I hear variations on this theme every day:
“I feel bad that I . . .”
“I feel so guilty that . . .”
“I wish I could . . .”
“I’m afraid that . . .”
When difficulties arise, we tend to wallow in:
- our fears that everything will turn out badly.
- our fears that we’ll be hurt.
- our guilt that we “should” have done something different.
- our wishes that things would magically become different.
What a waste to wallow in these judgments and feelings. They don’t help a bit.
As I was talking to Brianne, she said, “I feel bad about how I’ve treated my husband. I’m afraid that—”
I couldn’t help interrupting, because I’ve heard almost every variation on what follows words like that. “No,” I said, “your perspective is entirely wrong. Your judgments are wrong.”
“In what way?” she asked.
“What do you have now that you didn’t have two weeks ago? What’s different?”
“You love me?”
“Say it without asking a question.”
“You love me.”
“Yes, I do. And I will keep loving you, and guiding you. If you really get that, your feelings and reactions will automatically change. If you KNOW that you’re loved, how would you feel right now?”
“I guess I’d be happy.”
“Yes, you would. And what else?”
When we have the love and guidance we need, we don’t begin our sentences with “I feel bad,” or “I’m afraid. Instead we begin speaking with
“I’m happy that . . .”
“I’m grateful that . . .”
“I’m looking forward to . . .”
“I’m glad that I can . . .”
Without Real Love, we really don’t have a choice about our judgments. We can judge only that the world is without love, and that we are worthless and prisoners to pain. But once we feel unconditionally loved, we can choose our judgments, and then our feelings and words and actions naturally follow. It’s all about choosing the right judgments.
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