Walking the path without judgement

My sister sent me this quote last week and it really struck a cord with me. It was like a beam of light shining through the fog of my depression and confusion:

Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier.

Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense.

It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true. –Adyashanti

So often I have judged things in my life (emotions, events, situations) as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and inevitably, I get it wrong.

I mean surely unhappiness, depression and confusion are bad, right?


I’m not saying they are a badge of honor, or even things everyone must experience in order to grow spiritually, but through my interactions with my fellow humans on this planet so far, it seems like often these things which we judge to be bad are actually vitally necessary to our growth.

And that, friends, can only be good.

For instance, the challenges we have faced here in Guatemala with Tyrhone’s flight training have always presented themselves as ‘bad.’ Plans halted, extra money spent, our trust in people pulled into question, and our relationship placed under a lot of strain. Anger, frustration, arguments, melt-downs, fear – we have certainly had a ‘colourful’ time, and I’m not just talking about the beautiful painted buildings.

But although our time here has not been what I expected or even wanted, it has been so good, I hardly have the words to explain just how good.

This is where I thank God for being a recovering alcoholic. Yes, the thing which I have always judged to be so bad, has actually saved my life and enriched my journey in more ways than I could ever imagine.

At the height of my misery, I was able to walk into a recovery meeting with a few people I hardly knew personally but knew very well spiritually due to the nature of our shared journeys and be honest about where I was at.

This is not as easy as you might think. Even in recovery meetings there is often a desire to cover up how we really are in order to avoid being judged for ‘doing recovery’ poorly, but for some reason, I got it pretty early on that it is better for me to be honest about where I am at. Even if where I am at is a sobbing mess on the table.

Because of this, and only because of this, I was offered some help from someone who had walked the path before me and I can hardly express my gratitude for the lessons I have learned and the things I have been able to let go of as a result.

I have experienced another ‘leveling’ of all I thought to be true about myself and of life. It really hurt. Even as I began to get back to basics with my recovery program, I felt as though a veritable war was being waged within me.

Because it was; a war between the self which I was identifying so strongly with (my ego; thoughts, feelings) and my true self (divine love).

My thoughts raced and my emotions went into overdrive while I ‘did the next right thing’ and followed the caring direction of someone who I trusted.

Then, came a light-bulb moment (or ten) from talking through all those crazy thoughts and feelings through with that kind, trusted person.

I hope to share more about my break through with you at some point, but for now I am simply standing back in awe as all of the confusion, fear, anger and frustration has been removed from me and replaced with a deeper peace than I have ever before experienced.

I no longer feel responsible for any other human being on this planet, or in any way in control of their happiness or sadness, even though I love them.

I am no longer worried about or afraid of the future nor regretful of the past.

I am aware that my true nature of Pure Love exists within me and not in any thing outside of me whatsoever, not where I go or what I do for a living or what I have.

I have returned to the present moment, and it actually feels like the first time I have ever been here! (Because it is!)

The work isn’t over by any stretch, it is ongoing and am not ‘better’ than I was a week ago, merely less attached to the things I was judging as bad. Nothing about my external circumstances has changed and yet internally I am exploring a new frontier and it feels more exciting than any physical place I have ever been.

All this to say, if you are going through hell, keep going. If you know someone who is going through hell, just love them. And try not to judge where they, or you, or anyone happens to be at along the path. I have done this; judging others and wondering why the hell I was being judged myself!

It’s a completely pointless and damaging exercise, for what may appear to be bad, is actually preparing us to discover our true nature.

The ‘bad’ is just a ruse, to distract us from the fact that underneath it all exists everything we have ever wanted, in the last place most of us thought to look – within ourselves.

“We’re all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass

Photography by Tyrhone.

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Walking the path without judgement — 24 Comments

    • Hi Amy, thank you, I can relate. Have you heard the phrase one day at a time? Well, I have been hearing it in recovery meetings for four years now, and have only just been able to begin to practice the concept. Because all we truly have is right now. Again, something I have been hearing for a long time but not embracing. I hope to share more about this soon, but I have been taking 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning to connect with the present. To connect with the inner light within me which is always guiding me along my path, even if I think I should be somewhere else or doing something else.
      It’s right here, but I’ve always been looking ‘over there’ for it and missing it completely! A long response to simply say, keep walking, keep being aware of your worry and fear and you will be led where you are meant to go. Blessings xxx

  1. Such an interesting read, and a point on view I actually never really thought about too much before. It is so true though, and something I need to keep in mind. Not everything is so black and white like we continually categorize it as! Less jusgement on my part would go along way. Thanks for reminding me Sarah!
    Jessica of Curiosity Travels recently posted..And Then It All Fell ApartMy Profile

    • Hey Jessica, it is just as much a reminder to me, as I too, have recently realised how judgemental I have been of myself and others and how it has blocked me from accessing the divine light within me and everyone else. It basically creates the illusion of separation, and when we see we are all one and all share the foibles of being human, everything changes. Thank you for connecting!

