How tricky is that? It almost comes with the territory of being human to judge. Not judging would be like not having an opinion. And we all have plenty of those don’t we? If we didn’t, we certainly wouldn’t want anyone else to know. What’s more, we’re always right about our own opinion and … so is everyone else! Which accounts for a lot of the mess we get into in our relationships. So, how do we extricate ourselves from those automatic, deeply entrenched judgements of good/bad, right/wrong, better/worse, and the labels we assign to people? And why would we? I guess it depends on whether you prefer to be right or to be happy.
Being ‘right’ at the expense of another’s feelings only serves to shut down the channels of communication. If the intention of our communication is to be in relationship – to be connected – then we need to be mindful of the impact our thoughts and words have on ourselves and others. Judgement is a sure-fire way of bringing pain and separation into our relationships. Tantalizing as the ‘Blame Game’ may be, a willingness to let go of judgement is the starting point in drawing us closer to the people who matter in our lives.
Whenever we judge another for their actions we’re denying the potential in ourselves to do the same and missing the fact that there is a purpose to all our behaviour. Whether realised in the moment or not, there is always something that drives us to do what we do and everything we do makes a difference in one way or another. When someone behaves in a manner that is less than desirable, how we respond determines whether their behaviour moves us toward love or fear. Empathy; the ability to ‘put ourselves in another’s shoes’, is what makes acceptance of the person possible, even when we do not condone their behaviour. We can choose whether to focus on their ‘wrong-doing’ and judge them, or to use the experience to seek to understand the motivation behind it. Sometimes it inspires us to take action to bring about positive change for the future. And because the person who most deserves your love is YOU, another’s behavior might be the stimulus for you to take a stand for what no longer serves you in relationship to them. Some of our greatest triumphs have stemmed from those choices!
When we let go of judgement we embrace our interconnectedness. For it is only in seeing ourselves as separate that we can ever justify the need to hurt or judge another, or believe that in doing so would not concurrently be hurting and judging ourselves. We can practice acceptance, love and forgiveness. The harmony of our relationships depends on it!
Inner Sense No. 14 | March 2009