Recently I posted something on my Facebook wall that created quite an unexpected stir. It was a list titled “The 12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening.” The original source of this list is unknown. When I did a web search for its origin, it came up on numerous sites, both religious and non-religious.
The idea of “spiritual awakening” is what got people quite befuddled, I think. Spiritual awakening at its core means a religious experience involving a shift in how one views reality. This term refers to any of a wide range of experiences, including being born again and near-death experiences, not just what some might consider new age thinking. Regardless of what spiritual awakening truly means, the list struck a chord with me because it was about living an unselfish and non-judgmental life, something I think many of us strive to achieve. It is certainly the kind of life I hope my children achieve. Perhaps a better title would have been “The 12 Symptoms of a Contented Life” or “The 12 Characteristics of a Secure Individual.”
Numbers 10 and 11 on the list stuck with me the most:
- A loss of interest in judging others.
- A loss of interest in judging self.
These are probably the two most important things I could teach my children, and certainly two things that I need to work on daily. When a few of my friends made negative comments about the post, something I posted as a reminder of what kind of a person I want to be, my initial response was hurt. OK, maybe a little bit of anger too. I felt defensive and attacked. I felt judged. But then I re-read the list and remembered why I liked it in the first place.
I hope to face each day without judgment — both of myself and of others — because then I feel like I am more apt to give freely, love without conditions and cherish each person in my life for who they are at this moment, regardless of their race, religion, sexuality or even political perspectives. What kind of role model do you want to be for your children?
“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
― Wayne W. Dyer