    • Thank you Kim, and to you! I am pretty excited to share my journey but am attempting to remain present and connected to the path and not go off and running in a direction ‘I’ think I should go. The challenge for me is to be patient, present and allow myself to be guided by my inner light, rather than my ego. Much love! xxx

  2. Do I dare write my usual response???

    Well done on finding the present moment, I struggle to do this and constantly look to the future. I think the only time I am in the present is when I am eating, which thankfully is quite a lot of the time.

    Good luck on the journey!
    Rob recently posted..A Feast in Oaxaca – Mexican cooking courseMy Profile

  3. “in order to avoid being judged for ‘doing recovery’ poorly”
    Oh my gosh, I would SO be that person.

    Oh Sarah, your path is one of many hills, surprises, bumps, and beautiful views. I’m so glad you regularly take us through it with you. I love the imagery in that quote. It reminds me a lot of an analogy I’ve been working with through my own self discovery. I hope to someday write about it as eloquently as you have here.
    Carmel recently posted..FACING FEARMy Profile

    • Ha! I think we are all that person sometimes :-)
      Thank you for being part of my journey and I look forward to reading about and learning from yours xoxox

  4. Oh Sarah,
    our paths through “hell” are vastly different, but oh my – I so needed to read your words this morning. I am stumbling along to get through this hellish portion of my life and trying desperately to remember that I simply can NOT be responsible for the happiness of others, just as they can not be responsible for mine.
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey, both from the recovery stand point, and the many life lessons point of view as well.

    • This really warms my heart, Annette! Not that you are going through hell, but that our journeys are able to speak to one another and that we are able to ‘walk each other home.’ Sending you so much love xoxox

  5. I feel like you left us on a cliff hanger…I want to hear more!

    I love that you share all this ‘stuff’ with us. Hard to say without sounding selfish, but if makes me feel so much more normal. One day I couldn’t be happier, I’m right where I should be and the next day a mess and all over the place. Who am I kidding it can be hour by hour sometimes.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more.
    Kellie recently posted..A Feast in Oaxaca – Mexican cooking courseMy Profile

    • Sometimes it’s minute by minute!!! And that is exactly why I share my journey here, because lets face it, we could all do with a bit more acceptance of where we are at :-) I will certainly be sharing more of my journey soon, thank you for sharing yours too Kell xoxoxo

    • Oh Karyn, I get that. I have been hearing this stuff for years myself, and honestly, I think hearing it is a very important part of the process, as well as realising that we are not quite experiencing it YET :-) I was also the master of self-judgement (which meant I was judging everyone else too). Trust your process, it will take you where you need to go xxx
      Sarahsomewhere recently posted..The story of a coffee berryMy Profile

  6. Thank you dear Sarah, thank you! This is incredible writing, and I am so grateful for you sharing all you do about your journey. It resonates with me in many ways. Glad to hear you have had a break through! LOVE.
    Sam recently posted..The Little ThingsMy Profile

    • And I am grateful to you too, Sam! You have been a very important part of my journey. To be able to connect with you in person and hear your story has stayed with me, for it is universal in so many ways. Lots of love to you too! xxx
      Sarahsomewhere recently posted..The story of a coffee berryMy Profile

  7. Sarah, It has been so comforting to share this journey with you, as so often your words and thoughts and struggles reflect my own. We are all in this together, even though we may be in different places on that pathway to self-discovery and Love. I feel blessed by your words and blessed to know there is a fellow sojourner in you to share the journey with. Hold your head high, shame and fear are making their grand exit out of your life!
    Mariah recently posted..Coming homeMy Profile

    • Thank you Mariah! We are in this together, indeed. I feel exactly the same about you, your journey helps me feel connected and inspires me endlessly! I truly believe ‘the path’ is about experiencing it ALL, the good, the bad, the ugly, because it is all part of the experience of being human. Much love to you fellow traveler xxx