The crack of judgment whips our tender and vulnerable egos like the pounding of a judge's mallet that heartlessly smacks with the delivery of the final verdict, determining whether we are to suffer as captives or be set free.
Judging or being judged can be horrendous to the spirit. Human insecurities and self-imposed restrictions are born out of a primordial fear of judgment. Not only are many religious beliefs stemmed from this ultimate fear, our society is structured around it. The Ten Commandments, governmental laws, and the quintessential golden rule have set a standard of what “thou shall not do” and if we deviate from these ideals, the sting of judgment can not only land us in jail, it can leave damaging and permanent scars on our spirit.
Aside from the obvious major rule breaking behaviors, living a life without judgment can keep you outside self-induced prison bars that prevent you from being free to be exactly as you are.
The following are a few tips to help you release your fear of and desires to judge others and yourself.
My father always told me he does not judge, he observes. My quick response has always been that they are one in the same, but the more I ponder this the more I realize they are very different. To judge is to exercise authority or hierarchy over something or someone. To observe is to see, witness and watch from a neutral point of view. When you can let go of the illusion of clout in your assessment, you take a non-judgmental stance. When you do not act on the need to judge, you lose your fear of being judged.
Neither you nor any other human being is capable of being perfect 100 percent of the time. We all make mistakes. That is how we grow, learn and ultimately evolve. Without messing up from time to time you’ll never build character or have some advice that you can contribute to those in need. Don’t worry if you’ve done something wrong; rather use the experience to make you a better person as a result, and encourage others to do the same. Carrying around a guilty complex doesn’t feel very good, plus it facilitates the potential to judge others and yourself too severely.
Holding on to a grudge makes you more apt to judge unfairly as a protective mechanism to guard your wounded ego which actually leaves you more exposed and fearful of being judged in return. To free yourself of this vicious cycle, you must learn how to forgive. It is a lot easier said than done, but you’ll thank yourself for it when you’re finally free from carrying the heavy burden of resentment.
Mother Theresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” And if you are judging yourself, how can you experience the type of self-love that can lift your spirit and bring you happiness and joy?
I challenge you on this day to observe instead of judge, to have compassion, to forgive others and most importantly, to forgive yourself. The moment you feel judgment coming from you or towards you, squelch it immediately. Today is not judgment day; it is your day to be yourself and as a result, feel totally free.