He cheated on his wife with a much younger employee.
She abandoned her newborn baby.
He drinks until he beats his children.
She manipulates her feminine wiles to get what she wants from men.
He took their hard-earned money and then squandered it for selfish motives.
She killed him.
He raped her.
She sells her body for money.
He heads up a sex trafficking ring.
She molests children.
He sells drugs to teenagers.
You might judge all of these people, labeling them as “immoral” or “wrong.” But as I described in my blog about being “spiritual but not religious,” I think spirituality is largely about choosing to withhold judgment, trusting that everyone’s soul is on its own journey, learning what it’s here to learn, and everyone is entitled to their own journey. I’m in no way condoning such behavior, but what if, instead of your judgment, you could perceive these individuals as suffering beings and offer them your love and compassion instead? What if Reverend John Watson was right when he said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle?” What if we all grew our empathy muscles instead of judging?
If we’re not mindful, it’s easy to plunge into the New Year with a sense of lack, disappointment, or frustration about what didn’t go perfectly. But when we take a moment to reflect back on what we are grateful for, what went well, and how much we’ve accomplished, it shifts your perception from a glass half-empty perspective to a glass half-full one, and that type of shift attracts more abundance, joy, love, and success.
So I invite you to try this two-part exercise. Today, we’ll focus on Part One, and in the next blog post, we’ll complete the exercise.
Start by reflecting back over 2012, starting last January. Pull out your calendar if your memory needs a jog. Make a list of your accomplishments - not just professional ones, but personal or spiritual growth areas as well.
I’ll go first.