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Set your mind free

Set your mind free

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by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
May 27, 2020

Today is May 27, 2020, and we’ve been sheltering at home for more than three months. Last Friday, San Luis Obispo County moved into a new stage, allowing restaurants and retail stores to open for business with safety parameters.

I visited a favorite local boutique and had a blast looking at clothes, observing people, and feeling free at last. I noticed that most people wore masks except for two or three who did not. I wondered what they might have been thinking to themselves and realized perhaps they forgot to bring their mask along. Rather than go into judgment, I also realized it was not my job to be concerned with others. It’s up to me to do my part and to be safe in the manner that I feel works best for me to protect myself and others. If I’m in a place that doesn’t feel safe, I shall promptly leave.

As we all begin to be slowly set free, let’s be sure to be diligent in keeping our minds free. Free from the need to be judgmental, that is.

In its most innocent form, judgment is more like discernment, such as when there is a need to decide or determine something. For example, when out hiking and you come to a fork in the trail. You need to make a judgment call on which path to take. That type of judgment is more of a discernment that is innocent and necessary.

The kind of judgment I’m speaking about liberating yourself from is more than drawing a conclusion or making a reckoning. It has negative, snappy energy attached to it, which is not in alignment with your highest and best self.

Friends, as we re-enter the world and see people not wearing masks, rather than condemning them, let’s bless them. Let’s raise and praise them in the name of love. This is one way to keep your mind free. It doesn’t serve you to get upset and express your disapproval.

When you are judging and condemning others, you are not loving. This harsh judging and condemnation is not something that affects the other person; it affects you and your consciousness. The following quote has been attributed to Buddha: “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Yes, you deserve your love and affection. You can distance yourself from others for as long as you need to while raising and praising them from afar.

One may think they do not ever condemn themselves. To be clear, when you judge or condemn another, you’re not doing anything to the other person. You’re doing something to yourself, within your consciousness, which means you are essentially condemning yourself.

The world needs your love right now. Unkink that hose of condemnation that is constricting your ability to be the free and full expression of love and light you came here to be.

Set your mind free.

And so it is.

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

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