In order to create new, positive habits on our lives, we must take ownership over the not-so-positive reality first. It’s time to kick that judgement habit.
We observe, we formulate opinions, we smirk or remain stoic in what we think. Sometimes, though, this results in blurting out unkind words to others that can sting for a lifetime.
From body image to parenting styles to sexual preferences, judgment is one of the most difficult habits to abandon in our modern day world.
So is a non-judgmental society attainable?
I think it depends on how much work we’re willing to put into all the reasons of why we judge others. We need to own those reasons, then constructively and compassionately work toward altering the behaviors. It might take years and many lessons to understand the nature behind the judgmental mind and heart, but once it has been accepted, the true gift lies in the healing of the behavior.
I grew up in a very judgmental environment.
Judgement was part of my upbringing and culture to endure—I was made to witness and participate in judging everyone and everything. As I think back, what a sad existence to learn from and do my best to alter as I got older. I had to change it though, as it was more damaging to my own personal growth than anything else. How it impacted others is a whole different story.
I was young, figuring things out, working with a different set of tools than what is available to me today.
For my own evolution, it took looking square at judgment in the solar-plexus, seeing how it affects the whole landscape of kindness and compassion, and determining that the only person who stands to lose is me. When I wrote one journal entry after another of how being judgmental was tearing away at my heart and not helping in any relationship scenario whatsoever, I simply took an about face. I didn’t have to consult a therapist or a psychic. I walked over to the bathroom mirror and took a good, hard look at new wrinkles on my face.
That was then, about two years ago. Even having conversations with others (family included) who offer one judgment after another on everything under the sun, it literally hurts my ears to hear and feel. I now walk away and refuse to participate.
And lo and behold, more attractive energy comes into my life—more heart-centered connections appear out of nowhere, and my internal being feels like it has knocked off about 10 years of my life. The wrinkles have somewhat faded, my heart feels expansive, and people are free to do as they choose and be who they are. It is so liberating!
There are a few ways to help yourself with judgmental tendencies in your relationships—even if for a split second harsh words or thoughts enter into your mind, they hopefully won’t take up residence for too long:
Stillness and a calm mind and heart work for practically all ways of living, not only in alleviating the judgment of others. That being said, meditation is the grounding energy to focus on you and your breath and leave others to do as they please.
There are sayings with inspirational overtones, and there are sayings from mentors or older wise souls (even without a spiritual theme) who can flip that judgment switch into positive reinforcement of the self. Find a favorite mantra that works for you and incorporate it into your daily life.
Feed the Brain
Just as we feed the heart with nature, soulful connections, healthy foods, and exercise, so too must we feed the brain with learning and overcoming and growing. Brain food comes in all forms. Whether it is reading, attending talks on becoming a more fulfilled human without judgment, seeking out guidance from a professional, or delving into the understanding of what makes us tick, the brain and neurological pathways can be the driving force behind our actions. Get into the why of what we do and say the things we say to get yourself that much closer to shifting your thoughts through a new neural pathway.
Practice the Art of Letting Go
With criticism comes a certain amount of attachment. We can’t be critical or judgmental of any relationship with another if we are not attached to the outcome. It could be with a loved one—or in the presence of a loved one—when we allow the words to fly without thought or reason. Looking down on others means we hold a feeling about what the other person is going through—whether it be an emotional struggle, a bad hair day, eating different foods, or engaged in behavior—that makes us uncomfortable. If we simply let go and allow the other to do what they do, we will minimize the effects it has on our own hearts.
I can’t say for sure how the whole judgmental situation will pan out in years to come. I can only speak for myself and know my heart feels fuller than it has ever before—this includes all relationships from past to present.
Making peace with it all was step one. Moving forward with the knowledge I have gained over the years was step two. Putting it all into practice on a daily basis is step three. Good luck and best wishes on this new, non-judgmental path.