Q: I feel "caught" in not being able to be free of judgment, primarily against selfish, greedy people and especially political leaders (including most Republicans), and can't seem to let it go in order to love them or even "forgive them for they know not what they do." Might this be because I haven't been able to forgive myself from judgment based on shame, fear, righteousness, and probably karma playing a part here that gets projected onto others? Is there anything to do about this?
A: There is a simple approach to try when you are feeling especially judgmental. The trick is to start by giving love to your own judgments and any other feelings you have about other people or situations. Love, in its essence, is simply the flow of attention and space or acceptance to objects or experiences. You do not have to like something in order to give it attention and the space to simply be here.
But again, the trick is to start with your own judgments. Can you simply be curious about your judgments and give them space to be here? I would suggest you probably already are giving them attention and are curious about them. And in the moments when you are experiencing them, you are also probably already letting them be here (although you can also start judging your own judgments, but then you can simply give attention and space to your judgment of your own judgments).
It is a trick because your actual true nature is love. You are always giving space and attention to something in every moment anyways. All you need to do is start right where you are, and notice what it is that you are already "loving" with your spacious attention.
Once you get the feel of how simple and natural love really is, then it is a much smaller step to play with giving that same kind of open attention to something you don't like or have judgments about. You can get some momentum going on the things you are already accepting and noticing, and then move on to accepting and noticing more and more of your experience. Eventually, you can create a new habit where your default becomes to simply notice and accept whatever appears in your experience.
Paradoxically, that is what is already happening anyways. When you have strong judgments, you are not actually experiencing the thing you are judging. What you are actually experiencing in the moment of judging is your own judgment. And in that exact moment, you are loving (giving space and attention to) your own judgment (not to whatever you are judging). I know it might sound like a play on words, but truly when we are experiencing judgment, we are also loving the experience of judgment. It actually is the only way we can experience anything is by giving it space to be here and then paying attention to it. If we are not doing that, then we are not experiencing it, although we are definitely experiencing something else in that moment that we are giving space and attention to instead.
If you do this consciously by actively choosing to give space and attention to something, you may discover how simple love really is, and how ever-present it actually is. Learning to love is like learning to have shoulders.....all you need to do is notice that you already have shoulders. My article, Love Is For Giving, expands on the possibility of giving love freely to anything and everything you experience.