Judgment of Others and Ourselves

In our continued quest for sobriety and inner peace, the next topic in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, is judgment, or lack of it.

The kind of judgment to which I refer goes beyond the assessment of a situation to assure our safety. I am talking about the type of judgment that degrades another, that diminishes them. 

“Why do we judge others so harshly for being who they are, if their actions and behaviors feed their spirit and are not harmful to themselves or others?” The verse goes on to ask why we are so judgmental of ourselves for the same reasons.

Do you suppose we judge others so harshly because we are uncomfortable with ourselves, and, in an effort to feel better, we cut someone else down?

We first judge by appearance, so if someone dresses in a way that is out-of-the-norm, we have deemed them unworthy of our liking or consideration. It is said that in the first seven seconds of meeting someone, we have judged them. How do we have a clue what they’re all about in seven seconds?

Ah, perhaps we don’t care what they’re all about. Perhaps, we use that seven seconds to compare them to us, and we size ourselves up to their looks, so we can feel better about ourselves. Is that what we’re doing?

We don’t have to like everyone; that’s not what I’m advocating. But we can find out who they are inside, in their heart, and then let them be themselves without judgment of whether they’re good or bad people.

And what of ourselves, when we judge ourselves harshly? What’s with that? Often, we are harder on ourselves than we are with others. Instead of doing that, could we be kind and gentle, showing ourselves compassion? 

Today, take a minute to notice when you greet others whether you are judging them. Try instead, to see their soul, who they are as a person and reserve judgment. Take several minutes to reflect upon how you judge yourself, and just for today, try to catch yourself, and stop doing it. See how freeing and peaceful that feels?