From the moment we are born, we are encouraged to use judgment in every aspect of our lives. We are encouraged to use it with friends, with family, with money, with work and everywhere else. We are told that if we don’t judge, we’ll be hurt, we’ll lose out or we won’t get that thing that we’re after. However, is judgment really the way to go or is judgment something that we should actually move away from? In this post, I’ll explore what judgment actually does and what else you could do to generate the life you’d truly desire.
What is judgement?
The dictionary defines judgment as “the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion.” On the face of it, judgment seems like a great idea. It allows you to make a choice based on the information presented to you. Say, you are looking at buying a new house. You consider your finances, where you’d like to live, and the loan that can get. Once you’ve looked at all of that, you then judge that you can afford to pay a certain amount and anything that goes beyond it is beyond the realm of possibility. This is the way things are normally done in this reality.
As another example, you’re a woman considering entering a relationship with a man. You find that this man is kind, gentle, will take care of you, stand up for you and allow you to be who you’d like to be. However, he’s a Buddhist and you’re catholic. Consequently, you judge that it’s simply not possible for you to be in a relationship with this man because of his religion.
What does judgment do?
As illustrated in the examples above, judgment limits your possibilities. In fact, judgment destroys all possibilities. For the first example, you had judged that that was all you could afford. There was no space for another possibility, a new income stream or anything else that would have allowed you to have a house that you truly desired. For second example, you had judged that you couldn’t possibly have a relationship with this man because he had a different religion. You had not considered that he may be willing to change his religion, that you may change your religion, or that you both may move on from religion to something that would be more suitable to you both.
This is what judgment does. It destroys all possibilities. It limits what you have in life. It creates enormous difficulties for you and those around you. If it’s a massively shared judgment, it can create war. Now for what reason would you choose judgment?
Right or Wrong?
You can judge something to be right or wrong. It actually doesn’t matter whether you judge something as right or wrong as it is still a judgment. There was a time in Australia when you cleaned your house, you also polished the front door knob. If you did not polish the front door knob, you were considered a bad family. What a crazy point of view? What an insane judgment? The point of view was that having a polished door knob was right and that not having a polished door knob was wrong.
Good or Bad?
You can also judge something as good or bad. Again, it doesn’t matter whether you judge something as good or bad, it is still a judgment. Eri explains this rather well. She explains that when she was growing up in Japan, television presenters would tell everyone that eating salmon was good. A short time later, they would then tell everyone that eating salmon was bad. Crazy? Yes. A judgment? Yes.
On a more explicit example, one religion judges itself as better than another. People from the ‘superior’ religion then try to convert others to their religion, either through coercion or force. Either way, it is still a judgment. Judgments like this resulted in the crusades of the middle ages, the killing of countless people as Europe expanded into the Americas, and the slaughter of individuals in modern day. Regardless of what you believe, where you place your affiliation, be aware of judgment.
How does Judgment Limit?
Judgment is like a door closer. Each time you judge, you close the door on possibility and awareness. You limit what is possible for you.
When you judge, you eliminate possibilities of other things occurring. What if you had not judged the family without the polished door knob? Would you have been able to create a friendship with the family? Yes. What if you didn’t buy into the judgment that salmon was good or bad? Would you be able to enjoy salmon without worrying whether it was going to make you sick? Yes. What if you didn’t judge your religion as better than another? Would you be able to live happily with the people from the different religion? Yes.
Each time you judge, each time to take a point of view that causes you to judge, you eliminate all that is possible for you. How cool is that?
Judging also has the effect of cutting off your awareness. Say, you are with most wonderful person on the planet. You love being with them. You enjoy dining with them. You enjoy the sex. You see a wonderful future together filled with love, fun and children. Then, one day, you are shocked to find that they have been cheating on you. Did you judge that s/he was wonderful? Yes. Did that judgment cut off your awareness as to what was actually going on. Yes. You could not see that s/he was being crappy towards you and, consequently, you are devastated. No, you just judged and cut off your awareness.
Difference between Judgment and Awareness
There is a difference between a judgment and an awareness. For example, you can judge someone to be an arsehole by saying, “he’s such an arsehole!” You can also be aware that someone is being an arsehole. An awareness that someone is an arsehole would be, “oh, he’s being an arsehole. Interesting choice he’s making there.”
The first one where you’re judging that the person is an arsehole has a charge to it. The second one where you have an awareness that a person is being an arsehole has no charge to it, it simply is.
How to Overcome Judgment?
One of the first things to do to overcome judgment is to become aware of when you are judging. Just ask, “is that a judgment or an awareness?” Don’t worry, you’ll know which is which. And even if you don’t get it correct the first time, it doesn’t matter, you’re building your judgment awareness muscle. Keep asking, “is that a judgment or an awareness?”
Once you recognise that you are judging, then you can eliminate that judgment by going “interesting point of view that I have that point of view.” It may be difficult in the beginning but it’ll get easier as you build the muscle. Consider it like going to the awareness gymnasium. The more you pump the awareness muscle, the bigger that muscle will get. How does it get any better than that? Over time, you’ll be able to spot judgments immediately and can then choose what to do with it.
As you become more and more aware of where you are judging and eliminating those judgments, your life will start to change. New possibilities will begin to show up. Your life could start to show up as you truly wish it to be.
A life of fun, freedom and infinite possibilities. Yes, that’s what I’m seeking. How about you?
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