Judge Much? (I Sometimes Do)
Let’s be honest. We all judge. I know I do… more than I'd like to admit.
Like when I'm driving on the freeway, keeping with the flow of traffic - maybe 5-10 mph over the speed limit - and some kid zips past me at about 90 mph with his muffler-deprived vehicle. I judge him.
Or when I'm ordering a coffee and the guy at the register decides to wear his mask well below his nose - or worse, rub his face or scratch his head with the hands that subsequently pick up my cup to prep my order. Yep, I judge him, too.
Still, when we see other people in constant judgment mode, particularly those who’ve been stuck down the rabbit hole for far too long - for example, real people not unlike SNL’s “The Whiners" - it’s certainly no picnic to witness.
So, what is judgment, really, and how can we move past it?
Well, since there are only two main emotions we experience as human beings, fear and love, we know that everyone experiences fear.
Judgment is nothing more than fear that’s projected onto another, or one’s self.
In order to minimize how often we’re in judgment mode, we must start by becoming mindful of our own fear.
That guy's extremely loud vehicle zipping past me scared the crap out of me. In turn, I went into judgment mode and made it about the kind of person he likely was.
As for the guy prepping my coffee order... well, I happen to be highly sensitive about people touching their face, or any other part of their body, and then handling what I'm going to put to my mouth. And, based on what I've learned about COVID-19, I feel safer when masks are worn properly - above the nose.
But, that doesn't mean that the other guy isn't a decent person. He just doesn't have the same level of awareness or sensitivity about some of the same things as me. You can bet, though, that he's got his own concerns about things that wouldn't bother me in the least.
So, for this remedy to be effective, we’ve got to first make sure we’re not judging ourselves for being judgmental. And, as we catch ourselves in these moments of fear that result in our projection - our judgment - we can then start to redirect our thought process toward compassion instead. Compassion for our self and the other.
Once we do this, the episodes of judgment will actually lessen and lessen... and that’s when we begin to create a domino effect of miracles.
Give it a try…
Start by just observing your breath. If it’s tight or short, don’t judge it. Just breathe through it. Feel gratitude for your breath. It's your life force.
Next, move on to your body. Any pain points? If so, gently breathe through them, accepting them without judgment.
Here’s a powerful exercise I often do that I learned from Louise Hay: I thank my body, with its many wise, essential, and intricate parts, for all that it does for me. It’s a simple exercise that makes a huge difference in the trajectory of my day.
Gratitude is always a game-changer.
Now, we move on to our thoughts. Try observing your thoughts from a place of curiosity instead of judgment.
Thoughts can be especially challenging at first, but the more you do this exercise, the easier it’ll become to let them go, like white puffy clouds that just float on by.
To sum it up...
In order to lessen how often we experience the pain of being in “judgment mode,” we've got to start becoming present to our own fears that are causing the judgment.
And, we must do this without adding more judgment to the mix. We want to be compassionate with ourselves and with those on the receiving end of our fear.
We're all human beings, after all. Not one of us is perfect. We all have fears, and we can work toward having more understanding and compassion with one another.
The more we practice being present to what we’re thinking and feeling, and the more we replace our fearful thoughts with compassion and gratitude, the less we’ll judge ourselves and others, and the happier life will be.
I hope this serves you.
And if you'd like more tips on combatting "judgment mode," be sure to check out this blog post.
Have a beautiful day.