eleventhbeatnik

musings of an aquarian age counterculturist

Judge Not. Failing that? Learn a lot.

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It took me a long time not to judge myself
through someone else’s eyes.

~ Sally Field ~

It has always been important for me to do my best to be non-judgmental toward myself and others.

Looking at this concept more deeply, I realize that the entire topic is far more complex than a sweeping statement of intent could possibly encompass.

I don’t want to judge others.  But I have done so.
As we all have, to some degree.

I don’t want to judge myself.  But I have done so.
As we all have, to some degree.

I don’t want to be judged by others.  But I have been subjected to it.
As we all have, to some degree.

At one time or another, I’m sure you’ve heard yourself or someone else say the words:  “I never judge”.

Over time, I’ve come to view statements framed in absolutes as suspect, including those uttered from my own mouth.  Such rigid declarations can only be spouted from an ivory tower.  A disconnected place where assumptions are too easily made and illusions of perfection are foolishly constructed.

It is only when we choose to leave that place of lofty, often isolated, perception that humility is learned and empathy and understanding begin to unfold, if our hearts and senses are open to it.  Stepping away from an impossibly restrictive way of thinking allows us to consider the idea that what we aspire to is not necessarily what is, no how much we wish otherwise.

So please excuse me while I descend my ivory tower and burn the drawbridge on the way out.

From a more grounded place, I can better state my intention with greater clarity:  I aspire to be non-judgmental toward myself and others.  I am not entirely there yet, but I will continue to make a conscious effort.  Rather than berating myself or giving up should I fail in those efforts, I will remember why this intention is important to me, and take steps to do better next time.

Attempting to avoid judging others while also being strongly opinionated about subjects that are important to us individually is a struggle we all share.  It is at times both a perplexing and highly illuminating contradiction.  Here’s the thing.  Opinions are often formed through personal experience, hearing other people’s stories, or through the lens of popular culture, but they are not necessarily based in fact.  Knowing that, I’ve come to see that when I express an opinion based on little more than observation and less than personal experience, I come away with a lesson.  Generally a painful one, but infinitely educational.

With that in mind, I will take care to avoid saying “I never judge”.  Instead, I will focus on self-awareness around my original intention not to do so.   The reality is that I do not want to judge, but sometimes I do.  Ultimately, I want to learn to notice if I’m passing judgment in some way, identify the thoughts I’m having around it, and change the course of my thinking in a loving and compassionate direction.  I believe that it is in those moments of conscious self-reflection that real, lasting change in our own patterns can be made.

Getting it wrong once in a while does not extinguish the many future opportunities available to get it right.  And so I am embracing every chance I can get to do and be better in this life, with gratitude.

photo credit: google images

photo credit: google images

Author: eleventhbeatnik

aquarian age counterculturist

2 thoughts on “Judge Not. Failing that? Learn a lot.

  1. it takes conscious and constant effort to override the programming we all have to judge. i think we’re allowed to slip up now and then and trust that our awareness of it is enough sometimes – it’s pretty heavy-duty conditioning! it’s kinda ironic that we judge ourselves for judging. 🙂 i find that when i am easier on myself, i am easier on others, and less apt to judge them. everything is a mirror! thank you for this important post. aleya

    • You are exactly right about the mirror effect. Great observation regarding the connection between being easier on yourself allowing you to in turn be easier on others. I love that.