Forgiveness and Judgment

To forgive or not to forgive, should not be the question. If Jesus or God is who They say They are, then They are the only ones with the right to truly exercise frue forgiveness and judgment. But we are taught to forgive others for their wrongs against us. In this case, forgiveness is for the forgiver to feel better about the wrongness they feel about the one they feel has wronged them.

What if the person who acted wrongly, offended, betrayed, or otherwise made you feel victimized didn’t actually do anything malicious to you? What then?

Forgiveness and Judgment Cougar on the <Loose

For instance, I live in the Pacific Northwest where we enjoy a certain amount of natural wildlife with which we share the environment. I heard a story that a cougar had been spotted lurking around a predominant neighborhood in an upscale community nearby. Radio and media alerted the city that a cougar had been spotted and to take special precautions.

Around this time, a mother playing with her young son in the fenced yard went inside to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. When she returned, the boy was gone. There was blood on the grass, and it appeared that the cat had followed its natural instincts.

The community gunned up, hunted down the cougar, and ascertained that the cougar was the culprit. A truly tragic story.

But who was wrong? Obviously not the child who was an innocent victim. The mother? The cougar?

Certainly, the mother and the neighbors assumed the cougar was wrong. But the cougar is a cougar. Yes, no doubt it was a tragedy, but that’s what cougars do. No, they don’t usually go around attacking children, but they do prey on living food, the easier the food is to get, the quicker they satisfy their hunger.

Not unlike your pet cat. If your pet cat sees a mouse, it is fair game, it can be fun or food or both fun and food. A wounded bird is even better.

In the case of the cougar and the child? It is easy to jump to the conclusion that the cougar is the offender, and the neighbors were the judge and jury, as they took matters into their own hands. Justice, as it were, was served. The cougar paid the price for its sins with its life.

The mother may someday wonder if she should forgive the cougar, or pray to Jesus or God that the sinning cougar is forgiven. But did the cougar sin?

No. The cougar just did what cougars do, what they were born to do. Did the cougar extend its practices beyond reasonable boundaries? Yes. Doing so may have put the cougar at additional risk, for which the cougar did pay the price.

But the cougar was just a cougar.

So it is, when someone commits a crime, possibly any crime. If the perpetrator is a cougar, could they have done anything else besides commit said crime? Maybe not. May he or she be just a cougar? It’s all they instinctively know to do. They have a hunger or a yearning to do something, and they do whatever they need to do to satisfy it. Just like the cougar.

If I have been offended by someone, another person, and I feel victimized, did that offender purposely intend to hurt me, or was he or she just doing the only thing they knew how to tend to themselves?

Are these offenders just doing the best they can with what they have?

I know I’m not perfect. I’ve hurt people’s feelings while in the act of doing the best I could with what I had. I didn’t even know that I was hurting anyone. Yet here it is. I can clearly see now in retrospect, that I did inadvertently offend someone in a manner that had never occurred to me while I was about the business of doing the best I could with what I had.

Should I Ask for Forgiveness?

If I am aware of my transgression, yes. I feel an obligation to appeal to that person and ask him or her for forgiveness, even if I was unaware of my transgression when it occurred because I never intended to do that. And I am ashamed of myself for not being more aware that someone else might have been hurt in my doing the best I could with what I had.

Should I Expect Someone Else to Ask Me for Forgiveness?

There was a time when I felt that would be appropriate when I thought that if someone hurt me in some way that I was owed an apology, or begged for my forgiveness for their sin. Later, I realized that forgiveness was a God issue, and not a “me” issue. So, I let go of that expectation.

I might still like an apology, but I wouldn’t expect it. Especially if the offender was a cougar.

Anyone Could be a Cougar

What if the person who offended or victimized me was a cougar? A cougar could take almost any shape or human form. A drug dealer, addict, drunk driver, lawyer, judge, doctor, neighbor, friend, spouse, sibling, or priest.

Anyone could be a cougar. Just doing the best they can with what they have. Nonetheless, a cougar. Even me. And like the cougar, if I offend the wrong person at the wrong place and time, I too may have to pay the price for doing so.

