being clear.
Let's say for example, someone steals something from me.
Observing what they have done as stealing is judging them is it not?
I'm really talking about someone who is insensitive to me all the time.
Yes, i am judging them as insensitive. So I feel like not answering the
phone when they call from now on hoping that they will get the message.
But then, I have just judged them as being annoying and that fuels my
decision. Is this wrong? What am I not seeing here?
Thank you for caring enough to answer my question.
hopefully this is a bit clearer?
Comment by Irene Kendig on September 29, 2010 at 8:09pm
Dear L,

Thank you for posting! I'm not clear about the question you're asking. I'll do my best to respond, but I'm not sure what you're asking. All the best!
Comment by Talk 2 me Sesame on September 29, 2010 at 6:28pm
Hi Irene, I'm confused here, you say we do not have to condone bad behaviour but to observe what someone is doing to us as not feeling good or as a violation to ourselves is in itself a judgment so I am not sure. Can you expand on this for me please?
Thank you,

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