By Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant
Today’s excerpt is from “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up“, 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth. It is about practicing Non-Judgement: It is a state of mental and emotional openness and receptivity to new experiences and new interpretations of past experiences. Observation of people and/or participation in events without the imposing of personal will, perceptions, or criticisms.
Commentary on NON-JUDGMENT
It’s so good to have a sane friend to talk to when you are crazy. I had one. My friend made one statement. It was a simple statement that made no sense and so much sense at the same time. He gave me some insight that helped me release my children, myself and every other person and condition in my life from the death grip of judgment. The statement:
“There is no right, no wrong, there just is what is!”
Are you telling me that it’s not wrong to kill, lie and steal?
“People who commit those acts do so in fear, shame or guilt. Is it wrong to be afraid or shamed or to feel guilty?”
It made sense, but it didn’t feel right, I mean good. I had to pursue this line of thought a bit further. If there is no right or wrong, that means anybody can do anything because they are afraid, ashamed or guilty.
“People do anything and everything anyway. The fact that we judge it wrong or right does not stop people from doing anything in this life. When we judge what they have done, we are actually informing them of the conditions we place on loving them. When they do what we think is right, we love them. If we judge them wrong, we become angry and ignite the fear that we will take our love away. A person without love is a frightened person. A frightened person is capable of doing some pretty unloving things.”
Get a grip! Thousands of people were enslaved because somebody felt unloved? Hitler killed millions because he felt unloved?
I had it backward.
“That with which we are unfamiliar, we a fear. Those things we don’t understand we fear. People are enslaved by or because of fear. When we feel powerless we seek power. When we have no control we seek to control. People are killed when powerlessness seeks to control.”
“Crazy is a judgment.”
People killing or enslaving other people because they are afraid or because they feel powerless or want control is not crazy?
“Who’s to say? People do what they do based on who they are, what they believe, and the information they have at the time that supports their feelings and beliefs. Slavery is wrong today. Four hundred years ago it seemed like a viable economic venture. Hitler is considered a monster today. In his day however, thousands supported or ignored him. Saying it was right or wrong does not change the fact that it was. When you think of something as wrong, you are actually saying there is something wrong with you.”
ME?? I don’t think there is anything wrong with me!
“Of course you do. That’s why you judge your children.”
I’m not judging my children. I simply want them to do the right… thing. I mean I want them to make out better than I have.
“What’s wrong with the way you made out?”
I made it so hard on myself and those around me.
“You did what you knew how to do based on what you knew and believed to be right at that time. How can you prevent your children from doing the same thing if that is what they choose to do?”
By teaching them how to do things the right way. By giving them better skills, better tools than I had. You’ve made me afraid to use the word “right”.
“When you are afraid, you see and hear things that have nothing to do with what is. Your children are going to do whatever they are going to do, no matter what you think, say, do or fear.”
I know. Good kids come from bad homes. Bad kids come from good homes. There must be some magic formula to ensure the success of our children.
“There is. Give them your best. Share with them what you know, and let them make their own choices based on what you have shared. When they falter or fall, be there for them without anger of fear. Take the conditions off your love. Stop looking for your mistakes in their actions. When it is all said and done, the best thing you can do for your children is to stop believing that there is anything wrong with the way you turned out, or the way you turned up.”
I hate it when you’re right.
“I’m never right. I just share what I know because I am.”
You must mean, “You is!”