By Alecia Rice
Q: I’ve been accused of being “judgy” which surprises me. This brings up the question as to how we know when we’re judging someone, have attachments, or still have our own unhealed places that require further attention? — Judgy Judy
A: Dear Judgy Judy,
This is an excellent topic to visit during these times of contrasting divisiveness. If more people pondered this question, our seeming divisions would heal because our focus would be placed upon ourselves, where we can effect change, rather than on others whom we have no control over.
Conscious energy management prompts us to detach and pay attention to the feelings in our bodies and how our mind reels when we encounter something that’s contrary to what we think or feel. If an encounter sets the mind perseverating in loops long afterward or generates a strong physical/mental/emotional reaction that causes us to want to lash out to change someone’s mind, we’ve come upon an issue showing where we’re attached, unwhole or judging another. These feelings are cues to dive deeper inside ourselves to address the energy of our own negativity and need to change another by seeking a new perspective that’s more balanced with less charge. When we’re triggered by another, the energy that we feel inside is ours to own, not because of them. They’re the symptom and we are the cause. Nothing can trigger us in our balanced and whole places because that energy is confident and smooth so there’s nothing to snag or hook into.
Being unattached doesn’t mean that we just throw our hands up, carelessly allowing injustice or wrongs to run rampant and unchallenged in the world. It means that we still care, speak up and act—grounding and rooting what’s right and just. At the same time, we’re unattached and unmoved by contrasting beliefs and the feelings of others. It means that we don’t project energy upon others because we’re right and they’re wrong. The bridge comes when we approach with curiosity and compassion as to why we each might feel so differently—seeking understanding for what we can’t affect, what we judge, have energy about, or don’t understand.
Q: I often encounter homeless people begging for money, which makes me uncomfortable. I feel conflicted between wanting to help but being concerned that they’re scammers, or using the money for drugs or alcohol. How might I reconsider this? — Conflicted Giver
A: Dear Conflicted Giver,
Many encounter these situations with varying degrees of discomfort. It’s an individual decision as to how we choose to respond. Options depend upon whether we’re willing to offer money or have a personal policy against doing so.
Do for another what you would have done for you. There are many who have fallen on hard times and are homeless due to job loss, substance abuse or some untimely misfortune. Street people say they feel invisible because people don’t acknowledge them. As conscious, compassionate people, I suggest acknowledging their presence (if it feels safe) with eye contact, a smile, and/or a blessing such as “God Bless” so we don’t lose our sense of humanity by closing our eyes and treating them as if they are less than us.
There are also many with mental health issues or addictions. I advise caution with these interactions when people are talking to themselves or seem under the influence. We must care for ourselves first. Putting ourselves out there when something doesn’t feel right can put us in danger.
This raises the question as to whether to give money that may be used for drugs or alcohol. We don’t get to decide if someone we tip may be using that money to buy alcohol, so why would we be in judgment of those who are on the street? I can understand why someone may want alcohol to either warm themselves on a cold night or take the edge off the pain of being homeless. Again, I try to put myself in their shoes. I prefer to consider ALL with equal compassion because living on the streets is hard—regardless of the reason.
When we’re willing to give and may be walking where we might be approached by people asking for alms, I suggest placing money in various easy to access pockets in advance for ease of giving without retrieving our wallet, which makes us vulnerable to people who may be swindlers. We can also offer to offer them food instead to ensure that they don’t go hungry.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker and gatherer of women. For perspective on life issues, you’re invited to text questions and comments to 681-321-1109. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.