I get a lot of email. Usually on the order of 300 or so messages per day. And most of it is not spam.
Inside of every message is a little “surprise” for me. It might be a good message, perhaps informing me of some positive development in my world. Or it might be a negative message conveying some sort of bad news. And then there are the FYI messages – information that someone thinks I should know about.
I don’t know what kind of message it will be until I open it. Which is one of the aspects that makes email so potentially addictive.
While reading email, our emotions get taken for a ride. If it’s a good message, we might smile or breath a sigh of relief. And if it’s a bad email, we might get angry or sad or fearful – depending on the contents and implication of the message.
But where does the concept of “goodness” or “badness” come from? If fact, the closer we look, the more we realize that the message is inherently neutral – neither good nor bad.
It is us who gives the message all the goodness or badness it has.
On its own, the message is as it is.
And so is everything else in our world.
When we realize that everything is exactly as it is, our judgments immediately drop away. In fact, it is precisely at the point that we stop judging that we can fully accept the present moment.
And from this place, amazing things happen.
When we let go of the judgment and see things exactly as they are (neither good nor bad … just the is’ness of the moment), several things occur.
First, a wonderful sense of peace and calm descend on us. There is no anger, no sadness, no fear, no anxiety. Just a relaxing tranquility – even in the midst of a bustling, noisy environment.
And from there we can take whatever action (or even inaction) that would be most helpful for the particular situation. And the incredible thing about this action (or inaction) is that it is done from a place of non-judgement with no emotion.
No one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. -ACIM
There is no sense of “I’ll show this person who’s boss” or “Uh oh … I hope this turns out ok”. Whatever we do is done from that place of calm awareness. And the impact of our response is extraordinary – far exceeding anything that could have occurred had we responded from a place of emotion.
It’s easy to practice. Anytime we catch ourselves judging or getting emotional, we can be certain that we’re not seeing things as they are, but rather as we think they ought to be.
From here, we can gently remind ourselves that we’re not seeing clearly, that we’re seeing through the cloudy, emotionally-distorted lens of judgment.
It is as it is. And we are now inhabitants in that timeless, non-judgmental place of presence from which true happiness resides.
Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of present moment acceptance and seeing things as they truly are. I look forward to seeing you then.