Silence the clatter of judgment
in your own head.
Judgment is the noise you make
at night to scare away
the burglar who is downstairs
before you go down
to find that everything is all right.
Judgment is our own
self-doubt crying out, saying,
"Make sure I'm still important.
Make sure I still matter. "
By judging we claim control,
power, certainty.
But what we get when we judge
is a certain fixity of viewpoint,
a certain hardening of the lines
of who and what we are,
a certain diminishment of joy.
Because when we judge and exclude
harmless and beautiful things,
we close off access to the treasures
they contain.
Treasures countless others have tasted
and known, but which we find
"beneath us."
When we judge a person,
we set up a barrier,
a line neither can fully communicate across.
We gaze into a mirror
and exaggerate and demonize
what we do not like about ourselves.

So what instead?
Instead, let us, each one
accept what comes to us
as a gift.
If we do not understand it now,
let's keep it, like a gift card,
waiting for a sale
to make best use of it.

Everyone and every thing and every moment
come to us as gift
come to us for our own good,
come to us for our enlightenment,
to make us ready for our service
to others.
When we judge
we rob ourselves of these gifts.
By our fear we push them away,
and can take no worthwhile lesson from them.
Judgment makes the burglar downstairs real
and we ourselves become the thieves
who impoverish us.


  1. I cherish these words, as much spiritual essay as poem. I shall reread! Thank you.

    1. Thank you. They're meant more as essay but I found the rhythm and structure of prose too binding. Setting it as poetry freed me to say what I needed to. So while they may not make great poetry, they follow in the footsteps of Mr. Pope, though not nearly so polished, metrical, and elegant.


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