Superiority of Judgment

Yet, we feel so superior that we would expect to have the right to be asked for forgiveness and feel as though we have the right and power to offer such forgiveness. So, we judge them, until they have paid the price for offending us.

Then I am reminded of a Jesus story about a woman who had been accused of adultery. The self-righteous Pharisees were standing around her with a fistful of rocks ready to execute their brand of justice when Jesus interrupted them.

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone

Were the Pharisees authorized to execute this action in John 8? Were they following Jewish law? Pretty much (though there were some concerns that possibly they may not have had all their ducks in a row at the time the punishment was to be delivered by the law. Certainly, all the players did not appear to be present as the law may have suggested).

Did the Pharisees have hidden sins? Apparently. When Jesus challenged them, they drops their rocks and walked away.

Were the Pharisees cougars?

Jesus did not condemn her and simply told her to go and sin no more. Maybe she was a cougar. She was the only person that Jesus told to change her life, and I think that was because she was in so much trouble with the overseers that they intended to kill her for her misdeeds, and maybe He might not be there on her behalf, the next time. Like the advice I might give to a repeat offender, especially in my state where we have a three-strikes rule.

In Matthew 7, Jesus says not to judge lest we be judged, and if we judge someone harshly, we will be judged likewise. Then he asks how can you help a brother with a splinter in his eye when your own eye is blocked by lumber?

Good point. Right?

I like Jesus’ examples because He loved many people and had a heart for those who were less fortunate, most likely unworthy, and of questionable character, and His influence on their lives was undeniable.

The price of sin is death (ultimately) but Jesus by His death and resurrection was the sacrifice by which we all have forgiveness for our transgressions, and claim the right to life more meaningful and long-lasting (eternal) than any of us might have been entitled to otherwise.

When we judge and are so self-righteous to think we are authorized to do so, are we not nullifying the words of Jesus or the perfection of His work on the cross?

These days, I would not run to usurp His authority.

Is it polite to forgive? Yes. Would it be nice if someone apologized or asked for forgiveness? Yes.

Should we expect or demand it?

From a cougar?

In this respect, forgiveness may be required by people who may not understand the divinity of all things, though being willing to let go and let God work out the details, especially if someone is a cougar, may lead to the higher road to travel through this life.

After all, aren’t we all just doing the best we can with what we have?

Something to think about…



He’s Gonna Get His

When you experience, witness, or hear about someone’s wrongdoing, it’s easy to respond with a nonchalant, “He’s gonna get his,” which casts a powerful karmic spell. Take heed about wishing karma on someone because if it’s cast with malice or negative emotion it will backfire on you.

He’s Gonna Get His

This is a basic fact of the divine balanced nature of life. Everything that goes around comes around but it is not up to you or me to decide when, where, or how karmic justice will play out.

We can participate by casting our karmic spells, aligning ourselves with the justice of divinity. Your heart is a powerful energetic tool which can cause you to reap unforeseen karma yourself if you do not do so with a pure heart.

The saying, “He’s gonna get his,” is a shorthand reference to the more descriptive,

He is going to get what’s coming to him

That is to say, if someone thinks, says, or does something with malice of intent to take advantage of someone, to disrespect God or His creation, to do harm to someone or something, or even to neglect or ignore someone in need, that this will in some way revisit the very same person, in some way, possibly when he least expects it.

This gives us all a chance to revisit our selfishness, our egos, which for the most part run unbridled sometimes without a thought of how our thoughts, words, or our actions might affect others and the world around us.

Karma is not about revenge, karma is about love, about having the chance to make right that which was wrong in perfect balance and harmony. Karma is not about crime and punishment. Karma is about perfect love. Perfect love casts out all fear and all negative emotions which are connected to fear.

Karma is a bitch

How you can cast a karmic spell using the phrase, “Karma is a bitch,” with purity of heart is beyond me but it may be possible, if it can be said without any negative (fear-based) emotion.

