There’s someone in my life who I have been judging. I was judging the choices this person made, I was judging their behavior. It’s important to note that this person’s choices aren’t hurting me or affecting me in any way, directly… other than my own judgement of the choices. I have also been judging myself for judging this person.
There are all sorts of reasons I’ve been making for why I’ve been judging this person. One of which is that, in the past, I’ve often felt judged by this person. So that’s that, right? It’s okay that I’m judging them if they have judged me.
Actually, the reasons and the rationalizations are just noise. They are distracting me from the fact that I don’t like the feeling I get when I judge this person – or anyone, really. And then I judge myself for judging. I tell myself “Tamar, with all your tools and training, you of all people shouldn’t judge!” I “should” on myself.
But, in that moment, I AM judging. I’m human. I will never stop judging. It’s part of my (and your) neural architecture.
What I have done in the past is stayed way too long in the frustrating place of judging myself for judging. I’ve berated myself, I’ve told myself that I should think or feel differently. I’ve also searched for a spiritual answer outside of myself to stop the judging. When I found things that didn’t resonate with me in that moment, I felt even worse about my own judgement. I’ve also pretended or lied to myself. I tried to strong-arm the judgement away, and force myself to be compassionate and open and loving to the person I was judging, maybe even reaching out to them and putting on a disingenuous face.
I bet you can guess what happened… it didn’t “cure” the judgement. In fact, the judgement dug its roots deeper in my body. The judgement grew stronger and more resolved.
Clearly, it was time for me to try something new. Here’s what I tried instead: I noticed my judgement. I let it be there. I breathed into it. I played with the idea that all parts of me – even the parts that I recoil from – are useful and necessary. I collapsed the idea of positive and negative. I reminded myself that there’s a positive intention behind my judgement. I assured myself that I am doing the best I can do with the consciousness that I have. I recognized that the person I am judging is doing the best s/he can with the tools they have. I watched the judgement, like any other thought, shrivel up and pass me by, as all thoughts do.