Recently a very good friend of mine suggested I read a book called, Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. I only just began the book, but have become fascinated by the spiritual parallels involving the things we say to ourselves and whether we are using our own minds as a friend to help and encourage us or as an enemy perpetually sabotaging our efforts towards success and fulfillment. The primary saboteur at work in all of our lives is called the judge or from a spiritual standpoint (parallel made by myself and not the author) the accuser. The primary purpose of the judge or the accuser is to constantly fill and overwhelm your mind with what is wrong with you, what you do wrong, what you did wrong and most sinister of all, how you can expect good things to happen in your life based on where you fall short? So, the grand question to ask yourself is, is your mind your friend or your enemy or a combination thereof and more importantly, how can you think more with your mind being your friend as opposed to your mind functioning as your own worst enemy.
All of us have a multitude of thoughts running through our minds in a day. Often we aren’t cognizant of those thoughts. Equally as often we associate those thoughts as being true because we thought them. It’s hard to separate what is generated by our own minds and what enters in via the influence of something else. How the judge or the accuser functions is by getting you to judge yourself. There are endless suggestions concerning what is not “good” about you, your behavior, your motives etc. The judge never puts you on the right side of things. The judge’s only function is to weaken you or diminish your confidence in yourself. I think it is fair to say that all self-doubt, all low self-image, all lack of confidence is a direct result of the judge having too much free reign in your mind, bolstered and strengthened by many years of listening to it and accepting it. The accuser is the one that brings up your mistakes from the past and doesn’t only bring them up as an occasion for possible learning, but badgers you with the thoughts until your opinion of yourself changes. The accuser convinces you that you are unworthy or undeserving of God’s love and blessings. The judge masquerades in your mind as you. However, even though the thought is occurring in your own mind, it is not you. Failure to recognize this leads people down many, many painful paths. If you will notice, judging runs rampant in the world today. Typically, the measure to which a person judges themselves is the measure to which they judge other people. The accuser is a liar falsely implying that your value as a person is based on what you do or don’t do or what you did and should not have done. And there is no end to it. The judge doesn’t restrict its function to your worst errors, but works involving every potential error and often when you are not wrong at all. The point isn’t to make you better. The endgame is to bring you down. It seeks to ruin your life by depleting your confidence in yourself and your own ability to make good decisions. Religion uses it to make you believe you are incapable of choosing on your own and instead need the approval of others in order to live successfully by imposing a tyrannical list of approved behaviors to be accepted. You cannot be truly successful in the long term until you begin to recognize this function operating in your mind and silence its voice. More friend, less enemy.
The first step in freeing yourself from the accusers voice is by recognizing when it is occurring. The accuser is often veiled and hard to detect. In fact, sometimes the judge appears as God reportedly chastising you for your behavior or pronouncing judgment in your life. You can sometimes spot this by how often you catch yourself telling God you are sorry about something. Can you imagine that our God of love and light, overflowing with compassion and tender mercy, would treat you like that? Or worse, can you even fathom that God would behave that way? The church folk say, God convicted me of this or that and it always causes me to scratch my head. God’s Word says that Jesus Christ paid for all of our sins, past, present and future hence the head scratcher. In reality, whether cloaked, hidden, disguised or posing as you, that perpetual self-judgment is like a cancer to your mind and heart. The judge is not helping you to be a better person. Listening to and worse responding to the accuser will do nothing but lead you to defeat, doubting yourself and ultimately doubting God and His willingness and ability to help you. Here is a newsflash worthy of remembering, God is not judging you ever! When you hear the judge’s voice stop yourself and say, “oh it’s the judge again” and refuse to continue the conversation. You are talking to the enemy and making or allowing your own mind to become your enemy. More friend, less enemy.
Once you decide to stop judging yourself or at least start working on it, you will be in a much stronger position to treat yourself as a friend. This means having some compassion for yourself. This means accepting the reality that you are an imperfect creature learning, growing and stumbling at times. Make a point to learn what you can learn about any mistakes you have made, then move forward with adamancy. Once you stop all that poisoning self-judgment you can begin to trust yourself and your ideas again. You can set your mind towards the beauty and curiosity of figuring out what you can offer the world and how you can set others free. You can at last be free from the insidious desire to make yourself better and just content yourself with who you are. Who said that you were in dire need of such improvement anyway? Maybe God loves you unconditionally for who you are and even delights in your unique ways. It seems in the final analysis that much of what we thought was sin wasn’t sin at all, but rather our reaction to that ever diminishing voice from the judge, which weakens us towards more sin, pain and error. Making your mind a friend is about you treating yourself with the same love and kindness with which you treat your friend. It’s about forgiving yourself and refusing to un-forgive yourself over and over again. It’s about actually having the audacity to like yourself just the way you are. Let God be the one that works in your heart to live your best life and while he is working just enjoy the ride. If you knew how much God loves you and diligently cares for you, you would never judge yourself again. More friend, less enemy.
It is up to you and up to me to decide which thoughts we will entertain. It is our decision whether we will make our minds a friend or if we will continue allowing our mind to be our worst enemy. We have all fallen prey to this type of thinking. We are all accused night and day by our enemy. We have all suffered as a result and not lived up to our full potential. Yet, we don’t have to keep living that way. We can live our lives by the works of another man. Let all that judgment go towards yourself and then to other people and see how much better you feel. If you can get past the judge with all of his sincere efforts to make you feel bad, you can open yourself up to a new life; a brand new life where there is no fear. Make your mind a friend by silencing your enemy.
Just some good thoughts…
PS Buy the book.