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To be happy, give up judgment

What you think, and the judgments you make, will either make you happy or sad. The mind is a beautiful thing to change. It is up to you to change it.

When the judgmental mind — the angry, worried ego — is silenced, then there is calmness and unity. Time to take the breath of deep peace.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it seems everyone is pretty miserable. Things are not normal. Our lives have been disrupted.

How are you feeling? Maybe the better question is, “what are you thinking?” Because whatever you are thinking, there is a 99% chance your feelings have something to do with it. I go in and out of worry and depression, but then I remember I’m grateful for those who are on the front lines dealing with it and those who continue to work to keep the world running as well as it is.

The only way to sidestep misery is to be aware of how you perceive the situation. Perhaps a change of mind is in order. You are 100% responsible for what and how you think, judge, understand and perceive the outside world. We have a choice regarding how we interpret things and situations. If we see something as awful or terrible, we are making a judgment, the ego is in charge and the mind is fixed. If we can accept that we don’t know what something is really about, we can relax and view what goes on around us with an iota of lenience — just a little. We then begin to open the mind to the idea of discernment versus condemnation. With discernment the mind is open to the idea that we can be tolerant. With condemnation the mind is closed, locked, never to be swayed and forever miserable.

I’m thinking of wearing masks as I write this, but it could be anything that disturbs your peace. I think everyone should wear a mask. I don’t like them, because they restrict air and I need air, but I wear one anyway. I can understand why someone would choose not to, but I want peace. So I have to change my mind, on the spot, adding a dash of tolerance and mercy to my thoughts. Just because I disagree, I do not have to allow hatred or anger, thus bringing misery to myself. I can see either love or the call for love. And the call for love is for them and also to “me, myself and I.” My mind needs love and peace as well as theirs. The ego does not have to run and ruin my day, my life. I choose to sideline the dominant ego’s thought system and choose charity and mercy and, by the way, make myself happy.

When we give mercy and respect to others, we hold mercy and respect for ourselves too. We don’t realize how much needless unconscious guilt we pile on our psyche with righteous judgments and opinions feeling certain we are right. Do I want to be right or happy? I let go of the conviction that I know what’s right when in fact I don’t.

We like to think that we know it all. But we don’t know what our soul needs to experience or lessons we have come to learn, until they arrive at our doorstep. We don’t know someone else’s lessons either. One thing we can always do, when we remember we want to be happy, is to offer love and acceptance with our thoughts. You don’t have to say a thing. I’m not saying this is easy, but it is imperative to train the mind to choose calmness in the face of horror or fear.

We are responsible for “how we see and how we interpret things and situations.” It is the mercy within that allows grace to bring a new perception instead of separation and judgment. Look through the eyes of peace and you will have peace and you will be happy.

Sally McKirgan facilitates the Inner Peace column and “A Course In Miracles” Zoom study group. See her blog at www.innerpeaceforyou.com. Email 600- to 700-word articles to innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.