“Angie, you are being such a snob,” he said the words in a way that caused me to gasp. There was a tone of disgust ringing in his words and his face wore a look of disdain. It hurt my heart for a few reasons.
- I love people! I would never want to behave snobbishly toward anyone.
- This man was supposed to love me, but he thought I was being a snob. That couldn’t be good.
- I thought I was a good person and understood that “good people” were not snobs because being a snob meant you had to be judgmental and I had been taught that I wasn’t supposed to judge other people and only “bad people” were judgmental – and therefore, only “bad people” could be snobs.
Soooo… if he thought I was a snob, what did that make me?
It was the early 1990’s and we were on the metro in Seattle; it was my first trip there. I was the epitome of a tourist, all wide-eyed and looking everywhere at once, gasping and crooning loudly every now and then. I loved seeing all the new sights, hearing all the new sounds, and smelling all the new scents.
Although, not all the scents were pleasant, like at that moment…
A large group of bedraggled people of all ages had just boarded the bus. They looked to be of Asian descent, but I couldn’t be sure. When they swarmed into the space surrounding our little bench in the already crowded bus, a cloud trailed them and wafted about me with a dizzying and sickening combination of the smell of sweat and filth mingled with what I now recognize as the scent of Thai curry, although I didn’t know that then.
Back then, I had no idea who I was or of what I was capable. I had long since turned off all my magic, forgetting that I even had magic, and had become “normal.” However, I really wasn’t normal. Because I was blocking my metaphysical senses, my human senses were on overdrive all the time, so colors could be shockingly vibrant, sounds could be painful for me even when they were at comfortable decibels for others, and aromas… well… those were the worst for me.
So that day, when they boarded the bus and surrounded me, I grew instantly nauseated. I groaned inwardly, silently, and my face scrunched up into what I’m sure was an obvious sign that I did NOT like what was happening right then. Attempting to hold back my threatening vomit, I covered my mouth, mentally coaching myself to get my act together and grow up.
I didn’t mean to be a snob. EVER! But, he had seen me sitting there, face scrunched up, covering my mouth and, in that moment, he had judged me to be a judgmental snob – the first of many such conversations as he attempted to wake me up to my dark side. It was worse than the nausea-inducing scents and oppressive heat of being stuck on the sunny side of the bus with nowhere to run.
Fast forward 25 years to today…
I have come to understand what happened that day, but it took me nearly a quarter of a century to do so. I recognize now that my sensory input was already maxed, and the aroma-filled entrance of that group of people pushed me over the edge. Also, after several miserable attempts to be “not picky” about food that other people love and making myself try different kinds of curry, I know now that I get nauseated when I eat it. Something about curry (I’ve tried red and yellow; I hear there’s a green, but I’ll skip it) does not agree with me. The smell turns my stomach. The taste coats my mouth and makes bile rise immediately.
Back then, I was convinced I was a nice person. And I was. Really. To everyone but myself. I was super mean to me on the inside, quietly, behind closed doors, whenever I looked in the mirror. I was also really focused on making sure everyone liked me – or making them like me, if I sensed they did not.
Through all of my work over the last 25 years, I have come to learn that I can only judge another or a situation through comparison, which is a separation. I have to hold myself apart from them to be able to draw a conclusion through judgment, so I know whether I need to avoid them (as I was taught in my younger years) because they believe differently than I, or if they are worthy of my attention. To be able to determine if a situation is “safe,” I have to judge it. For me, judgment has been closely linked to my need to control everything so I am “safe.” And that is all just an illusion. Even at my height of judgmental-ness, my “safety” was only a perception based on my own thoughts and what I saw when I looked at the situation or person.
For a long time, my ability to feel other people’s thoughts, other people’s judgment of me and themselves, and other people’s feelings was quite disorienting. I didn’t know I was feeling things from all around the world, sometimes before I even heard the news. And I spent a lot of time in confusion and fear because I was feeling a lot of really ugly things – things that were not in alignment with someone who loved humanity.
The first time I consciously felt another person’s judgment was on the first day of school for my daughter when she entered a private religious school for first grade. I was wearing a shirt that had tiny cap sleeves and showed my shoulder. It was a cute shirt, but in that religion, it would have been considered “immodest.”
I was helping my daughter out of the car and we were talking happily about what she imagined school would be like. Holding her hand, we stepped away from the car and walked toward the school just as I felt a force hit me in the back, strongly enough that I stumbled and nearly fell. At the same moment, I heard a voice in my head, words laced with tsk-tsk-tsk energy, “So disgusting!”
It was so audible, I was certain that when I turned around, someone would be standing there, right behind me. But, what I found instead, was a woman glaring at me from about ten feet away, as she tugged her child behind her. Her venom was so apparent that I literally felt a sting in my heart and tears filled my eyes.
Being able to feel another’s thoughts is not always a happy thing. And because of that, I have had to develop a sort of seventh sense that is able to discern what is mine and what belongs to the rest of the world.
But… how is discernment different from judgment? Is it different?
I’ve gotten really curious about those two questions lately, as I’ve looked at myself, how I operate in the world, and if I want to continue being of service to humanity in the ways that I am as an Energy Healer. For me, it’s important that I am in integrity at all times and being in judgment feels like a breach in my integrity. But is discernment also a breach?
It’s possible that I’m arguing semantics, here, but what I’ve come to understand is that judgment is very closed off, it comes from a space of good/bad, right/wrong, and it is filled with the energy of control, fear, instability, and scarcity. I’ve also noticed that, with judgment, there is not a lot of room for growth or transformation. When something or someone has been judged, it is as though it has been signed, sealed, and delivered as that being the only truth.
Discernment, for me, is a powerful magical tool! I have come to see it as my ability to recognize what matches me, what is in alignment with my intention on this planet, my Purpose. Discernment is the practice of noticing where Love is and heading toward that. Rather than being closed off, discernment is curious, loving, open, and ever-changing. Because I am ever-changing, it only makes sense that my view is also ever-changing, which means I need to allow for everything and everyone around me to have room for change, as well. With discernment, I can see the alignment in that moment and move toward it, embrace it, live it. And then, when I change and the scene changes and the people around me change, I can look again and discover that magic is, indeed, all around me because I have allowed the evolution.
And what does this have to do with my memories of Seattle?
That day on the bus, I was being a snob! I was being judgmental! I had closed off to the sensations and the wonder and the curiosity of it all because I was in overwhelm. I had not allowed myself to be me, authentically, so when I got pushed beyond what I could tolerate, I reverted to judging and closure as a form of protecting myself.
If you are finding yourself in judgment, holding yourself separate from others as a means of proving where you are right/better/higher/superior in comparison – or are receiving feedback that you are – it is an opportunity to take a step back, breathe, and ask yourself, “Where am I closed off? Where am I being inauthentic? Where am I blocking Love?”
Because, as I’ve said before and will say again, LOVE is a unifying force. If you are in judgment, you are not in Love.
Choose. Love. Now.
© Angie K. Millgate 2016