“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight ….And you look at the tree and you allow it. …You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” Ram Dass
“We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive. The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy.” Henri Nouwen
“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” Thomas Merton
“To love someone is … to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say, ‘You’re beautiful. You’re important.'” Jean Vanier
“Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’
when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?” – Jesus
Moving From Head to Heart
- God’s job is to judge, and ours is to love. Can you leave the judging to God? could that free you to love? free you “for mercy?”
- Can you start by letting others be “perfectly themselves?” If not, why not?
- How effective are you at revealing to others that they’re “beautiful … important?”
Abba, help me love well by appreciating instead of evaluating.
Thanks for reading! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)