To judge someone has been considered a pejorative act since biblical times and is encapsulated in the saying, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Judgment is considered a bad thing because the object of that judgment is often offended or hurt.

On Sunday the obese Hilda wears a short, low cut, brightly colored dress to church. Joe, the usher, judges her and says, “For God's sake old woman, tone it down will you? Nobody wants to look at your ugly bod.”

Some in the congregation might consider that such a dress is inappropriate, and might be offended.

What happens when Joe judges Hilda?

Joe first has to look inside himself and find something negative.

Joe has been taught to think: “Obese people are ugly and shouldn’t advertise themselves.” This thought generates negative emotion for Joe. But why would Hilda be hurt or offended by Joe’s statement?

When Hilda got up on Sunday morning she felt awfully good; the sun was shining, she had a good rest, she was looking forward to the church dinner and talking with her friends and, as a special treat, she was going to have a talk with that nice pastor who was thinking of displaying some of her art work in the church foyer.

So that morning, Hilda was feeling expansive and joyful; she gazed in her closet and saw the bright yellow print dress she'd been longing to wear since the cold gray day last winter when it caught her eye in the clothing store. Oh, why not! she says. Let’s put it on today and shine our light out into the world!

When Joe, the surly usher, makes his judgmental comment to Hilda as she walks into the church surrounded by her fellow parishioners, he thinks he is making a statement about Hilda, but really he is making a statement only about himself. Joe’s comment is merely a reflection of his own prejudice and has nothing to do with Hilda, even though Hilda is wearing a dress that could be considered by many to be in bad taste.

Let's look at it from Hilda's point of view.

As she walks past Joe just outside the church doors, Hilda is feeling wonderful about herself. For the first time in a long time she is walking comfortably and she loves the feel and look of the dress. When Joe makes his insensitive remark, Hilda has two choices: (1) to continue in a state of connection with herself, or (2) to decide that Joe's statement is hurtful.

There is no reason whatsoever for Hilda to do (2), except that the meme “When someone says something mean to you, you have to react in kind” is powerfully established within the consciousness of all present (and generally in society). Therefore, the expected behavior is: Hilda flushes, becomes sad and cries; or perhaps, Hilda gets angry and whacks Joe over the head with her cherry wood walking stick.

This expectation creates a powerful vibration within all present. Hilda is immersed in that space and, along with Joe, is the center of attention for a split second as all wait to see how Hilda will react. All understand implicitly, even if not consciously, that the Law of Free Will and the Law of Vibration are in effect. All present understand that Hilda has complete control over her response, for only Hilda can make the decision whether to respond as in (1) or (2).

The Law of Attraction is the next to come into play, for whatever is Hilda's decision will determine the responses to her, from those around her.

Let’s say Hilda caves in, begins to cry, and drops her cherished walking stick to the ground. Now all in the vicinity respond according to the vibration which Hilda has brought forth: some angrily criticize Joe, others put their arms around Hilda, comforting her, some angrily go to the pastor and demand the removal of such an insensitive usher, and a few silently say “Amen” in agreement with Joe. The responses will be varied because the Law of Free Will is always in effect.

The point is, the responses of the others to Hilda are entirely generated from Hilda's free will decisions, not Joe’s.

This may seem absurd until we think about what happens if Hilda does (1) instead of (2).

Joe says: “For God's sake old woman, tone it down will you? Nobody wants to look at your ugly bod.”

Hilda, feeling wonderful about herself, smiles and says cheerfully, “That's OK Joe, you probably didn't get our coffee this morning,” and without a backward glance seats herself in her accustomed pew.

What are the responses of the others in this case?

Irritation at Joe, perhaps even downright hostility; but toward Hilda, people smile, chuckle to themselves and say, “Hilda is in a good mood this morning!”

The others respond in this way because they were poised vibrationally upon a teeter-totter. Hilda's vibrational signal, thrown into the mix, determines whether the group vibe swings one way or the other.

It is now possible that the tone level of the group will be largely undisturbed by Joe’s comment, for Hilda has reminded everyone how grouchy Joe is early in the morning when he doesn’t have at least 2 cups of coffee in him. It is well known that on Sunday mornings Joe’s wife, encouraging him to better himself, browbeats him to volunteer at the church. Hilda’s attitude and her insightful understanding of Joe’s situation not only promote a cheerful vibrational outcome for her, but may also prompt some in the group to even feel a little sympathy for Joe.

Hilda's cheerful response may even bring Joe up the emotional tone scale to the point where the group's response to him is positive as well, and everyone simply laughs the whole thing off. The point is, Hilda gets to determine not only the outcome for her, but may also effect a positive outcome for all in the group.

This little tale (based on a true story) just illustrates the theme of these essays: that a human being is an immortal conscious personality associated with a physical body, with free will and sovereignty to choose. Even in everyday situations the power of consciousness, aligned with the laws of the universe, can bring about positive change in the world. Our little example reminds us that we have complete control over the way we feel about ourselves; it reminds us of our own power and how we often give it unnecessarily away to others.

Easier said than done of course. But in these crazy, insensitive times where intolerance is high, it’s good to remind ourselves that we can be in control of our reactions to the insensitivity and stupidity of others.

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