Of course, I'm tempted to bang myself on the head for being judgmental in the first place, but -just in the nick of time- I remember what Thaddeus Golas tells us in his wonderful book, "The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment". He says I must remember to forgive myself for disliking that person: the blessing isn't complete unless it also includes myself.
And he's right. The process has to include myself: if forgiveness doesn't arise from a place of authentic generosity, of what use is it? And how can I be generous unless I can see my own innocence, even during times when I'm caught in a spasm of ego? The answer is - I can't. If I 'm not kind to me, I will only be pretending to be kind to you.
And yes, lots of forgiveness is laden with pretense. How many times have we heard people say, "I'll forgive it, but I won't forget it." I don't know what that statement means exactly, but it sure doesn't describe forgiveness. It's more like hostility that went to charm school.
So here I am, alone with my annoyance, and I want to move past it. I forgive myself for disliking this or that about someone, and then I bless them. And I remember that my ego has just as many unlikable faces as the next guy's - mine are a different shape, perhaps, or possibly are less noisy, but egos are egos and we all have them until we put them to one side. They come with the body.
When I say I bless the person, here's what I mean: I ask help in seeing past whatever behavior struck me as unbearably manipulative, rigid, destructive, incompetent, mindless, inane (just fill in the blank here with your favorite button-pressing qualities.) And then I ask help in being able to glimpse the Self that lies zealously hidden under all the nonsense. I ask help in being able to remember I am that same Self.
You may say: how can I do that when I am feeling, say, alive with anger? Well, you most certainly will not be able to do it in moments of heat: you may have to wait until later, when a thread of sanity has begun to snake its way back into your consciousness. Or you may not be ready to do it for a whole day. Or a whole week. Or a whole year. Or a whole decade.
Whatever the interval, at some moment you will recall your purpose here: to clean up the mess and wake up. That's when you 'll sit down, forgive your own flawed mind movements and bless the annoying person who brought them to your attention.
Did I mention there will be a result? There will be a result. At the very least, you yourself will expand into peace from having forgiven yourself. At the very most, the person annoying you will shift into less pinching behavior. Either way, you win. As a matter of fact, we all win.
And that's a Fact.