“. . . just like me.”

This is a practice from Arjuna Ardagh’s latest book, “Leap Before You Look.” It’s from the section “Compassion Practices.”

Whenever a judgment or evaluation
Arises within you,
Whether positive or negative,
Add the three words: “. . . just like me.”
You can go ahead and judge another as lazy,
But be inclusive with it:
He is so lazy, just like me.
She is arrogant, just like me.
They are incompetent,
She is unreliable,
He is angry,
Just like me.
Call back positive judgments in the same way:
The Dalai Lama is so wise, just like me.
She is so compassionate,
He is so strong,
Just like me.
In this way, call back every judgment to yourself
And realize that there is no other out there:
It is all you.

Why should it be that when you go to a gathering of people there is always one person who irritates you completely, while your friends or partner find that person quite interesting? And why should it be that someone whom your partner could not stand, you had no issue with? People are not bad or irritating in and of themselves. It is because we project our own disowned fragmented parts outside ourselves that we feel judgment.

It is the habit of the mind in separation to want to externalize everything. If we have not fully accepted the anger or hurt or rigidity we carry within our own hearts, we seek it out in others and blame or judge the qualities we see. You can walk into a room filled with a hundred people, and something unconscious will scan the room and cast out a lasso to the one person there who can reflect back to you the things you could not see or be with in any other way. Usually, we leave that quality out there in the crowd, projecting our disowned ghosts onto other people and situations. We judge another as lazy or rigid or cold or closed only when we do not want to see those tendencies in ourselves. It is in this way that we create division between a you and a me, an us and a them. On the other hand, if we can feel the judgment and immediately call it back, we can turn it into an opportunity to pass through a small process of expansion and growth.

These three simple words, “just like me,” will transform judgment from separation to self-acceptance. Practice this as often as you can. You can use this practice silently inside yourself, or you can speak it out loud.. Either way, you will start to laugh at what previously seemed so serious and begin to celebrate the areas of yourself that had been hidden by your judgments.

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