A BIG VISION
Imagine: A Judgment-Free World
Do you know when you are judging someone?
I don’t mean having a negative opinion or drawing a conclusion. I also don’t mean assessing someone’s character, which we must do if we’re going to trust anyone.
We use the word judgment to mean all these ways we develop our view or belief about someone as ‘right or wrong’ or ‘good or bad’. This kind of judgment or discernment is reasonable, and necessary to make our best decisions.
But judging someone can become justifying condemnation where you impose your ideal of what’s right for you to make someone else wrong. You impose superiority (or arrogance) over someone where they become inferior in a connection that’s unhealthy for both of you. Attacking by putting someone down in any form that’s harmful to their well-being (rude, ridiculing, verbally abusive, insensitive, violent, reckless or bullying) is what I mean by judging someone.
There’s a punishing ‘judge’, and a ‘victim’ of that judgment.
Pause for a moment to notice how rampant this kind of ‘judgmental energy’ can be. You’ve encountered it with insensitive teachers, controlling parents, overbearing bosses. It’s in our schools, communities, and religious establishments. It’s everywhere in social media that feeds on attacks, harsh ‘entertainment’ we’ve come to accept, and narcissistic political leaders leading countries. Sadly, it can cause tragic consequences with cyber-bulling among our kids, and untold drama in our personal lives.
Judgment shows up in our homes. It’s in the sarcastic condescending tone in a partner’s voice. The disrespect from a teenager to their parents demanding what they want, and the nasty gossip we tolerate in our neighbourhood. Kindness, and compassion seems to have lost it’s way.
This kind of judgment is destructive to your relationships.
Everyone has their own idea of happiness, and success. These can get imposed on us with good intentions. The way to step into your ideals of what’s right for you is to ignore people’s criticism, and judgment, and follow your heart. Not an easy task.
It may require breaking some barriers of cultural or social norms. It will definitely involve not meeting other people’s expectations. Sometimes even going against your own family to walk your own path. Authenticity becomes more important than harmony, while you strive to find balance in a fragile structure where rules are no longer black and white.
- Are you craving deeper connection, and authenticity in your relationships?
- Is there anyone you need to forgive?
- Do you have any guilt or shame you want to release?
- Do you have the freedom to be yourself with the people close to you?
- Have you settled where something feels missing?
- Do you navigate your conflicts that gets you to a better place?
- Do you experience the joy of unconditional love?
Living judgment-free was the answer to all of the above.
How I Discovered What It Really Means to Judge Someone
When a long-time friend I trusted judged me by her own standards of what she considered ‘right’ – I was shocked, and felt betrayed for the first time.
In response, I felt something I’d never felt before brewing from my own judgment back in defensiveness. A rising anger that was quickly turning to hatred.
“How dare she?”
“What’s wrong with her?”
“She doesn’t deserve friends!”
It was a war I discovered in too many minds. It only takes one side to judge, and trust disappears. We become controlling and condemning – this energy is judgmental.
It no longer matters who’s right or wrong – it’s how you treat someone in the face of opposition.
The source of judgment is complicated, and often stems from the unhealed pain inflicted when someone’s self-worth was attacked, and hurt in 3 specific ways:
Judging can also be socially programmed as acceptable. There is no excuse for attacking anyone, but understanding why someone judges in the first place helps you not to judge. It can arise from the feeling of being picked on by an older sibling or the devastation of being abandoned by a parent.
Naturally, we will condemn a choice or behavior that is destructive to someone’s well-being (mean, abusive, insensitive, or degrading). We’re also not going to be supportive of greedy or selfish behaviour. We can call these choices ‘wrong or bad‘, but condemning a person for not following your ideals changes who you become for the worse.
A Spiritual Approach
On some level, most of us understand it’s not right to judge someone, but how does it apply in practice?
It goes back to a Universal principle found in every major faith. Treat someone the way you want to be treated. There is no one who wants to be judged, yet we all seem to find ways to justify our own sense of right to make someone else wrong. We make our love conditional this way.
Judging blocks our ability to forgive. Jesus’s final words on the cross left us with this monumental lesson. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”. He didn’t judge those who condemned him to death despite his absolute knowing that he was innocent.
He let go of needing to be right.
He made us aware of a divine fragment within that can tap into this higher part of ourselves. It reminds us that we are connected to something much bigger that holds universal values of compassion, empathy, and non-judgment.
Communicating without judgment when things go wrong can end the cycle of guilt, shame, and blame. The war within us.
“In the 20th century alone, close to 200 million human beings were killed by other human beings…a dysfunction in the human mind prevents us from perceiving other human beings and Nature as part of who we are. With a voice in the head that is continuously judging, criticizing, and conceptualizing, we are unable to see that every life form is as alive and sacred as we are.”
~Ekhart Tolle, Author of A New Earth
Releasing judgment allows your true inner voice to find its way home.
To learn more, pick up my judgment-free guide, and join my judgment-free community of friends.
Creating judgment-free relationships where you have the freedom to be who you are because this is the experience of what it is to love unconditionally.