There once was a man and woman who fell in love, got married, and bought an attractive home together. The husband grew up in a home with many children and an overworked mother who struggled to keep the house clean. Dust, disarray, and clutter were the norm. Though he greatly appreciated neat tidy spaces, it could also be said that he was at perfectly comfortable in a mess.
One day, he found his wife pouting on the sofa. He had known something was amiss for a few days, perhaps it would now finally come to the surface.
“What’s wrong?” he inquired.
“I know that you resent me for not keeping the house clean, but I have been so busy with my responsibilities on the committee, my boss has given me extra work, and this flu has sapped up all of my extra energy this week. I know you are always mad at me for the house being a mess. I am really hurt that you are so upset with me. That’s why I’ve been staying away from you, that’s why I won’t hug or kiss you, that’s why I’m so cold – because I know you are mad at me. How am I supposed to be loving to you when I know you are angry with me over something like this?”
The husband was shocked. In his own mind, just earlier that day, he had been contemplating how beautiful their home was and how grateful he was for it. The current state of housekeeping was vastly superior to anything he had grown up with. In his eyes, he didn’t even see a mess. All he saw was a beautiful home with an angry wife.
He tried to console her, but she did not believe him. She continued to attack him for being angry at her for not keeping the house spotless. This pattern continued for some time.
The husband felt helpless, like a shipwrecked boy floating at sea on a tiny life raft, with no help in sight for months. At times his desperation started to taste something like anger for her construction of this artificial problem – but it wasn’t real anger. Few things could sadden him more than her accusations of him feeling a way that he truly did not. A deep, profound despair took residence in his heart as he contemplated the futility of the situation. There was nothing he could do to convince her otherwise. If he helped more around the house, she would see it as evidence that he was, in fact, so upset with her that he was taking matters into his own hands. If he did not help, she further resented that he was part of the problem. He was utterly powerless to help her – not because he himself lacked power, but because she would have no part of it.
If housekeeping was the only area in which the wife experienced this way of thinking, their marriage would have been salvageable. Humans typically don’t compartmentalize habits of the heart, though. Her self criticism crept into every other area of life. Money, friends, work, sex… Brick by brick she laid an impenetrable wall, turning their marriage into a stale cavern of tears. Eventually, the marriage ended. Both were devastated, both had radically different stories about what happened. So much potential, so little realized.
So it is with our relationship with The Divine. (Call it what you want. For the sake of brevity, I’ll call it a few simple things, sometimes I’ll use the word God.) We emanate from a Source of ultimate creative power that we don’t fully comprehend. It is our heritage, and our destination, to grow eternally in our powers of creation. If a God exists, I am certain that it’s main objective is to nurture us into beings like unto itself, masters of all creative powers.
Look at the ancient and modern wisdom that’s been put on the earth: Vast amounts of it are aimed at convincing humans to stop judging. God has gone so far as to play a cosmic game of Santa Claus – a temporary charade that’s intended to get us going in the right direction, even if we aren’t fully mature enough to understand the real reasons yet. He’s allowed the perpetuation of stories that should empower humans to relieve themselves of the judging duties and hand them off to someone that’s better equipped for the job: Think of the thousand of tales in all cultures that God, in fact, is the great judge, that there will be a great day of judgement, and thus, no other human needs to be concerned with judging. Taking it a step further into near absurdity, there even exists a story about God sending his only Son in the flesh, to come down here, get horribly abused, suffer, and die, on behalf of all “sinners” – taking upon him the sins of all the world – just in an effort to convince us humans to CALM DOWN AND STOP JUDGING. There are countless ceremonies, rites of passage, rituals, all of which are a “Dumbo’s Feather” of sorts – intended to give each of us permission to feel “clean”, “forgiven” so that just maybe we’ll stop judging – others, and ourselves – and get on with the joy of creation.
While it’s true that on some level, the wife was judging her husband, it all emanated from judging herself. In the court of her own self criticism, she became the judge, jury, and executioner – and thus, unable to consider any evidence to the contrary. All of the promises of marriage became impossible and moot.
The dilemma of the married couple is a dilemma of human nature, and may be rightfully multiplied by many thousands as we contemplate our true relationship to God. God loves us vastly more. The minutia we judge ourselves against are, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant. The consequences of the rift between you and God are cosmic in scale.
God does not judge us. As we let go of the baseless assumption that God disapproves of us, as we accept our own unique perfection in God’s eyes, we’ll find that relationship to our Creative Power improving exponentially. This, I believe, is where the bliss begins.
This is writing is beautiful and profound. Resonates deep with me. Thank you Paul.
I’m glad it connected with you, NM 🙂
Did you write this? It’s beautiful. Really. You are a friend of a friend, which led me to your page, here. I really love this.
Yes, I wrote it. Thank you very much, I’m glad it resonated with you.