Have you ever been at the end of someone else’s judgement, where it has made you feel awful? A slight comment, a look, a tone. Sometimes words don’t even have to be exchanged but you feel judged.
Have you been at the end of your own judgement, where you criticise and put yourself down? Those constant comments that flood your mind. The never-ending chatter within your own head?
Have you seen how the herd mentality can be enacted and the judging brigade marches to the judgement tune? And have you ever been swept away by this?
I would be surprised if you answered no to any of the above. Why? Because judgement is so ingrained in us. Does that mean that we give in and go along? No, but it does mean that we need to become aware of even the smallest subtleties of judgement as it shapes our life.
What is judgement?
Judgement is where we ridicule, shame and put ourselves and other people down. It is where we act out our fears of somebody being better or different to us. Judgement, stereotyping and labelling, all come from anger and a separation within our self. It then separates and segregates, us from them. It divides families, communities and countries. Judgement brings the toxic moral high ground, that gives an air of importance and superiority over our fellow human beings.
Judgement is an addiction
It is like a drug. And it’s toxic. We all love to do it. It’s juicy. It’s gossipy. There are mountains of media columns dedicated to judging. The size of her bum in that, she doesn’t look great these days, what happened her hair, who is she dating, she’s overweight, underweight, to tall, too small and so on.
We get swept away on its current and before we know it, we are in an ocean of negativity, surrounded by the herd of judgers, nay sayers and energy suckers.
There is no doubt that a good bitch with your best friend is a nice release. But it’s not the answer. And it’s especially not the answer when we are bringing one of our fellow comrades down.
There should be a big red warning sign when a judgement is about to erupt.
Warning, warning; you are going down the deep black hole of judgement. Hold on before it’s too late!
Where does judgement come from?
1. A lack of understanding
The root of all ignorance is a lack of understanding. This is when we have an inability to put our self in the shoes of another. When we can’t do this, we generally tend to judge.
But does judgement really get us anywhere? We have all been at the end of someone else’s judgment of us. You know how that feels; the shame, feelings of inadequacy, guilt, self-doubt, self-loathing and our own inner judge joining forces to magnify what the judge has said about us.
When we judge ourselves or others, we generally do so out of a lack of knowledge. We judge from our stand point, without having any idea what it is like to be in that position.
No two situations are alike. No two people are alike.
How can we really say we would do something better given the circumstances? And not only is it those circumstances in that moment, it is everything in the life of that person up until that moment that causes somebody to act in the way that they do. And no two lives are the same.
Our ignorance robs us of the beauty and depth of who we are. When we are ignorant towards our self, there is very little room for self-love. There is no way we show compassion towards our self. Yet compassion is the greatest of all virtues.
Understanding is the first step towards compassion. It is also a step closer to becoming your own friend and God knows we need as many good friends as we can get in this somewhat difficult life.
2. A lack of empathy
When we lack understanding it’s because we see through anothers eyes, to feel what they feel, and to think how they think.
When we judge others we lack empathy towards them. If we lack empathy, we lack a connection to our own reservoir of emotional intelligence. So what does this say about us? Quite a lot.
If you have an inability to connect with yourself emotionally, then something very big is missing from your life. It is highly likely that you don’t show any emotional support towards others and you certainly don’t show it to yourself. Your step towards compassion is a long way off.
And instead of judging others, you really need to take a look at yourself. You need to look inwards towards your own lack of understanding towards yourself and others.
I have been blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, with an abundance of empathy. I have an unbelievable ability to put myself in another person’s shoes, to feel what they feel and to think what they think. Blessed because it is a blessing to have this level of connection with someone. Cursed because it can be a painful experience to feel another person’s feelings so strongly as if they are my own.
Being destroyed by our own judgement’s
Pity is a form of judgement. Somebody I know suffers badly with self-pity. They only ever talk about their woes. ‘Oh, poor me. Things are terrible in my life.’
Because of this attitude, everyone else joins in with the pity party. They don’t realise but all they are doing is adding to the heap of negative energy that already exists.
I always say, be careful what you tell people, because the last thing you want to feel is other people’s sad and pitiful energy coming toward you. It’s very hard to come out of a situation that is so negative. But throw everyone else’s negative energy on top and quite literally the negative energy becomes depressing.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t share our stories of woe. But choose carefully how you want to portray yourself and what energy you want to receive in return.
Discernment; what is it and why is it better?
There is a substantial difference between judgement and discernment. Judgement looks to separate us and make us feel superior to the other. Discernment on the other hand, looks to discern right from wrong. There is no criticism. No exchange of negative energy. No moral high ground and no feelings of superiority.
Discernment comes from an inner knowing based on a universal truth. This simply means that somewhere deep within is a part that knows right from wrong.I call this part the Warrior Within.
This part knows that we are all connected to one another through the energy of love. We are all one and the same. We know that judging a fellow human being is wrong because when we do, we sever our connection to this universal love, to ourselves and others.I know when I judge the effect it has on me. My energy turns negative. I become angry, separate and isolated.
