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Tag judgement

Simple lessons

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I had my windscreen washed again the other day. And as I stopped at the lights and admired the agility of this humble man dancing between the cars on Northbourne Avenue, I thought of the lessons he is teaching all of us, if only we are open enough to stop and realise.

Each day at the lights washing windscreens for example you might not consider him a business man. But that’s exactly what he is. Talk about committed, he’s out there in almost every type of weather. The freezing cold right through to the stinking hot days that are this city. And he’s probably earning more per hour than most, with very few overheads. Now that’s smart. And simple. Sometimes it pays to keep things simple.

But even more than the simplicity of his business I am struck by the way he mirrors back to us our own version of humanity. Some people are uncomfortable with a man washing windows on one of the busiest corners in the city centre. Even to the extent of hurling abuse and condemnation. And then there are others who see a fellow human being, acknowledging him with a smile as they agree to the wash or not. I know who I’d rather be around.

Isn’t it interesting how the same situation, the same person can cause such different responses? I’ve come to the conclusion that it really all boils down to our beliefs about what’s right and the judgements we attach. It’s simple really. The more tolerant and accepting we are, the happier we are. Because when we live like this, there’s very little to get worked up about really.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others is to learn acceptance. Of other people, of other beliefs, of other situations. So the next time you find yourself in a situation that rattles your cage, just take a moment to find out what the lesson in it is for you.

Are you locked into the habit of easy judgement? After all, does it really matter?

How much better could life be if you responded differently?

 

Shades of Grey

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There’s no doubt there are some things we have to fight for. Intolerable wrongs that need to be made right. And there have been plenty of these over the years, haven’t there. Both in the world at large and in our own lives.

But there is also a place for acceptance.

And sometimes I think we can forget this. Because there are some things in life we simply can’t change. And to continue to rail against them, to resist, to put up a fight is only expending energy we could put to better use in other ways.

So what is acceptance? I like to think of acceptance as finding peace with whatever is your current reality. Not necessarily liking it. But no longer resisting it either. And there’s a certain grace to this. Not always easy I know.  But it can give us clarity to see other possibilities.

And the key to acceptance? In my experience it’s to quit the judgements. We judge everything, don’t we. Right or wrong. Black or white. I believe acceptance is about seeing shades of grey. Because when we decide in our own mind something is wrong, and we pass that judgement, we make it not okay. And this can set up the fight.

I often find looking at the bigger picture can help. The benefit of hindsight. Or just trusting that there is a greater good at work. If I’d made my cancer wrong for instance, I would have missed out on the gifts it gave me. But in practising acceptance, I find my peace and that can only be a healing place physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Where can you practise acceptance today?