MIDWEEK MESSAGE – January 31, 2024

I have to admit that sometimes, I am quick to make judgments. Thank God I have learned, most of the time, to pause before I act on any judgments made.

It rained all day on Sunday, so I went to the movies to see Oppenheimer. The theater I go to has recliner seats, which I love because I have trouble sitting without them, especially when, like Oppenheimer, the movie is long.

When I got to the theater, they told me Oppenheimer was in the IMAX theater, and when I got into the IMAX theater, I discovered there were no reclining seats. The coming attractions were playing, and the noise was so loud I thought this would be terrible. I must listen to this loud volume and sit in seats that don’t recline! Based on the judgment that I would not enjoy the movie because of the sound and seats, I almost walked out.

Fortunately, I paused, giving myself a chance to think. My next thought was that I really wanted to see this movie so that I will stay. The movie was phenomenal, and seeing it and IMAX was a treat. I had no idea it was even a possibility.

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the movie, but I made it the whole three hours sitting in that seat because I couldn’t bear to tear myself away even to go to the ladies’ room.   I did not notice the sound being loud, the picture being overwhelming, or the seats not being comfortable because I was so engrossed in the movie; none of that previous judgment turned out to be valid.  I am so glad that I did not act on my initial judgment.

So often in life, we make rash decisions based on quick judgments. The saying “do not judge a book by the cover” is true not just of people but other situations as well.  A tool to help us avoid making rash, erroneous decisions is to pause when we are agitated or annoyed at something. We can breathe and ask ourselves how important whatever is bothering us is.

When we do that, we find ourselves open to new adventures, new situations, and many gifts that we would miss out on if we had reacted based on our first impression.  I hope I remember it the next time (I start to make a judgment.

Quote of the Week

“Non-judgment isn’t about stopping judgments from ever arising – that’s impossible….Instead, it’s about changing your relationship to your judgments. Knowing that they’re temporary thoughts and you don’t need to be swept away by them just because they arise in your mind.”

Patrick Buggy

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