“What if your life depended on not seeing the faults of others,
how long would you live?
Oops, I think I just died as I thought about a friend that could be/feel better if they did this or that!
Judgement is an interesting thing. It’s kind of impossible not to judge others with our senses always fully on and our long list of beliefs (conscious AND unconscious) and experiences ready to compare and evaluate to what we are experiencing now. However, in the instances I am able to at least put my judgement in neutral or suspend them for a minute or two I sure have a different experience. I have a tendency to be a “fixer”. I guess being a “giver” and in the businesses I have been in, brings that up even more. I have noticed some of my freest moments in relationships are when I am truly allowing others to be right where they are, even when the “faults” I see, seem clear as day to me (Of course, someones else faults are my judgements). In the moment, I can just smile internally at a person in their place and know they are likely exactly where they need to be at this moment. I can let go of wanting to fix and not forcing my opinions on the “right” way, by my judgement, to live. So many options how to live these days, right?
Sometimes, I practice putting my judgements aside by asking a person, say, with the totally opposite beliefs, how long they have felt that way? Or was there a particular event that occurred that drove that belief home for them? Or any other type question that opens them up to sharing rather than just being stuck in what seems to be a growing polarized, I’m right your wrong world. I’m not saying it’s easy to do, but, for me, it’s so much more enjoyable to reach for understanding, compassion and some connection, even if it seems small, rather than the easier way of finding our differences. Of course, we really, at some level, know we are more deeply connected to each other than just our judgements.
This is one of my favorite stories of my judgements be so far off reality that I haven’t thought about for a while, but such a good example still.
I was sitting alone at the bar of a sushi restaurant in the San Francisco area. I saw a guy a few seats down and I had a bunch of judgements come up about how he was ordering his meal. Details not important, but I had the judgements that this guy must really be a snob. So as I was laying on the snob thoughts about him in my head, his food later came and it looked awesome and I wished I had ordered it! So, if he was a snob I thought, he sure ordered great looking food! I softened in the moment a bit and I decided to say something to him. I said, “wow, that looks great!” and he said he was thinking the same thing about my food that had just been delivered. I laughed inside when he said that and we got to talking and I found out that he was in construction, doing a remodel in what sounded like an awesome house with a view of the whole bay area. He was so grateful to have work, in a beautiful place and to be working with a friend that was teaching him new skills after 30 years in the business, so he could attract more business. He normally drive 2 hours each way 6 days a week to get to this job and this one night he decided to get a hotel and a nice meal. After he said that, he offered me a glass of wine from his bottle. Wow, so much for my judgement! I think he was pretty much the exact opposite from a snob and I guess who was really was the snob!
Anyway, for me it’s a constant practice of minding my own judgements (business). I’ll invite you to try non judgement, consciously, for an hour or even 5 minutes. you might learn something as I did.