Sleeping homeless people crowded every open doorway and
overhang. They lay on tattered cardboard mats and newspaper – the lucky
wrapped in blankets or sleeping bags and others huddled under layered
clothing – their heads covered in wooly caps. Sidewalks and gutters
saturated with urine brought to mind an outdoor latrine whose smell
could not be escaped in the damp morning air.
The San Francisco sky was heavy with fog that left a cloud of moisture clinging to my face as I walked to Pete’s for my morning espresso. As I approached the street corner, a homeless man sat up and leaned against the doorway of where he’d slept.
Jumbled in a heap beside him, in a filthy burrow of despair, was fishing net
stuffed with clothes tied in a tight ball, a torn plastic Safeway bag that brimmed with crushed aluminum cans and his bedding in a tangled mass of guarded treasure. His feet were bare and blackened with street grime, his toenails shockingly yellow and long and the odor of his unwashed body wafted toward me carried in the mist. Webbed with deep cracks that looked raw and painful, his swollen hands shook as he carefully opened a pint sized bottle that contained his salvation and lifted it reverently to his lips.
I watched the man and thought -What a shame – Poor man, what a waste. – The voice was immediate, – Who are we – It asked – to judge our brother? Perhaps a hundred people pass by him today, forever changed by his presence. Can it be his gift to us? Does he live exactly as his soul intends, how can we know?
I was stung with the arrogance of my thoughts and felt embarrassment spread to my cheeks. I believed my thoughts were compassionate and didn’t see the judgment in them. Instantly, my critical opinion and limiting thoughts were exposed. The homeless man stared blankly into the street – caught in his own reverie as I passed – but after that morning – when I found myself in judgment of others – thinking that I knew a better path for them – I remembered the voice and worked hard to let my judgment go and look within to discover what my real fear or self-judgment was.
We judge ourselves and others everyday, multiple times a day.
We judge for simple things like, someones driving or what we wear. We
judge for belief systems, political view’s, speech, what one looks like
or their ethnicity. We frequently judge for decisions in life or a
chosen direction, labeling things “good or bad” or certain that we know
a better way.
We are so convinced of our well meaning judgement, that we make our love and support conditional, based on our idea of what or who one should be. It’s easy to convince ourselves that our judgement is about those we direct it toward, but the truth is, judgement is always about us and never about who we are judging.
The act of judging keeps us from acceptance, forgiveness,
healing and from experiencing authentic relationships. It keeps us from
ourselves. I wonder how many judgments we make in one hour or one day? I
wonder if we can notice how each limiting thought makes us feel?
Setting a conscious intention each day to be aware of how and when we judge can be the first step in changing our pattern. But watch out! Don’t judge yourself for judging, just notice when it happens and then let the judgment fly from your heart like a flock of birds. Ahhh, I feel better already.
I am nearing the finish line!! I have submitted the manuscript to eighteen readers who are giving their response. I am deeply grateful. Here are some samples:
Many times throughout the book I just got goosebumps, and that doesn’t happen very often with books that I read.
Nita, I loved the story so much. Although it was painful in many ways, it was also quite captivating and incredibly emotional. I just wanted to reach out and hug that little girl throughout the story and in my opinion, when you connect with a reader this strongly through emotion; you are on to something magical. At first, I was a bit disoriented with the writing style as you moved from one perspective to another but I quickly caught on and actually ended up greatly appreciating it throughout the story as I anticipated the next shift in perspective. I think it adds tremendously to the story and I do believe you will attract a movie deal that will be strongly influenced by this writing method. The content is incredible, ghastly, beautiful, spiritual and tremendously compelling. When the story was over, I was wishing for more.
I loved your writing style….moving from one perspective to another….very, very compelling. It actually promotes the reader to engage…..it shifts the energy from reading mindlessly so to speak to requiring you to be on your toes a bit…..which is incredible to me.
I just finished the book and all I can say is WOW! Just wow, but I will get into that later.I would give this story 15 out of 10. It was unbelievable…
Thank you again for your support and patience. I missed the
newsletter quarterly date because I am so focused on finishing this
manuscript. I do still give readings and tend to book up fast these days
so call to schedule soon!
480-659-7714 or 602-448-4703