Discernment helps us see the truth rather than personally attack someone through judgement. Judgement is an attack. It may be mental, but it is an attack. It is personal and reactive. Judgement is the ego’s perception of being better or superior.
On the other hand, discernment is seeing things for what they are. It helps us make better choices. Stops us getting sucked into the black hole, which the ego is only happy to take you. Discernment is non-reactive.
To find discernment means to become aware. Self-awareness comes about through personal development. When we become aware of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, we can stop our reactive tendencies. Well, maybe not immediately. Reprogramming the operating system can take some time but can be done. Time,patience and continuous observation are the key to success.
The power of choice
I believe that we have a choice in life in how we think, feel and behave. We have a choice in what we want to align ourselves with. We can choose judgement, which we know comes from ignorance and a lack of understanding. Or we can choose non-judgment, love and compassion.
When we choose not to judge, we choose a different level. A level that aligns us with our fellow comrades.
This level teaches us that life can be hard and no matter what we face, we do the best that we can do with the tools that we have. This alignment helps us to understand our comrades. It tells them that you too have the same flaws. And that you have also made mistakes for which you have felt shame.
This lack of judgement allows you to be more compassionate with your own flaws. You can now see that you did the best that you could do with what you had.
Judgement and Personal development
When we begin a journey of personal development we are endeavouring to know ourselves. We are seeking to understand who we are and to make changes to aspects that don’t serve us well.
When we begin to understand our own journey, we get in touch with our feelings and our thoughts. We may even get in touch with our shame. We begin to notice our patterns. We can learn to be more kind and gentle towards our self. We may even go towards loving our self. This is compassion.
With personal development comes a level of self-awareness, which leads to a more empowered life. This empowerment gives us a sense of control over our life, and in particular, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Some people are so incapacitated by their thoughts, feelings and behaviours that choice doesn’t enter the equation. However, when you undertake personal development, you realise that you do have a choice. It is understanding that we have a choice that makes all the difference
And the first choice should be over judgment. Do you want to go along with the crowd and judge others? Or, do you want to be judged by others? And do you really want to give yourself a hard time by criticising, judging and berating yourself?
If you have answered no, then you should choose compassion. Compassion for yourself and for your fellow comrades. Choose a more balanced and peaceful life, where you don’t get swept away by the tide of negativity.
There is so much talk about enlightenment and how when we attain a state of enlightenment, we are free from the chains of life. Well the path to enlightenment starts with compassion. Compassion for oneself first and foremost. But to have compassion, one must not hold ignorance as a shield over their heart.
Compassion moves us beyond empathy to the level of pure love. When we have reached this level, we have come over the right side, or the light side. The other side of ignorance, judgement and lack of understanding.
We should also have compassion for those who suffer. And yes those who do bad, are suffering. Look at it like this; there is good energy and bad energy, light and dark. Those who choose bad energy and darkness are suffering a tremendous amount. They need love not hatred. Only love can outshine the dark.
Want to get over the judgement of another?
Simply ask them. Ask a person who may have hurt you or someone you don’t agree with why they did what they did. I can guarantee they will give you a rational answer. You mightn’t agree with it. But in their mind they did the right thing given the circumstances. Asking the questions will bring you into understanding. In fact, you may even develop empathy. And more importantly you may learn to stop judging. In doing so, you are moving away from anger to love.
So instead of judging, let’s start having conversations.
And what do you do if you are suffering at the hands of someone else’s judgement of you?
Get out from underneath it. The negative energy that somebody is sending you is stifling. It is an attack and the only way to win is to retaliate, which is just reactivity. Or remove yourself from the situation. Learn to walk away.
- Move from judgement to discernment through observation of your own reactions and ability to judge others.
- Continuously observe your patters of judgement, to see what they say about you (in a non-judgemental way).
- Learn to be kind and gentle with yourself, so that you can extend this kindness to your fellow human beings.
- Understand that people do the best that they can do with the resources that they have. We have no right to judge another, unless we have walked a mile in their shoes. Which is impossible, because no two circumstances will ever be the same.
- Go one step further than kindness to compassion. Practice this for yourself and others. We are all fighting a battle we know not of.
- Realise that you have the power of choice. You can choose what energy you want to embody. Do you choose negative energy through judgement? Or do you choose the energy of love and compassion through discernment?
The world may become a little more boring if we moved from judgement to discernment. But it would become a more peaceful and loving place. And I don’t know about you but I am becoming pretty bored with the judgemental egos that have run this planet for long enough. Peace of mind and kindness is what I am after. If you don’t show me that, then I am not interesting.
I have a lot of compassion and an ability to understand others. I choose to act out of discernment rather than judgement. But that doesn’t mean I am a walk in the part either. I am a spiritual force. And don’t mistake my meekness for weakness. I have a warrior within and I am claiming my peaceful and kind life on this planet no matter the cost. Unfortunately that may mean the loss of some people in my life. But that is fine, If I cut someone from my life I do it from a place of love.