Judge Not – continued

* See Editor’s Note Below

All people make the only choice they can make, at the time their choice is made.  If a person could make a different choice, a better more loving choice, (s)he would make that choice.  We make choices from within ourselves based on what is whole and what is not whole.  It does no good to judge another, no good at all.

What about situations in the public, where we come upon practices which we know are unjust but are generally accepted, all the same, by our government?  The same principle applies.  Government officials have greater or lesser degrees of conscious knowing, as do all people.  Separate the behavior from the person or set of persons.  Make the comments about the injustices, not about those supporting or endorsing those injustices. It is a tricky line.  It is however a most critical line to understand, if we are to remain in integrity when faced with injustice or the unloving choices of others.  This is one way to do no harm and stay in integrity.

Do not resist evil.  When we resist that which is dark, unbalanced, evil or horrific, it grows. It grows because we are giving our power to it by our resistance.  When we put our power on the Greater Balance, the Greater Good connected with the situation, that is what grows.  The photo of  the young woman in green, in our last post read,  “My eyes are set on freedom”.  She was focused on the Greater Good.  Here is another way to focus on a positive action regarding war, “Awaken”.

Iraq War Fifth Anniversary by pictoscribe

Iraq War Fifth Anniversary by pictoscribe

Speak the Truth as you know it and let it go. Your speaking the Truth from your own integrity is very powerful and should not be underestimated.  If you have a spouse, friend or colleague whose behaviors you find troubling, speaking one’s Truth can be transforming especially if done in a non-judgmental way.  There is inherent power in the Truth.  It stands alone because it comes from our Higher Selves.  After speaking one’s truth, let it go.  Time is needed to take it in, after Truth shows up.

Greg (name changed) had been noticing his wife’s steady increased spending on clothing for herself, for months.  When we talked, she was regularly spending a minimum of $500 a month on clothing.

Shopping by Franganillo
Shopping by Franganillo

Greg was reticent to say anything to her because he did not want to criticize his wife and make the situation worse.  However, he was worried about what was behind these behaviors which they were not speaking about.

He first asked for Divine Help in clearing his  fear, anger and judgment around his wife’s spending pattern.  He worked on his fear about what her behavior might mean for her,  for their marriage, for their family and he worked to let all that fear go.  When he finally did say something, he asked for Divine Presence to be with him and speak through him in a loving manner.

Greg first told his wife that he loved her.  Secondly, he told her what the actual pattern of spending looked like over time, with facts and figures.  He said that he felt this pattern was something other than the need for new clothes and that he was concerned about why she was making these choices for herself.  This opened up several weeks of dialogue which eventually led to their mutually uncovering issues she was masking over, by buying clothes and overspending.

Greg spent some early months “not resisting evil” regarding his wife’s spending.  He chose not to rant, criticize, condemn or judge.   He began by seeking help and then cleared his own judgment about his wife’s actions, his fears about what this might mean.  Greg figured out what his own Truth was, without confusing his Truth with his own fears.  He also separated his wife’s behaviors from his wife, herself.   People are not their behaviors, no matter what those behaviors are.  If we can separate others behaviors from the individuals themselves, we have some hope of having Love help solve the issue rather than devolving into attack, blame and shame.

  • Do no harm
  • Do not resist evil
  • Speak your Truth
  • Face darkness with the power of Divine Knowing

Above all, remember to lovingly separate a person’s behavior from the person him/herself.

*  Editor’s note: If you have not seen the previous piece on Judge Not, you might like to read it as well or before this one.  Click here to link to it,  Judge-not.


Judge Not

Who is to judge what is right and wrong?  When is speaking out called for?  When is accepting the point of view of another, called for?  Most of us are not heads of government but each of us is influential somewhere, at work, at home, in communities, in our spiritual groups, etc.  When we do feel called to speak out, how might we do this in our highest integrity?

My Eyes Are Set On Freedom #Iranelection by harrystaub
My Eyes Are Set On Freedom #Iranelection by harrystaab

In the end, these questions can only be answered individually.  We may connect with others answering as we are, but ultimately, we are called to keep our own counsel and keep it with Divine Presence, the best way we can.

  • First and foremost,  do no harm.
  • Secondly, do not resist evil.
  • Thirdly, speak the Truth as you know it.
  • Fourthly, face all human darkness with the power of the Divine Knowing.

These are principles which are in alignment with All That Is for all peoples.  However our interpretation of what this looks like can be wildly different from one to another.

