Judgement

Recently I have been exploring the topic of judgement, as I have come to realise that I have been a very judgmental person for most of my life. Judging others is so much a part of what I do that I’m often not even aware that I am doing it. I have found that in order for me to be able to see a behaviour clearly, I need to be able to get a bit of distance between me and the behavior: but my problem with being judgmental is that it has often felt as close to me as my breath.

My judgmental ways have taken various forms. There have been the out and out verbally expressed judgmental snipes and the more surreptitious forms of judgement, such as a pregnant pause, the raising of an eyebrow or the shared look with a fellow staff member in a team meeting. And then there have been my judgmental thoughts, of which there have been an infinite number, silent by nature but registered in exactly the same way as an out and out attack of words.

So, who have I judged? It’s perhaps more pertinent to ask, “Who haven’t I judged?” I judge everybody – the rich and the famous, the down and the out, my family, my friends, my work colleagues, absolute strangers in the street and those I have neither met nor seen.

What is it that I judge others for? I think I can honestly say ‘everything.’ And the ridiculous thing is, what I judge others for is often the opposite of the same thing. For example, I have judged people for being too fat and too thin, too loud and too quiet, too stupid and too intelligent, too ugly and too good looking, too sensible and too reckless. I was going to say that I could fill a book with a list of the things that I have judged others for but it’s much truer to say that I could fill a small mobile library with my judgmental ways.

And the utterly ludicrous thing is, I have recently come to realise that my supposed viewpoint from which I cast my judgement is completely arbitrary – a moving platform that has changed so radically over time that I can’t even identify any more with the platform on which I once stood. The staunch platform on which I stood in my twenties was built on the belief that vegetarianism was the healthiest way to eat and that strenuous exercise was good for the body and therefore I naturally judged others who ate heaps of meat and who chose not to exercise. But now, twenty years later my views have changed… I no longer believe that vegetarianism is healthy for everyone and I currently hold the belief that strenuous exercise isn’t good for anybody. So, if I were to judge others from my current standpoint, then I would be judging those that were choosing to live life like I used to.

And the word ‘choosing’ is a significant one because what all judgement boils down to, is judging another for the choices that they are currently making, which begs the question, “Who are we to judge another’s choices?”

As part of my growing awareness around my judgmental ways, I have started to feel the effects of judgement on my body. It feels like an attack, not only on those that I am judging but on myself. When I judge another, it feels like I simultaneously harpoon us both, freeze framing us in time and space. Judgement relies very heavily on time; it tries to insist that another be somewhere other than where they are, which, when you think about it, is utterly ridiculous – how can any of us be anywhere other than where we are now? The Universe is forever expanding and as part of the Universe, so too are we being pulled to expand, but judgement tries to pin us down to the tiniest of specks; it prevents us from seeing the deeper and grander aspects of each other.

Judgement is also rejection because each time we judge another, what we are in fact saying is, “I do not accept the way that you are choosing to be.” And this rejection is likely to push another even further into disharmonious ways of being, because rejection is an attack that most of us recoil from. Acceptance on the other hand is gifted with grace and allows others the freedom to move and change at their will.

Everything in life falls into one of two categories – it either supports us to return to the Truth of who we all are, or it hinders the process of return. Could it be as simple as understanding that judgement hinders our return, whereas acceptance speeds us on our way?

By Alexis Stewart, disability support worker, yoga teacher, massage therapist, mother, partner, self-appointed cheerleader for humanity, woman whose identity as an individual seems to be fading fast

Related Reading:
The truth of simple acceptance of self
Accepting all of you
Self-acceptance and appreciation bring true presence

911 thoughts on “Judgement

  1. We can definitely judge without saying a word and we all feel it, children and adults begin to try and moderate, measure their behaviours and words through feeling the imposition of judgement. Energy first, it is destructive and ignorant for us to not be honest about that fact that we feel and know energy.

  2. “Could it be as simple as understanding that judgement hinders our return, whereas acceptance speeds us on our way?” With judgement we are in resistance and being individual which only serves to delay our return to the love we all are and come from, whereas with acceptance we are on the freeway home.

  3. ‘Who haven’t I judged?’ is such an honest question, and leaves no wiggle room to deny this oh so common behaviour. The more we understand and accept who we truly are, the less we look outside of ourselves with comparison or judgement.

  4. It is a difficult realisation to admit that you have been judgemental. We all like to think that we are open minded and that we don’t judge people. But there’s also a side of us that thinks it knows what life is supposed to be like and in that we can judge anything else that is not that as wrong. That is a judgement we cast upon others. That is what we need to be honest about and ask ourselves if we are truly open minded and giving people space to figure out life in their own time.

  5. It’s interesting to ponder on how, when, where and why I go into judgment, especially when I convince myself that I do not judge. But really at this point that is not true. I can see that I can go into judgment if I am in reaction to someone or I am not willing or ready to look at the reflection on offer from another. Seeing this is awesome.

    1. It can appear subtle, but we all feel judgement like a punch in the guts, great I agree to ponder and look at where there is the slightest choice to go into judgement and take responsibility for it and be understanding why this is triggered in us.

