I have been contemplating over the past week or so what it would be like if I didn’t judge a single thing. Not the goings on of the current American President, not the way my friends and family tackle certain aspects of their lives, not the local shop owner who never smiles, not the unfairness of disease and not my own failings as a human being.
I just want to clarify that I am not talking about judgement in the context of the ‘ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions’. I am referring to the moments where I put on my righteous, I-know-whats-best-for-everyone hat on and throw my opinions all over the place. Sometimes they are only bandied about in my head, but sometimes they vomit out of my mouth all over the unfortunate person who is nearest to me at the time.
Now, for my beautiful friends who are reading this and ready to whip out their phones and text me a reminder about not being too hard on myself – I thank you but it’s all good. I understand the humanness of bringing judgement to people, things, and situations. I even think that it is part of the way we try to feel better about ourselves and our own inadequacies.
What I am curious about however is, what if we just stopped. What if we bought compassion to every interaction instead of judgement. I don’t know about you but my thoughts go straight to – but what about that guy who beats his family – aren’t I right to judge him? What about my work colleague who keeps making inappropriate jokes at my expense – surely I am justified in my opinions then. And you know what, maybe I am but here’s the thing. Does judging those people or actions change anything? Does it change their actions? Does it make me feel better? Not really!
But by focusing on it being OK to judge the ‘big bad’ things, we get to avoid looking at the so called ‘little’ judgements that we make every day – the next door neighbour who constantly complains about your children parking their cars too close to his fence, the husband who leaves his wet towel on the floor of the bedroom, the gossipy woman at the gym or that friend who wears designer clothes and always looks incredible…
Let alone the judgments we make on ourselves – I’m not a good enough wife, partner, mother. I should be fitter, I shouldn’t eat as much chocolate, I shouldn’t eat any chocolate, I am too fat, not smart enough, I am too successful – people will be threatened by me, I am too emotional, not emotional enough, I am not making a difference in the world, I am selfish, I am… OMG this list is endless!
Our judgements are so final, and in allowing them out, we kill off compassion and love for each other and for ourselves. So I have decided to play with ‘not judging’ and to see what shows up. Feel free to join me.
Feel free to join me.