The most challenging stance when deciding to speak out or not is, can one speak out in a non-judgmental way? Judge not, lest you also be judged is one of the fundamental spiritual principles in alignment with do no harm.   Why is this so important?

We are each and every one on our own spiritual path.  Some of us are highly conscious, some of us are barely conscious and some of us are not conscious, at all.  Being conscious  in this situation refers to being connected with Divine Presence and aware of that connection.  We can not know another’s  level of consciousness.  Therefore, we are in no position to judge even about those who are the closest to us.

The “right” behavior or choice for one may not be “right” for another due to his or her conscious knowing. Take for example a person who steals or smuggles.  Immediately we might say, that is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances.

Children of the Hills I by Papyrarri
Children of the Hills I by Papyrarri

If we are in a situation where all ways of making money have been closed to us as we see it, and the only way to survive day to day seems to be to steal or smuggle, we may be in integrity because we are trying to provide for ourselves and our family.  This might well apply to the children, for example, forced to smuggle along the Afghanistan and Pakistan border.  The judging of this is only for Divine Knowing to determine.  We are not that Knowing, generally.

What we can do is speak out about the injustices we see without condemning the people doing these things we have issues with. The same thing goes for our children and family members.  We may have a very rebellious child who is pushing all our buttons by trying to express him or herself in ways we find offensive and dangerous.  There is a huge difference in speaking out about one’s behaviors or choices and becoming angry and critical of the person who is making these decisions regardless of their age.  Separate the behaviors from the person and love can still remain while we are speaking out about the choices we find troublesome.  Confuse the person with the actions in a condemning way and we have crossed a line which is extremely damaging to most people. ( to be continued)

Loving Self

Loving  Self is the fastest way to create a stronger connection with Spirit. However, most of us are not proficient in doing this.  We may think we know all about Loving Self but it is the last area we master, as spiritually developing beings, in body.   This can take several lifetimes to fully master.  However, we are given all the chances we need to make decisions for ourselves which are loving and in integrity with our spiritual, True Selves.

1.  One step to Loving Self is embracing that God and I Are One. We are not separate from God/Spirit.  We may feel disconnected but in truth we cannot be separate no mater what we do, feel, don’t do, think or imagine.  We are One with All That Is and that’s the Truth.  Most of us do not know this however because we give our power to human fears, emotions and thoughts every day.  This results in making us feel we are separate from Divine Presence.

Many of us  do not gift ourselves with the experience of meditation and authentic prayer,

Meditation II by Roshnii
Meditation II by Roshnii

so we do not have the daily opportunity to learn from Spirit that we and God/Great Spirit are One.  Even if we do meditate, we may not be actively releasing our human fears, thoughts and emotions.  Therefore, we may be peaceful in Silence and then go right out and have an argument with our co-worker because we are not releasing our fears and concerns proactively, clearing our energy field and making more space for Divine Presence in our lives.

At the very least, affirm out loud and daily,

  • There is One Power, One Source, One Life Force.
  • I Am One with All That Is.
  • I Am an Individualized Expression of God.

This brings  Divine Knowing more readily into our energy fields as we affirm these truths regularly.

2. Loving Self has nothing to do with personal indulgence and everything to do with living in integrity. Loving Self is  going out with friends and NOT over drinking, over eating, over smoking, over spending, over gambling or over sexing with others.   Anything prefaced by “over” is not living in integrity.  We usually know when we have “over” done something though frequently, not at the time.  Perhaps for a time it feels easier to pretend to ignore this information we have about ourselves. This pretense is costly to us.   When we “over do”  we are by definition, out of balance.  This absolutely affects us mentally, emotionally, spiritual and physically.  Living in integrity is Loving of Self and by the way, benefits not only ourselves but all whom we meet.

flickr turns 4, we celebrated by mode
flickr turns 4, we celebrated by mode

The energy of being with friends,  can be a very self loving experience if we are able to be our authentic selves in their company and receive affirmation for our own True Selves. This looks like being able to say I’m sorry for something we have done which was unkind or unthoughtful and being forgiven.  This looks like being able to say, “this was great but now I need to get some rest to function tomorrow”.  This looks like being able to set good boundaries for ourselves and have our friends or partners respect this in us.

3. Other acts of integrity include saying “no” to requests of us which are not good for us,  helpful for others or respectful of our own inner knowing for ourselves.

Robert (name changed)  is a management consultant in his late thirties,  in international management.  When just setting out, he felt he had to take all work that came his way for financial reasons. He loved the bi-play around negotiating new work, agreeing on the rates, specifying deliverables and getting the contract.  However, time and again, he experienced a sense of deflation when it was time to actually do the work.

