As I am going deeper and deeper into teaching people to feel their feelings, so they can return to the Tree of Life, I am on uncharted territory. I encounter stuff that has always been there... and in this new context it hits me funny... weird... illogical... counter intuitive: to me.
Whenever I see things from the level I am, most of the things I see are things I have never had, and therefore they are new to me. Unfamiliar... Alien.
Such is the thing i want to write now: the delusion that you need to meet everyone's expectation of you.
That it is your duty to be good enough for everyone, fast enough, smart enough, deep enough, pretty enough, successful enough, to deserve to live.
Talk about freedom to be yourself... I remember when I wept about that possibility myself... because the world, society, your family, your friends, they are a sea of disapproval.
... or you'll disappoint them, or you'll make them judge you.
Let them judge...
You know, there is a story somewhere in the New Testament, about the woman who was caught in cheating on her husband, if I remember the situation correctly.
She escapes into the temple and Jesus is there...
And Jesus says: let the man who is blameless throw the first stone... And the men all leave. No one is blameless.
Weren't blameless then, and aren't blameless now.
Judging is saying that you are blameless... which is a lie.
I used to judge. And in 1996 I stopped judging. I have been assessing.
The difference is that the "I" isn't involved. It is not "I know and therefore I am better"... no. I have taken out the ego... the one that hurts AND CAN GET HURT.
Judgmental people also take others' judgments of them or their actions really hard.
It feels like it devalues their "I"... but unless you don't have a firm"I", it cannot be devalued.
If I say about some perfectly good milk that it's sour... it won't make it sour. Sourness is independent of my judgment. Or my assessment. There is a reality: and inside that reality what I say doesn't make it so.
Not for the milk, not for me.
Now... this was just a preamble to the real delusion:
The real delusion is that you need to meet everyone's expectations of you.
The inner software based need, the need to meet the expectation of others simply means: in order to be able to live in society, you need to honor the basic laws (the Ten Commandments should be enough) and that is that.
I would add another, because it's been coming up: carry your own weight. Don't be a user. Don't be a leech. It's a form of theft... but I am sure you haven't seen it that way.
With these 10 plus one rules, at least meaning to obey, you have fulfilled the need, or are fulfilling the need to meet the expectation of others.
If you still feel obligation and resistance, maybe even hate when you don't feel that you are free to be yourself: you are dealing, unwittingly, with this delusion.
I don't expect you, for example, to be different than you are. I expect you, if you are in the 67 steps, to do the work as if your life depended on it. Because it does.
And if and when I do expect you to do different... that is my issue... You are free to ignore it, or you are free to feel compassion for me for being disappointed, or feeling like I am pissing in the wind. Compassion.
If and when your "I" gets devalued by what somebody else says... you still have no self.
Whether your I is delusional, inflated, or accurate... it is immaterial. You'll deal with the size of your "I" after other people's opinion is defanged... (render harmless or ineffectual.) dethroned, taken out of the picture.
You want to be left with yourself.
Trust me, being with judgmental people was child's play compared to what you will need to go through with yourself.
But at least the battle between you and you will lead to growth, while your delusional slavish relationship with others' judgment, real or imaginary, where you have no freedom to grow.