“It all boils down to love so you might as well make that your aim.” - Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian
We all judge. By conditioning, by habit, by comfort.
That’s what humans do.
It’s easier to judge than to question one’s own perspective and in that process, grow. But if we want to grow, we must become willing to look at our judgments and what’s causing them.
We judge what we don’t understand or label as “bad”.
It’s a strategy to protect ourselves and in that, fear is always present.
Fear is sometimes a valid response and if we are in actual physical danger, fear can help keep us safe.
Judgments, on the other hand, are never really helpful. It only seems that way.
We can respond to fear in proper ways without holding judgments. The emotion of fear is a message which we can respond to in and of itself. Adding a mental construct to it, such as a judgment, doesn’t add any other value than a form of self-righteousness. If we understood, there wouldn't be any need to be self-righteous.
For example, if a snake tries to bite you, you remove yourself from it as quickly as possible. If a human tries to "bite you", you can remove yourself in the same way without judging it as a "human snake".
Snakes bite, that's what they do because that's their nature. Judging them for it doesn't change that fact.
When we see this, what we can do is that when a judgment arises, to do our best to either remove it or to disidentify with it.
So what if you still don’t want to get rid of some judgments?
That’s fine, and some judgments are completely understandable considering our past experiences. But note that judgment as a strategy to keep yourself safe only brings about suffering, for all parties, even if it's on a very subtle level.
The same is true when it comes to our self-judgments, they are attempts to keep us safe, but only hurt us in the process.
As a professional coach, it’s commonly seen that the fewer judgments a person has, (of themselves and of others) the more positive energy they have available and the higher their level of well-being and creativity.
Think about your judgments and focus on the first one that comes to mind:
What about the thing/person don’t you understand?
What might someone who does understand this perspective say?
What about that perspective are you unwilling to accept?
What additional judgments might you hold about this subject or about yourself?
How are these judgments serving you?
What are these judgments costing you?
How might these judgments be hurting you and those around you?
What would the benefit be of ridding yourself of these judgments, and what would it feel like to be free of them?
How would your future self view these judgments?
When we fully understand something, there’s no judgment present. When we come to see things as they are, compassion and love become the natural responses.
As the quote at the beginning of this article stated, love is what it’s all about so we might as well make that our aim.
Let’s aspire to judge less and to understand more, and in the process create a more compassionate and loving atmosphere together.
I’m here if you need assistance!