How often do you judge your choices and beliefs? How much do you judge others? I recently stayed up late reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I didn’t want to put it down. Although I thought it was poorly written, I felt the characters were well developed. I could relate to them. Soon afterward, a couple spiritual teachers I admire posted on Facebook about how boring they thought it was and that they couldn’t complete it. Immediately, my inner judge started criticizing me.
Does liking it mean that I’m not spiritual enough? Should I admit that I liked it? Are you going to judge me for admitting it? Is there something wrong with me? Am I hanging out with the wrong crowd?
We all have moments when something unexpectedly sets us off. When this happens, it’s important to remember that we are all unique and that we can choose to grow from it. There are no right or wrong choices. There are many more than Fifty Shades of Spiritual Growth. You can grow through practicing Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, or many other religions. You can grow by practicing no religion or by practicing a combination of religions. Each religion has its own beliefs. Every person, religious or not, has their own beliefs and their own growth path. You can grow through music, movement, meditation, belief work, readings, and other spiritual practices. You can love Fifty Shades of Grey or you can hate it. Whatever you believe is fine. It’s not good or bad. It just is.
When your judge starts attacking, you can choose to look at your beliefs and see whether they come from love or fear. Are you holding them by choice or because you feel you have to? If I convince myself not to like Fifty Shades of Grey because I believe that I’m not spiritual enough if I like it, or I won’t fit in if I like it, then my choice is fear-based. If you don’t like the book because it doesn’t resonate with your heart, then your choice is love-based. If I convince myself I should like the book because everybody in my pole dancing class likes it, my choice is fear-based. If I like the book because I relate to the characters and shared some of their same issues when I was growing up, my choice is love-based. If I don’t share my opinion on the book because of what you think, my action is fear-based. If I don’t share my opinion because I choose to spend my time doing something else, my action is love-based. As I evolve, I might discover that I don’t like the book anymore or I might like it more. Whatever you believe now or in the future is perfect, and there is no need to judge it.
Next time you hear your inner judge questioning your choices, you can lovingly respond, “Thank you for sharing. I am happy with the way I believe.” And if you aren’t happy, then change your beliefs until you are. There are Infinite Shades of Beliefs.