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Three things I learned from Sean Penn

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”–Henri Bergson

Three things I learned from Sean Penn

1. Always wear sun screen.

2. Marrying Madonna is not the fast track to wedded bliss.

3. It’s impossible to judge by appearances.

Sean Penn, a brilliant actor, has played a wide range of roles over the years: he played a surfer stoner in Fast Times at Ridgmont High, almost single-handedly introducing the term “dude” into the American lexicon, he played a racist murderer in Dead Man Walking, a mentally handicapped father in I am Sam and gay-rights icon Harvey Milk who was gunned down in the prime of his life in Milk. In real life, none of us would choose any of these roles. They’re unappealing and, on the surface anyway, difficult to live through.

Penn, of course, chose these roles because they helped him expand as an actor. They helped him grow. They helped him become hugely successful, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his Harvey Milk portrayal.

As I point out in E-Cubed (yes, I’m now resorting to shameless self-promotion), our job is to create, not critique.

Judging anything as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white automatically slashes our possibilities by 50 percent.

How do we really know that this “bad” thing isn’t really the best thing in disguise?

I believe we often create holograms of “unfortunate” things for the expansion it will create, for the “Academy Award” it will eventually reap.

Our judging minds are so quick to leap to “OMG. That’s a catastrophe.” Which causes us to shut down. Become holier than though.

Take sexual abuse, for example. Who in Worldview 1.0 could withhold judgment in such a situation, particularly when the abuse is perpetrated on a child?

Yet, Louise Hay, whose life has literally blessed millions of people probably wouldn’t be the person she is today had she not gone through that particular “catastrophe.”

Through this seeming “trauma,” she was able to find her own inner wisdom and realize the monstrous love machine she really is. Many things that at face value look like difficulties end up being miracles in the end. The cancer that we might believe isn’t fair can be a pathway to Truth. It can be a door to potent opportunities. We get to decide.

So instead of asking the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” we should ask, “Why do good people think bad things can even happen?”

Bad is nothing but a judgment call, a judgment call we’re not qualified to make. Just like American Idol hasn’t requested your services next to JLO and Keith Urban, you really aren’t qualified to judge what is good and bad.

Once we wake up every morning and say, “this is the best thing that ever happened to me” we will move into alignment where beauty and joy are free to rise.

I look forward to the day when we’ll be able to recognize and call forth the love without creating the disaster. But until then, I, like Randy Jackson, am resigning from being a judge.

Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the soon-to-be-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.

27 Responses

  1. “So instead of asking the question “Why do bad things happen to good people.” Perhaps the better question is why do good people think bad things can even happen?”” – That’s so true, Pam. It is probably the key to understanding why some people are living unfair lives…
    And, yes, bad things lead to unexpected good things. We lost our home (went bankrupt) and now a brand new live we never thought about is opening up in front of us (me, my husband and our 14 years daughter).
    Awaiting for E-Cubed – hugs!

  2. Great thoughts, Pam! I went through what could be considered a horrible childhood, yet I believe myself to be much stronger because of those experiences.

    My ultimate goal is to get to the place where I can honestly say, “Nothing ever goes wrong in my life. ” Everything serves me.

    Please keep up the great work!

    1. Non-judgment is the work for all of us. The good news is life is much sweeter and happier the more we ditch the constant “critiquing.”

  3. Great article as always Pam. And it also makes me think I create things where I think that is the only way to get from point A to point B. I can’t create if I don’t have choices and there are always choices… as the song from Rush goes… if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. So we create by our expectations.

  4. Hello again! 🙂 I have a question. I have been reading a lot about the ALS ice bucket challenge. I hear the words “als awareness”. After learning about the universal energy, I am thinking that the words “health and fitness awareness” would be better than “als awareness”. Wouldn’t that phrase just cause more of that scenario to occur? No offense to anyone. Love and hugs.

  5. wow. wow. “…our job is to create, not critique.” This a profound truth. Acceptance of What Is opens our hearts to even more of our inherent ability to create. Yet, judgment seems to permeate just about everything in life. Call it critique or right or wrong. And Louise Hay? An amazing and inspiring woman. Would love to spend more time with her than from autograph distance at an I Can Do It Conference. GREAT post!

  6. This is a powerful article. I know that I have a lot of decluttering to do. Judgement was rife with me. Thank you for this wisdom. I forwarded it to family and friends.

  7. Three things I learned from Pam Grout:

    1. We never again need play small.

    2. We can grow into whatever we allow ourselves to imagine.

    3. There is almost nothing more important than play and fun.

    Thank you, Pam!

  8. Brilliant post Pam! Really spoke to the deepest part of me and rings so true. Thank you for listening to the still small voice and following your purpose.

    Cheers, Melissa

  9. Why knock Madonna? Look at the distance this Wisconsin woman traveled … without pedigree, without traditional good looks, and without any intellectual pretensions – just being a mega-sized version of herself. Sean Penn is great. Madonna is pretty awesome too. And marriages, even between great people, don’t always work out. So what? Doesn’t make one better than the other, does it?

    1. You are so right, Z. I actually LOVE Madonna. And didn’t mean it as a put-down. I can see where it might have been interpreted that way. I was just trying to be funny and probably crossed the edge. Thanks for pointing that out.

  10. sexual abuse is still wrong at every level…. and to child is not even comprehensible as far as I a concerned.

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