BY SHEENA BLAKE
Are you judgemental? Or, do you think that you rarely judge? This question appears to be simplistic, but, of course, it is not.
I have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the difference between judgement and discernment often pretending to be “discerning” of a situation or another person, rather than acknowledging judgement. I mean, at least if I say I’m being discerning, then maybe I’ll convince others that I’m not being judgemental. But, then one day, someone saw through my ‘super spiritual’ façade.
“You’re really judgmental, you know that?” she said to me in a judgemental tone. My mind was spinning. My ego was preparing for battle…and then the phone died. I am so grateful for that moment. It was as though the whole world stopped right there; like everything that I was trying to convince myself of was finally being uncovered as a lie.
What I actually discovered about myself in that moment was that I was, in fact, judgemental and highly critical of myself and others. I spent so much time ignoring the base of my feelings that it was actually scary to find out that I really didn’t think well of myself at all.
So, I embarked on a journey and continued to embark on such journey to be clear about how I’m feeling about myself as it relates to others. I often take a time out when I catch my self looking side ways at someone because they cut me off on the highway or looking down on someone because of something they said, did, have or thought. This time out is literal. I go to a washroom or a private area and affirm certain things to myself. Often, I remind myself that I am perfectly made. This is not as crazy as it sounds. When I remind my self that I am perfectly made, I allow my self to realize that others are also perfectly made. This process allows me to release some judgement…not all, but some.
To be clear, though, I want to remind that judging others and judging self is really not a horrible thing. Sometimes, I do judge. Sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m good enough or like someone else is good enough, but, as my father has taught me, “you can judge, you must judge, but when you do, let it not be conclusive.” In other words, judging is a normal part of human existence; it’s a part of how we navigate this life and its situations, but, it’s important not to allow those judgements to limit our ideas of the future. Judgement must not be such a heavy load that the subject is without the ability to change. Everything can always change.
Take some time and ask yourself; where do your judgements lie? Do your judgements limit your future, are they conclusive in nature?
Be gentle with yourself….everything is ok.