Take heed: If you cast a negative karmic spell on someone, any negative emotion ricochets the spell back on you.

The Born Loser

The Born Loser refers to the person, who is not a bad person, but he just seems to have the worst luck No matter how hard he tries, he gets stuck in the never-ending cycle of bad luck, seemingly out of proportion to any deserved karma. Sometimes people will grab onto the idea that he is paying a karmic debt from a past life.

More often than not, if you dig deeper, you discover that he is paying the price of casting karmic spells with an impure heart.

The Born Loser is likely one who passes judgment on others quickly, and casts the karmic spell to in effect punish people whom he has defined as abusive or criminal and in need of a serious readjustment, not realizing that any negative emotion, which is not pure love, will bounce the karmic spell back onto he who has cast if.

While the Born Loser might be an extreme example, I think you get the idea.

You might know someone (someone you may know intimately, who might even be wearing the same skin as you) who seems to be experiencing a disproportionate degree of negative karma.

If you look closer, I think you will find that this person is casting negative karmic spells and reaping the rewards for doing so. I see it all the time. I think you will too, now that you know what to look for.

The cure is simple. Stop casting negative karmic spells.

It’s simple but it’s not easy to stop doing something you’ve been doing for a long time and instead; doing the opposite, casting spells of pure love, free from judgment or angst.

It doesn’t happen overnight (though I have seen people change instantly due to an epiphany or major paradigm shift) but you can learn to replace a negative thought with a loving thought.

All your effort to move from fear to will pay off in living a better life, your best life, and who knows? You might even end up making the world a better place.

It all starts right here, right now, if you choose. It’s your choice.

You can change your whole life

Note: While the theme of this article was written addressed in the masculine, it applies to the feminine just as well.

Evildoers and Hypocrisy

My mother used to say, “All the deepest, darkest, most dangerous souls hide undercover in churches.” When the secret crimes began to come to light regarding activities covered up by the Catholic church, my mother and millions of other people, felt justified and vilified in their accusations of the church secretly providing safe harbor for evildoers.

As easy as it might be to point your finger at the church, the breaking news is not as dramatic as it may seem, especially with all the drama and exploitation fueling the fire in the media. The news is not so impressive if you look at the facts. Statistics dictate that any group of any size will have a certain percentage of evildoers.

It doesn’t matter where you look. Where ever you look, in religious organizations, educational institutions, State agencies, Government departments, military installations, corporations, businesses, non-profit organizations, or anywhere else where you find a number of people working together, you will find evil.

The Catholic church is an easy target because it is a very large organization but you will find the same percentage of evil in the same proportions per capita just about anywhere.

Why? Because none of us is without sin. Each and every one of us has the potential for evil within.

Some of us fight any tendency toward darkness than others for various reasons.

Some of us, due to early awareness and observation of others engaged in different forms of evil, made a vow to ourselves to not live that kind of life. If that is you, you are careful to watch for signs which might indicate that you may be headed down the wrong road, and you are quick to make adjustments so as not to fall into the trap of evildoing which you are focused on not falling victim to.

For others, maybe they have dipped their toe in the waters of evildoing, have let themselves be overcome by the darkness, then sworn to change their lives, and fight the inclination to engage in this activity of darkness again.

In either case, you have a particular sensitivity to this particular form of evil (due to your vow to avoid it) and you are keenly aware of seeing the potential for this evil in others. If you see someone else break weak and give-in to this evil vice, then you are prone to adopting an aire of supremacy or self-righteousness because you’ve worked so hard not to partake in this type of evil.

You feel justified in judging your brother, and you judge him or her harshly because you would judge yourself just as harshly, and desire to see the offender punished to the highest degree of the law (or might even toy with your own unbridled thoughts of vigilantism, fantasizing about how you might punish the wrongdoer if you were, judge, jury, and/or God).

What you fail to realize, when you are apt not to tolerate much, in this not so far from narcissistic-state, is that as you are pointing your accusatory and judgmental finger at someone, there is someone else who is pointing his or her finger at you who sees the potential for evil in you.

