Walt Whitman said “Be curious, not judgmental.” We strive to be nonjudgmental, yet each one of us is judgmental. It is our nature. Judgment, however, creates a division between people. We judge based upon race, actions, sexual orientation or where a person lives. Judgments are impressions we have based upon an interaction. Impressions which are our perceptions that come from past experiences. Many times these judgments have nothing to do with the individual person, rather founded in our own past experiences and interactions.
RESULTS OF JUDGMENT
So what happens when we make a judgment? Is it all negative? When we make a judgment it is based upon emotion, senses, and fight or flight responses. So judgments can quite literally be a survival mechanism. However, when we do not pause to understand why we are making emotional judgments on an individual, we set up blocks that will in the future create even additional judgments. No bridges to be built – no communication.
AWARENESS OF JUDGMENT
While you cannot possibly build bridges or communicate with every individual, you can make shifts in your own perceptions. Taking the time to determine why you are making the judgment and open your own awareness to self-judgment. Pausing to see why we are making the judgment can reveal fears, worries, or biases that are held as part of our own belief system. These same beliefs cause self-judgment as often as we judge others. When we become aware of these beliefs we can shift them enabling our subconscious mind to be more mindful of our own reactions.
AWARENESS LEADS TO COMPASSION
This awareness and mindfulness allows for a deeper understanding of the experiences we have and the experiences that others are having. This can lead to a deeper understanding of compassion and empathy for self and others. Compassion for self is paramount to becoming less judgmental of others. Our judgments are based upon those truths that lead us to be critical of ourselves; as well as others.
JUDGMENT TRANSFORMS INTO LOVE
The ultimate form of compassion is love. Judgment transforming into compassion and empathy allows you to discover love of self and love of others. You may not love, like or even approve of the actions of another. Yet, when you have compassion and empathy for them you can love them as a being.
CHANGING THE WORLD
It is difficult to love and judge in the same moment. Love transcends all other emotional experiences. It serves to form joy and happiness in your own joy and bliss. It creates understanding and change lives. Imagine if you will an individual who has only ever felt judged by others suddenly having an experience of loving energy? Compassionate energy? Understanding energy? By simply transforming your judgments into love you could quite simply change the world – or at least the world you experience.
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