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One of the habits that makes life more unpleasant for everyone is when we label things as bad and wrong. It’s very tempting to label everything we see and experience. In a sense, we’re taught to label things from a very early age. Our parents are supposed to teach us “right from wrong.”
A Course in Miracles teaches us that everything in this world is symbolic. Everything here is representative of our thoughts and beliefs. And we’re to represent the one who sent us here – our very own Higher Holy Self. Therefore, our purpose is to be truly helpful which is to “teach only Love for that is what we are.” Our purpose isn’t to judge and label. We’re to be loving and see train our mind to see beyond opinions.
The temptation to label people, foods and drinks good and bad is very strong. In a very real sense food and beverages are neutral. It’s our belief about them being bad or good that affects us. This is the placebo effect.
I had a friend who worked for a pharmaceutical company and he told me that the research showed that a placebo – a sugar pill – is about 35% as effective as the drug in many cases. Sometimes the drugs are actually harmful and the placebo is effective. How can the placebo be effective except that we believe it will be effective. “It is done unto us as we believe.”
Consider your own choices and actions. Do you eat and drink things that you believe are bad for you? Do you do things that you believe are wrong and detrimental to your health? These kinds of behaviors and choices are so common that we laugh about them. For many people it seems beyond their control. Some folks believe that life isn’t worth living if they can’t do the things that are “wrong and bad.”
What’s the real reason we do things that we believe are wrong, bad, detrimental and destructive? This is a questions we can learn the answer to and it will be helpful. Most don’t ask the question because the answer is scary. This is where we can help ourselves by realizing that cultivating awareness is deeply healing. Awareness is curative.
When we make choices to be aware of what’s motivating us, then we’re loving ourselves free of old habits that simply no longer serve our life of Love. Love is our healer. Even scientists have proven that care and kindness is healing. Check out this Harvard Research project:
“There’s also evidence that some of the placebo effect is a favorable reaction to care and attention from people who patients believe can help ease their suffering and distress. Researchers associated with Harvard’s placebo studies program published a study in 2008 that illustrates this aspect of the response very nicely. The volunteers for the study were people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements in the absence of any discernible changes to the bowel. The placebo treatment was sham acupuncture, which involves the use of needles that, unbeknownst to the patient, retract into their handles instead of penetrating the skin. The placebo effect of the sham acupuncture needles was impressive: 44% of those treated with just the sham needles reported relief from their IBS problems. When sham acupuncture was combined with attentive, empathetic interaction with the acupuncturist, the placebo effect got even larger, with 62% reporting relief from their IBS woes.”
I invite you to make a list of the foods and choices that you have labeled bad and wrong and be willing to let those opinions go. Some people believe that we should all eat raw food and the raw is better for everyone. That doesn’t work for me. Some people believe we should all be vegetarian, but it just doesn’t work for everyone. There’s a reason why, although we’re all one, we’re also all unique, individual expressions of the Divine.
When we label things, very often what we’re really doing is looking to find ways to separate ourselves from God and from each other. If we label this behavior as a sin, then we’re going to label the one who does it a sinner. We’re trying to separate ourselves from them. Sometimes we label ourselves as the sinners. It’s the separation name game and nobody wins, everyone suffers. Let’s choose to be loving instead of labeling. Very often, when we go down a road of doing things that we feel bad, wrong and ashamed about, it leads us to a place of surrender and humility. Eventually we all end up in the place of surrender and humility. There’s no way to have spiritual growth without both of surrender and humility. All roads lead there – why label someone’s road as wrong or bad. How can you possibly know what’s true for them?
Separation is really the only problem that we have and labeling things bad and wrong is the #1 tool for increased sense of limitation and separation. Let’s release the need to label forever.
Instead of labeling things bad and wrong we can simply say “it’s not my preference right now.” Removing the “bad and wrong” labels for foods, beverages and choices, actually helps us to keep from acting out and engaging with them. So often people do drugs, alcohol, overeating and all kinds of things in order to be self-destructive – in order to punish and hurt themselves and prove what a loser they are. Let’s remove the labels and lighten up on ourselves! If we have to label anything, let’s label it good and experience the All-Good in our lives.
Releasing the labels is practicing non-judgment. To practice non-judgment we become mindful. Once again, mindfulness is a powerful, life-changing spiritual practice!
Spiritual practice SAVES time that would otherwise be spent in suffering.
Invest in spiritual practice rather than in suffering.
We’re almost at the finish of our 40 day reboot of Pray & Clear! Now’s the perfect time to make new habits that support our healing. We’re paying attention to what does and doesn’t feel good and why. Please share your insights and questions in our facebook group!
If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!
Come run away with me! Check out my Stop Playing Small Retreat this May in North Carolina! ALSO I’m offering my Spiritual Counseling Intensive Training again – check it out, also in May in North Carolina!