Judge Less, Love More
On being universally human Passing judgment ranks highly with baseball as one of society's favorite pastimes. We do it so effortlessly; we often forget it is even happening. "Why would he wear that?" "Oh, she's definitely had work done." "They are only together because of the kids." All of us are guilty of this nasty habit of shaming others, but why? Why do we care enough to waste energy identifying the perceived problems of another? Does it bring us closer to figuring out our lives? Or is it a comfort blanket, protecting us from revealing who we truly are to the world?
Many of us are so far removed from our true voice—our values, virtues, passion and purpose—our connectedness to something more than the ego. Instead of embarking on a journey of self-discovery, we would rather distract ourselves by demeaning others. Whether we speak our assumptions or keep them as thoughts, the damage is the same. There is a finite amount of time we are dealt in this human experience. Even if you believe in reincarnation, we do not have the luxury of reliving this particular life. The valuable seconds we so readily offer up to judging another cannot be recouped. That time is exchanged for a heavy energy and it is far removed from the vibration of love.
At a young age, we are taught to make sense of our surroundings. We feel better when we can place things, people and experiences into a defining box. While this is generally a great organizational habit, it limits our lives. We become closed off and feel threatened by anything or anyone that cannot be easily defined. If it does not make sense according to our standards, we judge, blame and shame. We drag through life pushing and resisting the new and different. It is exhausting. How do we grow with nothing to spark new perspective? How do we develop imagination in our separate, pre-labeled boxes?
Unfortunately, the majority of us have not been taught healthier ways to establish clarity and confidence. We look to the external world to show us contrasting people and experiences that we can then assess our value by. Instead of allowing the ego to find fault in diverging experiences, approaches or opinions, we must reverse the focus. Move it inward, where real change can take place. Thinking another person is broke, will not make you rich. Assuming someone is dumb will not make you smart. The path of judging is one we take when we would rather distract ourselves from our issues—the inner turmoil, laced with anxiety, doubt, stress and fear—versus courageously breaking down the inner systems that have not been working.
Spiritual living offers more understanding, compassion and love. Separation and assumption do not uplift or empower spirits. We must dissolve social conditioning and the control it holds over how we interact with our world. It is freeing to carry an open heart and mind, embracing new ways of being. To start, the process may be uncomfortable and you may realize establishing new behavior requires discipline you may not yet have. Though the time you take back for yourself—instead of spending it on judging others—can provide the supply of energy you need to transform.