Thou Shall Not Judge
Judgement doesn’t have an age of conceptualization. It begins with a thought, action, or even a word. Families and communities pass on values to their children as to what is “right”, what is “wrong”, what is “acceptable”, what is “not acceptable” in our behaviors and perception. Violence in the schools and in communities is on the continued rise. Students are actively stepping out to have their voices heard in regards to their own safety and that of their teachers and administrators. How will this be changed? It begins with us...with our perspective changing and our own lens of appropriate shifted to welcome in new ideas and insights. All of us experience the expectations of others and feel judgment and even pass judgement on others.
As you know, I was on The Real Housewives of Dallas and am a visionary spiritual coach to part of the cast. I recently rewatched the season for topics and themes relevant to us all and that it was...so current to the events we are facing. Judgement in all of the episodes was glowing like a neon sign. It has been spotlighted and even supported in many of the conversations. You may ask, how do you describe the concept of “judgement”? It is the inability to see someone else’s viewpoint, lifestyle, experience, culture, race, religion, and anything which does not align or connect with our own perspective. It can be present in each day, environment, and situation.
Understanding how others think and feel is important to being successful in work and in life. We, as a society, have a challenge when someone doesn’t see things the way you do, we “judge” them as being wrong. We have each seen people we know judge others on their outward appearances and behaviors. They may even place their own view of “appropriateness” in their explanation with a demeaning conversations about those individuals with others. Have you ever judged someone for what they wore to an event, how they interacted with others, or how they behaved during a special event? Maybe it was just different than what you have experienced in life or how you would have behaved. Does it make it wrong or just different?
My husband is a big Star Wars fan and major collector. One of the foundational concepts in the Star Wars sagas and “universe” is about understanding the ways of the force. It is realizing life and relationships require seeing all aspects of a situation or challenge in order to make the best decisions on how to proceed. The negative side or “dark side” of the force is governed usually by a “Sith” who only thinks in absolutes or what some may call black or white sides of thinking. The dark side is also driven by fear. The positive side of the force or the “light side” is governed by the “Jedis” who see all sides and consider which will work best at this time and also think in a broad sense instead of through judgement and narrow-mindedness. Therefore, the light side is driven by knowledge. Sometimes the answer in life isn’t either/or it is just AND.
Life gives us many different examples of “light side” and “dark side” thinking as well as the effect of how judgement changes relationships in a dramatic way. What areas in life do you feel judgment from others? Have you ever felt your differences created the inability to relate with others?
Sometimes even where you live can create a view of difference which can lead to judgement.
In one city I worked extensively, the high school you attended was the most important thing in conversation. Every person I spoke with would ask me if I grew up in the area and I wondered why they felt that was important. Finally, one of my colleagues let me know the reasoning behind the question. It was a deciding factor to your wealth or family wealth, philanthropic level, and elite school attendance. If you didn’t attend the more exclusive ones you were considered “not worthy”; this created dissension for many years in the area and as a result rioting on the highways and violence resulted a few years ago as communities stood up for their “rights” and feelings of oppression. How sad!
Anger turned inward results in revenge, anger turned outward to someone else turns to blame and eventually arguments and violence; if there is no self esteem, judgement turns to shame and eventually can result in self abusive behaviors and even suicide; these are realities; judgement is FEAR based;
Our youth are watching the models in their life as they practice how to treat each other. The concerns over bullying, cyber bullying, shootings, and other violent acts are a result of the judgement of not fitting “in” the molds that have been created by others.
If we are to create a shift in judgement, we must begin to value and respect our own differences. When we value others we:
*Understanding of our differences
*Shifting our own belief systems to include new insights
*Always engaging in a growth path
*Choosing actions which reflect and model positive communication and acceptance of others
*Dispelling or releasing our feelings and conversations around “lack” toward those of
abundance and gratitude;
If I could sit down with a group of women and begin to discuss their interpretations of judgement and how they may see others, where would we start? Seeing each other's views a little differently…appreciating the differences… yet, not using your own “lens” to ONLY see your story, sometimes our “story” we carry is meant to teach us to lay it down and embrace what is offered us next in life, not be a victim…but a VICTORIOUS woman who support others where they are and brings them forward in understanding and compassion.
Sharing each other's “stories is a way to open our “views” in life to other journeys besides our own. Creating events and opportunities to “see” the lives and challenges we each share. Reaching OUT more to others than we stay within.
My question to you is, what will you do to make a difference? How will you release judgment and give forgiveness and understanding to someone? Share your thoughts with us. We look forward to seeing the ripple effect it will create. As we say, “stay tuned”!
Walking with you,