  6. Thank you for this opportunity to look at judgments – something that has been far too frequent in my life, toward myself as well as others. How crazy that we can spend so much time and energy on holding on to pictures and reacting when they do not come true, instead of observing with love, openness and curiosity what will be reflected to us and responding accordingly.

  7. Judgement starts very early in life, where we emerge from a warm cosy womb into a world where we are handled with roughness and what we felt was true gets knocked about and we learn to judge others based on the pictures we hold.

  8. “Who are we to judge another’s choices?” Whilst I know this to be true, I often find myself on the judging throne, doling it out. But due to a few things, this blog particularly, I am much more open to seeing this, its frequency and how awful it feels in my body. The tide feels like it is turning as I explore why I do it, and learn to let it go and live by the principal that we are all equal.

  9. Totally agree Alexis, We can still hold a picture of how people ‘should’ be – and this is judgement. I can feel how my body hardens when I am in judgement….as we know, the body is the great marker for truth.

    1. Very good point Johanna, all that negative energy – a force – rather than the flow of our light. It makes so much sense of my exhaustion, all this fighting my natural way of love with judgement and criticism. It’s a very good way to avoid dealing with our own stuff by focusing on others! It’s a sure fire way to burnout.

    2. So true Johanne… when we judge not only are we being hard on another, we are being hard on ourselves – and holding that tension is exhausting on our bodies.

  10. I like the bit about the arbitrary nature of judgement (the parameters change for me on a moment by moment basis depending on how my relationship with myself is) because it exposes the quicksand and lie that judgement is – a destroyer of relationships, when all of our true yearning is for connection in relationships, working together and the unity of collaboration.

    1. Yes Elizabeth this is very true, the more I have been connecting and appreciating my self the more I have found joy with others and naturally seen their beauty.

    2. Yes, we are reacting to what we are feeling within ourselves and how we are treating ourselves, and projecting that onto others.

  11. I can feel that being judgmental can feel like it is who we are, rather than what we do, because it has often felt as close as breath inside us. But we can learn to feel the way we have learned to be rather than being who we are, which would never be judgemental.

  12. I’m finding recently that to judge those who lie, manipulate and wilfully deceive is easy to jump to, but does little good. For me, learning to live with integrity right now is super super important.

    1. So true Ariana. It can be so tempting and so easy to jump into judgment and condemn those who seem to thrive on willful deceit and manipulation but it serves no purpose at all and in fact just puts us in the same pit. Learning to live from the integrity in our hearts is super important and in fact our only way out of the immense mess our world is in.

    2. Well said Ariana, that’s something I can relate to. These are often our greatest lessons learning not to react in these circumstances and looking at the subtleties of our own reactions.

  13. Self-critique is the denigration and undermining judgement that opens the door to seeing the same thing in others, so life becomes like a revolving door that justifies the judgement, as we place everyone including ourselves under the same umbrella. So it feels okay to judge others as we are persecuting ourselves until we reconnect to our essence, or innermost, and thus start to relive the natural True Love we all are.

  14. ‘Could it be as simple as understanding that judgement hinders our return, whereas acceptance speeds us on our way?’ – that’s not to say that with acceptance we are saying yes to everything that’s going on around us. We are still free to stand up and say no to any abuse, without judgment but with understanding.

  15. “The Universe is forever expanding and as part of the Universe, so too are we being pulled to expand, but judgement tries to pin us down to the tiniest of specks; it prevents us from seeing the deeper and grander aspects of each other.” Absolutely gorgeous to read this and it just shows us how silly it is to judge others or ourselves for something we haven’t mastered yet because we are so much more grand than that little thing, we are just returning to living that grandness. How fast or slow is in our hands yet judgement does not support our return in any way or form and it makes it a very unpleasant one for ourselves and others around us.

    1. I love this too, highlighting how crazy it is that we allow ourselves to be reduced down to the specks on the ground, while totally ignoring the magnificence of all that we already are – we are a part of a mind blowingly spectacular Universe that is calling us to expand, to honour the truth of who we are. What we are all a part of is absolutely divine.

  16. What do we do when we feel judged ourselves? React? Or stay calm in the knowing that who we are is OK and needs no ‘correction’? Many of us, women especially, tend to rearrange the way we do things in order to avoid judgement from others, but it is not being true to who we are.

    1. So true, Carmel. A few days ago, I met up with some female friends that I haven’t seen for a long time and I chose to wear a very feminine, some may even say, ‘sexy’ outfit. I was the last to arrive, as soon as I walked in the conversation stopped and all eyes were upon me, I could feel myself contract slightly, then I stopped and chose to absolutely claim the gorgeous woman that I am and to enjoy the fact that my outfit was being noticed. It was incredibly beautiful to feel how this choice immediately cut and changed the energy in the room.

    2. Wise words Carmel, what if we could hold that knowing so true to us that no matter how much judgement comes our way it is like water off a ducks back.. For guys we never want to be rejected and so being judged for me is something I’m learning to understand is about the other person and not me and that is making the world of difference.

  17. Acceptance is a science to be mastered and when we do, we find our evolution accelerate as we learn to embrace everything in life as lessons to learn by so we can expand our awareness, love and integrity. When we choose judgment, we very effectively stunt our growth.

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