Hypocrisy gets me in an uproar. I’m always quick to notice it in others because I try so hard not to be a hypocrite myself. Yet, every once in a while, someone points out my own hypocrisy (this just happened yesterday by a friend of mine, who is always quick to catch me and point it out to me). And once I feel offended by the accusation (which is my natural first response), I can step back and see even my own hypocrisy. My friend was right. I am a hypocrite.

I couldn’t see it because I was looking for different kinds of hypocrisy in myself and others. Duely noted, I can try to do better next time.

Just a reminder in humility and a reality check for myself that I, being human, possess all the potential for evil as anyone does. All I can do is to be the best person I can be with the tools that I have available to me. I can impose my sense of goodness, or right and wrong, on anyone else, unless to be fair, I allow them to do the same to me.

Though I possess all the potential for evil and hatred, I choose to live a life on the other end of the spectrum in goodness and love to the best of my ability and encourage others to do likewise.

I strive to honor others, where they are at and what they do, offering them the same respect that I desire to receive from them.

Regarding judging others, one of my heroes speaking to a self-righteous judgmental mob accusing a woman of doing evil, said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” ~ John 8:7 KJV

A profound statement that echoes in my heart, when I find myself tempted to point my finger at someone else.

See you at the Recovery from Religious Trauma Event in Olympia, September 21st

Diagnosing Everyone

There are those of us who are in the mental health arenas, either professionally or as laypeople, who have varying degrees of knowledge of a variety of mental health disorders. Once you have access to this kind of information, you can fall into the trap of diagnosing everyone you meet or know as having a particular mental disease or disorder.

Some of these people are doctors, therapists, coaches, patients and/or curious bystanders.

It’s easy, once you get access to a certain amount of information, to consider yourself an expert, as you start to diagnose everyone you come across as having a problem.

In some cases, learning about certain mental disorders can be very valuable, such as dealing with someone you know personally, maybe intimately, who may (or may not) suffer from a mental disorder or disease.

Having a good understanding about how someone might react in certain circumstances can help you understand and deal with them when the face challenges or tend to react in ways that don’t seem normal to you.

This can be very helpful in helping you to determine if someone is “safe” to be around or have access to intimate details of your life, especially if they can have a negative effect on your life. You have every right to determine who has access to and influence in the life that you live.

Early detection of certain personality types, and of people who may be toxic, abusive, or potentially dangerous, is hugely advantageous.

Even so, diagnosing everyone is an unhealthy approach to building community and it keeps people separated by categorizing traits, which may not be signs of a mental disease or disorder at all.

This fits perfectly into the judge matrix.

The judge matrix keeps us separated from our peers because we can quickly determine what we do not like or approve of in someone else as we categorize those around us, placing individuals in a box of likeminded folks.

Doctors, therapists, counselors, and professionals in all trades do this; it is a widely accepted (and promoted) practice, but it not a high-vibration activity.

Admittedly, it may be an effective way to manage and filter through a wide variety of people and may enhance your ability to focus and save countless hours of discovery and therapy, it is unjust, and not conducive to promoting individuality, freedom, peace, and harmony.

The judge matrix destroys community, fosters separation and dissention, and is harmful to the potential expansion and evolution of the human race.

If you must diagnose clients as part and parcel of your day-job, or must attempt to diagnose someone in an effort to keep yourself safe from potential loss or harm, then do so, but do not let your judgment spread to your circle of influence, or the community at large.

Diagnosing others is judging them based on a very limited amount of data, and you cannot know a person well enough be evaluating a short list of “red flags.”

Mental disorders or diseases are not the only way we categorize, diagnose, separate, and judge others. This applies to all categorizations which separate people into groups.

It is socially acceptable to sort people by gender, health status, age, height, color of eyes or hair, income, political views, religion, race, physical location or address (or lack of physical home address), media preferences, even the clothes they wear, and the cars they drive, amid a nearly endless list of categories to judge and separate others by.

Judging others is not good medicine.

