A question/comment to my post Stephen Mitchell on forgiveness, letting go and karma from a reader Persiandevi prompted me to create this post. Here is the comment Persiandevi posted:
What about people with too much toxicity? people who are shallow? I try to just stay away but then isn’t that judging them? But I am not at the point where I am able to love them unconditionally.
As I attempted to reply, I realized, I am not ready for a succinct response, this is such a broad concept for me too, and I first need to write it all down, to reflect on my own understanding of it. Hence this post.
So getting back to the question:
“I try to just stay away but then isn’t that judging them?”
Well, we know that fire can burn and hurt and potentially kill, but that does not mean we judging it, or does it? I think what I am saying is, we know some things to be the way they are. We can not do anything about it, therefore only option we have is to act toward those things according to what we know them to be. If we do not think and analyze them “to death” then I think we are in a good shape spiritually speaking 😉
Also, I guess it all depends on how you are when you with these shallow, toxic people.
That is how I see it. There are two possible scenarios of how I would be around that kind of energy, maybe at work (assuming I can not just remove myself):
- One. I am talking to a person that I do not like. I am feeling uncomfortable, I do not want to be here. I am forced to be polite, smile, even laugh at their jokes. Maybe they are not even nice to me…so I am now, in a bad mood, irritated. In fact, in the past, my whole day used to be ruined by someone like that. On my way home, I would keep thinking of how miserable I am all because of that one person. I would get home, I would still be thinking about what happened, then, anxiously waiting for my husband to get home, to tell him all about it. And later, I tell him, he feels terrible and sorry for me, angry…
Anyway, you get the picture. From that one encounter, I have created this huge field of negative energy around and in my life, and what’s more – around my family. And to think, that I actually lived like that my whole life, up until I saw Eckhart on Oprah, read his books and started my conscious, deliberate, daily Spiritual Journey… So realizing that, I am now looking at my past as a lesson for my spiritual practice.
Now, here is how I would handle situation like that now, ideally, as I am also still learning. And if someone had any better suggestions, ideas, please comment, as I always welcome any help!
- So, I am going to be around an individual, who nicely put, is not necessary a present, awakened or spiritual person. I look at it as my spiritual lesson. I realize that deep down he is just like me, we both are of the same. Unfortunately, all he knows is his ego, and that is what I am dealing with. So if a negative or judgmental thought, emotion, does cross my mind, I see it or become aware of it, I acknowledge it, I know it is there, but I do not over-analyze it, I immediately let it go. Furthermore, it may be worth a try to be thankful as you are with that person, thankful for that person being there as a spiritual lesson for you to be practiced and learned. If we admit that everything is the way it should be – than that person is meant to be there and dealing with them is part of you spiritual practice.
Now I am not saying that it is easy, on contrary – but than again, by now we all can admit that spiritual journey is not meant to be easy.
Our thoughts are there. Can we avoid getting judgmental thought? Probably, but I am not there yet. I must say I get them less often, and not nearly as much as in my previous, unconscious life (I used to live thought worrying, judging, etc). I am only at the beginning of my path. So today, as I am working on being the awareness, being the consciousness, that which observes my thoughts, my mind, I find it easier to become aware of a judgmental thought, to admit it, to just let it be and to let it go. Therefore it had not had a chance to grow, to spread thought my mind as a (guilty, angry, irritated…..etc.) feeling, to create anything, but just to become and then be gone.
My mind is not who I am and one day I will be able to control it better, but for now, thoughts will pop-up, good or bad. For now, I will unconsciously judge and label things and people in my life. It is my spiritual practice is to see when this happens, not to get attached to those thoughts, to realize that they are not who I am, they are of my ego, my mind – and I am not my mind and I most definitely am not my ego.