StepHeroes™ Newsletter, Week 27
Freeing Yourself From Being Judgemental
An Introduction to Formal Inquiry
Have you ever found yourself making judgements of someone else for their behavior? Who hasn't? Being judgmental is being human. We are taught from an early age not to be judgmental and I've yet to meet anyone who has mastered their thinking to that degree.
Since our minds are "meaning making machines" and are great at making judgements, why not give yourself a break and know that you are, and will always be, judgmental. Given that this is true, there is something you can do to free yourself from the pain and suffering that typically happen when you think that someone should be different and they never change.
While you are not necessarily in control of how your mind thinks (and since you can never be in control of what others say and do), you are in full control of what you do with your thoughts. Feelings arise from choosing to believe a thought. Once you decide to believe a thought is true, you then get to experience the direct result of that belief - either pain or joy.
If you are experiencing emotional pain, chances are you have a thought related to the pain. Once you determine the thought, you can play with it by inquiring. Here's how: First, ask yourself whether or not the thought is true. Then ask yourself what you get to feel and experience when you believe it is true. Next, explore how you'd be different if you didn't have that thought. Finally, try on some other thoughts and see how they make you feel instead.
I offer this tool of inquiry from a place of understanding and compassion for the pain I have felt, and that I know other's feel, when negative thoughts take root. This exercise is about weeding the garden of your thoughts and only choosing to give your attention and energy to the flowering thoughts that bring you satisfaction and joy. Root out and free your inner garden of the thoughts that cause you pain and suffering. The way to "weed" your garden of thoughts is with the "weed killer" of inquiry.
Action Step: Take some time to explore your inner garden and notice if there are any weeds that need tending! Instead of allowing negative thoughts and judgments to take root and hold you and your family hostage, take responsibility to use the "weed killer" of inquiry to stop them from keeping you happy.
Resources: For a better understanding of this technique, I recommend the book Loving What Is by Byron Katie. You can also learn more about The Work by visiting the foundation's website at: www.thework.org