When we judge others as basically ‘wrong’, we perceive them through that mask of judgement, and seeing them through our judgements poisons the truth: the truth of who they are as a human being. We don’t see the full picture; we only see them in the light of our judgements.
Who am I to judge? We may ask ourselves this question, and yet judging is like a bad habit – a stuck record that goes round and round in our heads, contaminating our hearts, closing us down to love, acceptance and tolerance of each other.
Some years ago, a man I was in a relationship with taught me a lot about judgement. When I asked him once why he’d been so tolerant of my misbehaviour towards him, without blaming or getting angry with me, he simply said, “What would be the point? I could call you a bitch and get angry with you, but that wouldn’t help me or you would it?” And he left it at that. Sage words. Judgement takes away the joy you can experience when you’re together.
I’m not saying you have to like how people behave, or what they do. Of course not! And I’m not saying don’t address issues when they come up. But don’t waste your valuable time and energy in continuing to judge a person as wrong. Make the distinction between them, and their behaviour. Address the behaviour, but don’t condemn the person.
Looking back on that relationship, I noticed that when I judged him for not being what I thought he should be, I felt a churning in my stomach, a feeling of unease within myself and a disconnection from him and from my own heart.
When I didn’t judge him, I experienced joy in truly loving him and a peace and happiness in our connection. Once again, I laughed joyously at his jokes. Once again I respected him and what he stood for. Once again, I truly saw him as the special human being that he is, not through my judgements, just through my heart.
This man was a true friend to me and when I treated him badly through my warped perceptions, nobody won.
The choice is always yours….to be right, or to be happy.
Today, if you find yourself judging someone harshly, making them wrong, or getting impatient with them for not living up to your expectations, take a breath into your heart, and in this moment, choose to let it go. In its place, choose love instead. You don’t have to like or accept their behaviour, but practice loving and accepting them as an alternative and notice what changes in you and how you feel as you do this. Perhaps more importantly, notice the impact your new way of being has on the other person, and what happens to your relationship going forwards.
Your judgemental mind will certainly return, but just for a moment today, try something different and enjoy the results!