Robert did notice repeatedly,  that if a  contract was good for him,  it was almost without exception,  good for the clients as well.  He began to try to determine while negotiating contracts, if he would enjoy the actual work.  He  made some spectacularly bad choices during this time.  His fear of having enough money continued to play heavily into his judgment about clients.   After 3 years of working with this rather directly, he turned away a very large contract for 6 months of nearly full salary, because it felt really wrong for him.

After that time, he had appreciably fewer bad contracts show up in his life, because his learning was complete.  His soul was at peace with regard to these learnings and therefore he no longer attracted these situations to himself.  He had learned to live in integrity with himself and not to “prostitute himself” for the sake of prestige, money, recognition, or safety. In Loving Self enough to only accepting work situations which were good for him, Robert  radically transformed his life for the good,  in all areas, not just with work.

In facing these situations for yourself ask the following:

  • Is this a loving choice for me?
  • Am I being honest with myself, about whether this is good for me ?
  • What is making me consider working (or staying) in this setting which I know is crummy for me?

4. Loving Self requires proactive attention to our deepest needs. If we are not getting enough exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, or spending endless hours before a computer or TV, we need to attend to this.  It is a loving act to pay attention to these things.  If we are deeply lonely, we need to take steps to be with others even if it feels like a big risk.  If we are in a bad relationship, we need to ask for Divine Help to come forth within us, release all that is our part of the bad relationship, and bless the other person regardless of the past.  If we are bored, we need to name the fear behind this and face it squarely so that we can move on from the languishing energy.

Loving Self is creating more compassion with ourselves in all areas of our lives. Love heals all things, no matter the size or complexity of what we might be facing.  Clear the fear you carry connected with the situation, call in Love even though you may not know what next steps to take because such acts create a stronger connection with All That Is, which leads to Inner Peace.

Intentional Partnering with God (excerpt)

Sermon for May 24, 2009
Comm-Unity On the Hill,* Washington, D.C.
Rev. Robbins S. Hopkins, Ed.D.

Editor’s Note:

I recently began attending a Sunday service at a Unity Church in Washington, D.C.  I found this group after several people independently recommended this spiritual group to me.  I am very happy with this group’s inclusiveness, openness and  joyful singing.  This post is an excerpt of the sermon I offered when asked to speak one Sunday.  To see the full sermon, click either on the title Intentional Partnering with God on the navigation bar at the top of this page or click on the link at the bottom of this page.  If you are looking for a place of worship, do consider coming one Sunday to visit.  Specifics about the congregation are offered at the end of the full sermon.

Opening Prayer

Spirit of the Living God, we open to the Presence of Love within us and among us, as we gather here today.  Our thanks for the blessings of our lives and for this time of worship and reflection together.  And So It Is.  Amen.

Sermon

I am so happy to be here with you, today.  I have been earnestly looking for a spiritual congregation for three years where I might worship and share my talents.  I fortunately have had a lot of sign posts and help along the way.  At the Sacred Circles Conference in February of this year at the National Cathedral, four different people told me of this congregation.  In fact, the workshop for that conference which I gave was held in this very room.

After those four different conversations, I imagined a loud voice saying rather pointedly to me, “Robbins, are you getting this?  This is the place you have been looking for.” I just laughed.  I rarely get messages which are that emphatic and pointed.  It would have been most unwise for me to ignore that.  So, I have been happily coming here since the end of February.

I am also so pleased to have been asked to speak with you.  I am a minister of spiritual healing.  Among other things, this may be the very first place in years perhaps ever, really, that I could say this out loud, from the pulpit and not wonder if a significant number from the congregation might actually get up and leave.  This is the absolute truth.

Green Buddha by EugeniusD80
Green Buddha by EugeniusD80

As a minister of spiritual healing, I work with unseen energies. I work with energies in our mind, in our hearts, in our bodies, in our relationships, in our spirit, and in our Universe.  Unseen energy includes feelings like fear, anger, love or appreciation. Unseen energy also includes the energy of my passed mother, my relationship with my brothers, a client’s depression, loss or cancer,  the energy of Ascended Masters like Jesus and Buddha, the nature spirits, energy of our ancestors and the presence of the Angelic Host, to name a few.

Editor’s Note:  Click here to see full sermon. http://www.robbinshopkins.com/intentional-partnering-with-god/ or click on the title Intentional Partnering with God on the navigation bar at the top of the page, for the full text.