“Go ahead … do it … no one has the right to judge you, well, almost no one.”
… as they shove a picture of Satan eating the brains of a person in front of you.
Reminding someone of error which occurred decades ago will not heal anyone, or anything. People making these judgments of others never see the details behind their actions, completely lacking compassion & understanding about surrounding circumstances or state of mind.
Past actions cannot ever be changed, yet that does not stop a person from living, from learning, from trying to repay … life, society … whoever, whatever … for the wrong. It does not stop them from learning … perhaps learning what they were never taught before mistakes were made, before realizing the sacredness of all that is.
I think of the boy who lit a forest on fire. I hear the memories of words said by those who rallied for his … and his families … extreme punishment. I think to myself that this young man has potential to be the biggest advocate for the forests in his future … if only someone would teach him the sacredness of the earth, the forests, the life that dwells there. Properly coached, he may develop a passion for protecting and nurturing the growth of the forest and that which depends on it for living. He could come into a fierce passion for creating health in the world. His error in no way seals his fate as a destroyer. Those who attempt to put him in that box for life are criminal.
Photo by Shelby Miller
The same can be said of other situations. As a young person I smoked. I tossed out the cigarette butts not once thinking of the harm I was doing. I did not know the filters do not deteriorate. I thought the sweeper truck would get them. Today, when walking in the forest or park I make it a point to pick up those that I see. I wish to pick up as many as I threw out, and then some … flipping the scale to the positive.
I used to practice verbal war. I had a tongue so sharp it would leave people stammering not knowing how to respond, speechless. That was angry me. Today, my goal is to be just as kind (and then some) as I was cruel. I truly do not have any desire to harm anyone. Honestly I never did, however being lost in pain and the darkness of anger, it happened.
This does not mean I’ve decided to be a push-over … far from it.
Realizing how much care for the world dwells in the heart after a life of anger and pain is refreshing. The desire to expand this is intense. Yet there will always be those who throw the past in the face and place judgement, stating no good could ever come from one who did harm. They are liars … and they ought not be allowed to make “I AM” statements for anyone other than themselves. If they do … it is only because they feel a sense of superiority over others, and this will lead to trouble for them.
So massage the trigger. Recognize it for what it is. Affirm the statement you, and you alone, make for your future and the contribution you will give. Stand alone if you must, but be true to you and shed that which brings you suffering … in doing so, your imprint of suffering in the world will recede and something more beautiful will begin to grow.
It is far from easy, especially when there are people telling you how horrible they believe you are. Drown out their voices and tell yourself the truth, the truth that only you know … and it is usually never what others plant in your mind. Count the blessings, there are many, none less than the other no matter how small. Make a list in your mind of the things you are grateful for. A shift will happen, and forward progress will become easier … every time.