Inner Freedom


Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom.
– Henri Nouwen

We are all made in the image of God.

When we judge others we are judging God.

We are all connected.

When we judge others, we are also judging ourselves.

We certainly will not always agree with others.

That is ok.

However, we still need to respect and love the humanity within others.

When we love others it frees us.

When we love ourselves it frees us.

When we do both, we truly love God.

We are free.

We are free because all that remains is love.

4 thoughts on “Inner Freedom”

  1. I have many times thought about this, what does it really mean to love others? To me, it means wanting happiness for everyone, helping people in need if I can, and not wishing pain or hurt on anyone. For me, it also means feeling sad when I see hurt and unhappiness and feeling happy when I see love and joy between people. Because that attachment that comes with love over time, for example the kind of love you have to you mother, is not possible to have with everyone in the world, but that does not mean that you don’t love them, right? But then, I think, always be kind to others, what does that mean? Now, I am not a parent yet, but I have worked a lot with children, and I think mot of us know that when children misbehave we have to correct them, right? Sometimes by speaking firmly and with authority (something I am very bad at!), my point is, don’t we also sometimes have to do that with adults who misbehave ? I mean, we don’t judge or behave unkindly if we tell people that this is not a right way to act, right? Isn’t that also a kind of love? For example, if some guys shout something bad at me on the street, and if I (I would never be brave enough to do that, but it’s just an example) stop and tell them that they have hurt my feelings, and that I am also someone’s sister and daughter, just like they have sisters or daughters themselves, and how would they feel if someone talked to their sisters/daughters like that? Isn’t that a good thing to do? I mean, maybe those guys would then stop talking to girls like that (most unlikely, but again it’s just an example). These are just my thoughts 🙂 And I have often thought about this, so it just popped up again when I say your post. Thank you for making me think!! 🙂

    1. Nice thoughts! Agree. When people say harmful things to us it is ok to tell them they have hurt us. Conversely, if I say hurtful things even if I do not mean it, I would want to be told so, so I can be more careful next time.

      1. Thanks for reading. I always enjoy your posts and their gentle and honest reminders to be kind to others. Agree with you that it is not always so easy to do.

  2. Nice job, Rich. I agree with your take on Fr. Nouwen. When we harshly judge others, we judge ourselves. And judging can be reflexive, too. We judge judge others judge God God judges us. The flip side is, as you say, letting people know (gently) when we have been hurt. I do honestly try to respect and love others. NOT judge. The keyword here is TRY. Thanks for the reminders. @chaplaineliza

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