“It’s very easy to judge. It’s much more difficult to understand. Understanding requires compassion, patience and a willingness to believe that good hearts sometimes choose poor methods.” ~Doe Zantamata
I was protected by judgments in the past. These judgments reassured that I was worthy. It was true. The truth is that I am good. I believed I knew the “right” way to live.
It was clear to me that I saw the truth. I didn’t understand why others weren’t always able to grasp the truth that I saw. My inner turmoil was the truth.
As a teenager, there was a constant tension in my chest that I carried with me everywhere. Although it was barely noticeable, it was always present. It felt like I was always fighting against the universe, the world. It was my attempt to direct it and to make it see things the way that I wanted. I judged anyone who didn’t follow my vision of right and wrong.
It was a time I used to spend arguing and judging. Politics, religion, even school board meetings—they all elicited strong judgments from me. Judgement of others was so satisfying for me. That’s the kicker. However, I was eventually irritated by the negative energy that the judgments created.
Why did I judge so heavily? Because I believed in the need to punish missteps. These were my judgments. To me, punishments were essential to learning. To learn.
It turned out that most people were unaware of the judgments I made. My judgments weren’t resulting in positive change. When I actually thought about punishments and realized what they accomplish, it was clear that none of them were effective. BeatitudesI must be punished in order for me to make a change. I saw that I was operating from a false “truth.”
What I hadn’t understood was that the only person I was punishing when I judged was myself. My anger was poisoning my body and my mind as well as my soul.
Now, it is obvious to me that when I judge I create division. When I judge someone, I am saying “I’m here and you’re over there.” I’m thinking, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” The problem is—they are thinking the same thing!
In what proved to be an important moment of my spiritual journey, I felt the wisdom in the opening quote.
As a witness, I saw two of my best friends get into a heated argument about vaccinations. My chest began to tighten. I began to judge and felt the need to jump in and share my “right view” with them.
Then I became centered. And I was still. Then I saw two mothers who seemed scared. Two parents who loved their children. Two mothers who tried their best. It was easy to let go of the tension. The tension subsided and I began to feel compassion for my two best friends.
The world around me changed. I felt more expansive and less tension. I felt peaceful. I felt love.
There is a concept in Buddhism called “the right view.” The “right view” is often described as the perspective that doesn’t cause suffering. I’ve also heard it described as “all views, or none at all.”
I’ve learned that we filter all external information through our own personal experiences, knowledge, and traumas before coming to a conclusion. We react to the information we receive through our inner world. We can receive similar information but come up with different conclusions. All are valid, none wrong. These are all just paths.
I have always tried to convince people that my way was the right one in the past. I wouldn’t allow you to be who you were. You were who I desired. WishedI would have judged you. I’d have judged your character.
I don’t know about you, but when someone judges or shames me, I don’t change. I dig my feet in. It’s not a very effective communication technique.
We can foster acceptance and not division by judging each other instead of trying to judge. Our inner world will change when we are more compassionate than judgement. You feel inner peace.
It’s important to note that not judging someone doesn’t mean you condone what they’re doing. It also doesn’t change the consequences of their actions. It allows them to continue their actions. You To keep your inner peace.
How did I get to this point?
I first learned how to meditate, and where stillness is found within myself.
The second was to learn how I could find stillness while keeping my eyes open. These two first steps enabled me to find a place between events and my emotions. I was able to react rather than react in this moment. This moment is where the truth often becomes clear.
Third, it was a practice to catch myself judge. Then, I’d take a minute to hold that person in compassion. I would attempt to understand the person. Instead of trying to control them, I’d let them be what they were.
Fourth, I saw that punishments don’t work. Judging others or ourselves doesn’t facilitate growth. It can lead to tension and even division.
Finally, I found that the act of judging can tie you to your past. Past patterns, reactions and impressions. I’m judging based on my personal past experiences. My past taught me to be patient and forgive. I knew if I didn’t, nothing would change.
Inner peace was the result. My chest doesn’t feel tight anymore. It feels more open and shiny than tension. I feel the love that flows through me every day. The joy of each moment is what I perceive. I am less interested in the past.
I try to be present when someone makes a hurtful comment to me. They are my blessings. Because I am sensitive to the fact that people who are in pain often suffer from it spreading onto other people. They are my compassion. They are trying their best.
I’m also not perfect. Sometimes I still judge. However, I do my best to make the most of what I have.
You are challenged to lead with compassion. To begin with, be compassionate for your self. Everybody is constantly learning. And then compassion for one another. You will be amazed at what you can do for your inner world.
It is easy to judge; it’s much harder to try and understand.
About Jennifer Agugliaro
Jennifer Agugliaro is an Ayurvedic practitioner, meditation instructor, energy healer and spiritual mentor originally from western Canada. Now residing in central NJ, she is the owner of 7 Chakras Wellness, where she offers holistic healing with a specialty in women’s health. Jennifer also has an online community where you can find both free and paid courses that will help heal your body, mind and spirit. Her techniques are natural and gentle and promote long-lasting wellbeing, peace, happiness and joy.
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Tiny Buddha published the post Why I Judge People Hurt me and 5 Things that helped Me Stop appearing first on Tiny Buddha.