I had a pet. It was actually not so much a pet as a dangerous and destructive rodent. It lived in my chest. It fed on self-righteous indignation. Sometimes it had a voracious appetite, other times I hardly knew it was there. I tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away. Just when I thought that it might have taken up residence under someone else’s porch, a self-righteous thought popped into my consciousness and the hungry little rodent scurried out, snatched it up, and gnawed at its bones. I hated that animal. I hated the self-satisfied feeling I got when the vile creature chewed on its prey and the ugly critical thoughts kept coming and coming.
The scenario went something like this. I would be doing the dishes, laundry or some other mundane chore. Then I thought about how I’d been wronged in some way or another. By deeming someone else’s actions as “wrong”, I was casting myself in the role of “right”. Taking a sip of the sickly fermented sweetness of self-righteous indignation, I felt a sense of control. And my ego loves to be in control. So I took another sip. After all, I had the right to be angry. I was neglected. Taken for granted. Ignored. Overworked. Under-appreciated. Held down. Wrongfully accused. Criticized. Judged. Made to feel small. I didn’t deserve it.
But in the back of my mind, a danger light was flashing. Warning: thoughts create. Warning: thoughts create. Warning: thoughts create.
Every day, in every moment, we choose to create from our higher self or from our lower self. Thoughts of judgement and self-righteous indignation bubble up from our lower selves. And here’s the kicker. Those negative thoughts are often a response to someone else who is feeding their own thoughts of self-righteous indignation.
Self-righteous indignation and judgement live in the past. We don’t judge future events. We judge past events. By letting go of critical thoughts, we create a wide open future of possibility and promise. We can expect something good to occupy that future space. We can expect an outcomes that delight us. Right now, in this moment, we can create a brand new outcome by choosing to create from our higher selves.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” There is no such thing as two unhappy people creating happiness, two discontented people creating contentment, or two critical people creating peace and understanding. At some point, we have to acknowledge that ultimate truth is a fools game. Only a fool believes they are truly more “right” than everyone else. We each have our own independent perspective and our own perspective is the only thing that is 100% in our control. We are capable of changing our perspective any time we want. And our capacity to change perspectives PROVES there is no ultimate truth!
Each thought is like a drop of water that flows in a negative or positive direction. Following those negative thought rivulets tied to past injuries leads nowhere. Your little streams find themselves in the flat, empty wasteland of an emotional desert. Digging deeper rivulets does nothing but get you farther into the desert.
But each drop of water, each thought, presents new opportunity. Focus on future possibility instead of past injury. Allow higher self to win over lower self. And each drop, each thought created from a positive future-oriented viewpoint will create new rivulets that are JUST AS EASY TO FOLLOW and infinitely more rewarding than the negative rivulets. These little channels connect with little brooks and happy streams as they follow their merry way to the river.
Life is meant to be fun. Why feed our inner animal the meager bones of self-righteous indignation and judgement when we can feast on the delicious abundance of joy, keenly aware of life’s blessings and magic? It starts with seeking forgiveness, acknowledging that the other person is feeling the exact sense of self-righteous indignation we have been feeling. They are feeling neglected. Taken for granted. Ignored. Overworked. Under-appreciated. Held down. Wrongfully accused. Criticized. Judged. Made to feel small. They don’t deserve it. We need to ask for forgiveness for making them feel that way. That is the only true path to peace and mutual understanding.
Christy, so well written and so incredibly true. I think I will plan to read this every morning as I start my day, a gentle reminder.