My capacity to care is loosely based around my capacity to cease judgment.
Although it is nearly impossible to “not judge at all”, I have noticed in me an ability to not listen to the judgmental voices playing in my head and what comes of that when I do.
For example, my partner pulled a muscle in his back causing him to partially debilitated and in great pain. He hobbled around the house attempting to help me with the daily chores and cooking. Finally, the physical pain became so great that he needed to stop altogether and take care of himself.
All the while my mind went a little something like this:
“Gosh, look at him. If he only worked out a little more and strengthened himself, this would not have happened.”
“Ugh, now I have to do everything around the house because he is hurt!”
“I think he just wants to get out of helping me.”
“He must not be in THAT much pain because he was able to work all day.”
And on, and on, and on….
This mental chatter essentially stifled my ability to care for him and about him.
I was judging his reality, and wanted him to not be where he was because it was ‘inconvenient’ for me.
Then came the moment of clarity and awareness.
“My gosh, I have been so mean! I have been judging him and expecting him to not be where he is, and I have closed my heart down to him in his time of need. Oh my goodness.”
Later on in the evening, after he took a couple of hours of self-care, I was looking at him as he rested in bed. The judgy-thoughts continued to circulate through my mind even after the moment of clarity. His eyes were closed, and clearly in pain. His body stiff and uncomfortable. His face lined and grimacing. And still, the judgement came.
Finally, I decided to take back control of MY internal experience.
I opened my heart to this man who was in great physical pain.
I reached out and touched his face and stroked his arm.
I sent Love to his body, and reassured him that he would be ok.
He cooed in relief. His grimace lessened. His body relaxed.
His forehead worry lines disappeared.
I continued to gently touch him, and slowly his breath deepened, and he fully relaxed.
As I continued to look at him I noticed my own heart opening.
A flood of warmth washed over me, and the cold, sharp feelings of judgment vanished.
“So THIS is what it is like to care for someone! Wow, judgment really does close me down and squashes my ability to Love. Wow!”, I thought.
For the rest of the evening I remained in that place of care, and right before we went to sleep my partner told me, “Your touches and Love has made the deepest of my pain go away. Thank you.”
This experience is proof to me that judgment closes down the heart in such a subtle way, that even when faced with someone you love DEEPLY who is in pain, it shuts down one’s capacity to care. This moment of awareness is forever etched in my consciousness.
Cease judgment and the capacity to care expands.
Cease judgment and the heart opens.
Cease judgment and allow the Love that we all are to reach those who need it the most- sometimes even ourselves.
These are the lessons I have learned.
What do you do to transcend judgment?
How has judgment affected your capacity to care?
What do you notice when you switch from a place of judgment to a place of Love and Care?
Please comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts!
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