One of my personal heroes said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” And is akin to, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Unless “Judge” is part of your job title or job description (or necessary for personal protection) then it should be avoided. Even so, if you are required to judge, keep it focused on only the areas when and where it is warranted, and try to celebrate the differences of anyone else.

Judge if you must, then move on, loving and accepting others for who and what they are, regardless of their individual characteristics. Don’t take judgment home or to your community.

After all, aren’t we all just doing the best that we can with what we have?

I know I am.

And I love you just the way you are.

What Is Accepting What Is?

The idea of, “Accepting what is,” was introduced to our consciousness by contemporary spiritual leaders and thought leaders as a method of enhancing a higher vibration of life to be experienced by human beings who embrace the idea of accepting what is, rather than succumb to the feelings of sadness, worry, frustration, self-righteousness, disgust, anger, and hate associated with not accepting what is.

What is accepting what is?

Accepting what is, is the practice of filtering everything that is presented to your consciousness with a moment of conscious review, then to think, feel, and act accordingly in the present moment in a responsible manner; fully aware and as in control of your state of being as possible with as little negative impact as possible and responding with reasonable reaction to appropriately affect change, achieve resolution, or avoidance of further negative impact.

In its most basic form, accepting what is, means,

Accepting What Is and Let It Go

If you are not in danger, and this thing (person, place, situation, or circumstance) is not affecting you in real time, in this moment, take note of it, but do not let it upset you. If there is something you can do about it, take appropriate action, without losing your mind. If there is nothing you can do about it, let it go, and do not let it hold you back from loving, giving, and living your life in a more positive, higher vibration.

Accepting What Is and Take Action

If you are in danger, respond appropriately, without giving in to panic or over-reacting. Fight or flight are still appropriate measures if they are an effective way to respond. You should never willingly avail yourself to abuse or dangerous circumstances. Take the appropriate actions to maintain a reasonable degree of safety and security, but stay present in the moment, and do not allow your fear to overtake your ability to manage life day-to-day.

If you have faced an issue in your life, have taken action, and achieved no desirable results, this is a clear indication that Accepting What Is and Let It Go is a more appropriate course of action. Take the steps to back away, create a safe environment for yourself and focus your efforts in a more effective direction for promoting love, a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

Not Accepting What Is = Death

As harsh as it sounds, equating not accepting what is with death, seems like an exaggeration at first blush. Nonetheless, resistance to acceptance promotes emotional incongruence, which overrides your ability to reason, causes people to overreact, and respond inappropriately, i.e. “overkill” (killing a housefly with a hand grenade).

In essence, you get so upset, you want to smash anything or anyone that you disagree with or doesn’t make you feel good. While this may eliminate the source of your disdain, it does not result in making you feel much better.

Plus, the negative impact of the feelings of sadness, worry, frustration, self-righteousness, disgust, anger, and hate take an incredible toll on the psychological and physiological state of the human body, depleting energy reserves, causing rapid decline of the immune system, leading to advanced aging, propensity to contract disease, and increasing the chances of experiencing premature death.

Where is the life in that?

There is no life in not accepting what is. In fact, not accepting what is keeps us, all peoples, separated from each other, fearful, and intolerant. This is not a sustainable way of life for long. Left to itself, not accepting what is, will eventually lead to extinction of humanity.

Accepting What Is

In contrast, accepting what is, allowing what it is to be (if we are unable to change it), without judgment or criticism is approaching life with the power of love.

In fact, you can only accomplish the feat of accepting what is, and allowing who or what it is to just be, with the power of love. It takes the most powerful force in the universe to accomplish such an act.

That is quite a high expectation to have for the world. The world changes to a more loving state moment by moment every time one of its people embraces accepting what is and allowing it to be and maintains a higher vibrational state of being.

Doing so, affects your life, permeating the energy field around you from three to five feet in every direction and creates a positive, loving energetic ripple effect throughout your community and the world.

One person can make a difference and have a huge impact on creating a better world for our planet and all its creatures.

Will you be a part of the change?