For The Judgy Among Us: 6 Things That Happen Every Time You Judge Someone
It may seem there's something natural, even good about judgment. After all, just about every time our eyes alight on someone or something, we judge it as good or bad based on how it stacks up against our inner ideal of how things should be.
Why would she say something like that? He's so clueless. OMG: I look terrible today. The inner comments never stop, and they often come out in complaints we express to others. But we don't see them as complaints. To us they are intelligent observations of life around us.
But below are six things that really happen when you judge someone, as well as how to see through why you're doing it and how to stop.
Please note: Our intention here must not be to try to control this judging nature. We need only become aware of how we feel when we judge, so we actually taste what judgmental thoughts do to others and ourselves. The more we can taste these negative states, the greater grows our natural distaste of them.
1. Judgments place our focal point of reality in the past.
When we judge others, we're really judging our own unconscious image of them. We all bring "baggage" of the past with us into the present moment, and one of the ways this can manifest is through a host of unconscious images we carry around of ourselves and others. These images are based on our past experiences—not on what is actually happening in the present. So whenever someone steps outside the framework of one of these mental and emotional "pictures," they are instantly seen and felt as being "nonconforming" and therefore a threat of some kind.
All forms of judging others have their root within this fear. But we can learn to see that while this kind of fear may feel real, the "why" behind it is a lie. And as we are set free by the truth we see, so are those who will no longer feel judged by us. When we become truly aware of others, we can't judge them. We know their hidden inner state, can see its similarity to our own, and would not do anything to add to their pain.
2. Judgment robs us of experiencing new joys.
Our endless stream of judgments also hurts us. When we impose a negative view on things and people based on the past conditioning we bring to the moment, we can't experience life directly or see the good it may be offering. We can't see the beauty in what we've summarily cast away.
3. Judgment arises from a fundamental misunderstanding.
Our judgment of others arises from the false belief that our nature is somehow different, superior to theirs. But the truth is, we're all of the same nature. What really differentiates us from those we judge is only a temporary difference in passing time and circumstance that creates our punishing delusion of who is greater and who is not. In another time and another circumstance, you'll be the one who is at the lower end of this (false) moral hierarchy—and climbing out of the spiral of lacking self-worth can be a lifetime's journey. Just as you wouldn't want others to make you feel that way, why would you inflict it on others?
4. Judging others says more about you than the person you're judging.
Judging others doesn't change how much they disturb us; it serves only to distract us from seeing just how little it actually takes to set us off.
5. Silently judging others is a coward's move.
Sitting in silent judgment of others is the coward's way of picking a fight and winning it...all without having to do a single thing other than just be the instrument of unseen negativity. In other words, the entire drama occurs nowhere but in our own minds. We feel vindicated, without ever engaging the other person at all.
6. Judging others based on their past "transgressions" against us keeps them from changing for the better.
Our past relationships with others ought never blindly determine how we treat them in the present. After all, if the Divine decided to judge us "once and for all"—for even a small portion of our poorly made, self-centered decisions—surely it would have given up on us a long time ago. The Divine gives us innumerable chances to be transformed. We should extend the same "room to grow" to others.
Seeing through the lie of judgment.
Judging another (or yourself) attempts to prove the presence of an innocent "you"—someone who is superior to the inferior character now being condemned. But both the superior and inferior parts of the equation are really opposite aspects of the same lower level of consciousness—and neither is who you really are.
Understanding this frees you from a self-imposed standard that quietly developed in you over time. Invite the light of this kind of self-revelation and rise above the painful and false world of judgment.
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