I have come to realize that anytime we are judging someone, or even ourselves for that matter, there is something far deeper at play than cattiness or opinion. We tend to fuse with our judgments and perceive them as reality, when in fact it’s really just our perception, not the truth at all. We begin to believe our judgments and take our thoughts as facts. When we do this, it ultimately limits us from the truth of things. For example, the possibility of seeing the goodness in a person, the uniqueness in their story, or the beauty of a place that we were told was unsafe or bad in some way. When we judge, we rob ourselves of the possibility of goodness and growth. When we judge we don’t see things for what they really are, but only through the lens of our mind. The next time you rush to judge anything or anyone, think about all of the times that you have been judged and give the same mercy to others that you would want for yourself. Choosing our words carefully is crucial because we are the first to hear them. Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote the beautiful book called The Four Agreements, said it perfectly.
“We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way that we do. We assume that others think the way that we think, feel the way that we feel, judge the way that we judge, and abuse the way that we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make. And this is why we have a fear of being ourselves around others. Because we think everyone else will judge us, victimize us, abuse us, and blame us as we do ourselves. So even before others have a chance to reject us, we have already rejected ourselves. This is the way the human mind works.”
Quite often we think it is far easier to cast blame on someone or something else instead of digging into ourselves and recognizing the root of the upset, or quite simply the habit of making something wrong that is unfamiliar. In the moments when I am most critical of others, I recognize that something tender and insecure is being pressed within myself. It takes practice to stop and own our feelings and identify them. I am working hard at strengthening this muscle because I know that doing so will change everything in the most beautiful of ways, and I am always ready to make my life and myself more beautiful and open to the gifts it offers.