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Judgment, Judgment Everywhere–What’s a Person Supposed to Think? by Guest Author Joyce Shafer

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The adage is that it takes all kinds. We are all kinds. Over the years, I’ve learned I never observe anything about others that doesn’t exist within me on some level or to some degree, both negative and positive. It’s like that clever statement someone made: When you point your finger at a person, three fingers point back at you.

Everything in life exists on a gradient. Think of the gradient as a line with two finite points where the opposites exist at each end. Every thought, word, and action we have or take falls somewhere on that line. We tend to believe that others should be near or exactly where we are so we can feel secure in our comfort zone. Sometimes, we feel above or better than others because of our beliefs or choices, yet we could say it’s merely a matter of our beliefs or choices being at a different point on the gradient.

When you judge someone because they are different from you, consider how someone else might view your beliefs and behaviors. They may find you lacking in some way while you think you’re a pretty neat person doing his or her very best in life. Judge not lest ye be judged. Cause and effect. What you sow you reap. Many tend to forget this when they attempt conformity in order to justify their comfort zone as the right one for all.

Practicing non-judgment isn’t always easy. Even those who become adept at this have to work at it. This doesn’t mean they never feel judgmental, but when they do, they know how to shift their thoughts to release it. Rather than focus on being non-judgmental, we could focus on being discerning. Discernment leads to insight and understanding. Discernment allows answers, appropriate for the individual, to come from a place of conscious awareness rather than fear, sometimes masked as self-righteousness.

Life coach training teaches us that if we get mired in judgment as we listen to clients, we won’t be able to assist them or learn from them. Feeling judgmental is our opportunity to learn something about ourselves and what we are prone to judge. Judgment stops our progress because we lock our emotional energy into a particular situation and moment in time, whereas, discernment indicates we have found some aspect of alignment that allows us to move forward. Judgment of ourselves and others impedes the progression from exploration to knowledge to wisdom.

Our feelings about people and events travel through our filters. These filters are any old and new programs of beliefs, interpretations, perceptions, and assumptions we’ve absorbed during our lifetime. Judgments are based on our programs. There is a rule about computers: Your computer may not always do what you want it to, but it will always do what you tell it to. Sometimes it takes a while before we realize we are the programmer and the one who inputs the instructions.

Carrying judgments is like dragging boulders in a sack behind you. If you don’t focus your energy on judgment of others, you probably focus it on accomplishment of your life purpose. Hmmm…drag boulders or have freedom of movement? Quite a choice.

It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.

© Joyce Shafer

Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com

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