Judge not, lest ye shall be judged – Matthew 7:1
Yeah yeah yeah, judge not. Heard it before. I don’t judge.
Or do I?
Let’s talk about Judgement of Others
It seems innocent enough, right? Someone cut you off, made you mad, or you view as just an uneducated, malicious, or “bad” person? Let’s talk about that.
What we are judging is usually a point in time or an impression. Think of that word “impression.” One press. One dot. One singular moment.
We are hard wired for storytelling; it is who we are. So, we will take that impression and we will create story around it. The story is a complete fabrication, and we can decide to lift that person “oh she must be having a bad day” or demonize that person “wow; she must be horrible to live with!”
So why is judgement such a bad thing?
- It steals the joy away from the interaction with this other being.
- You’re actually judging yourself.
See, the Truth is, as we will talk about later, you can’t be separated from any other living thing on this earth. You and I are of the same. We come from the same source and are of the same stuff.
So when we start passing judgement around, we’re really judging our source and ourselves.
It feels good in the short term, but can eat us away in the long term.
“See her? Isn’t she awful?!”
“These people drive me nuts!”
What we judge about others is usually something we see in ourselves or our story that we are judging.
Otherwise, it’s very easy to let transgressions go.
And it’s not metaphoric. We are each other. We are assigned each other to mirror each other so that we can understand each other. Think of every person you meet as an assignment. You are literally meeting every person in this life on purpose as an assignment, a lesson, or a mission.
So, what I’m saying is that it’s all an extension of Self Judgement. And that’s a whammy.
Your therapist can unpack a lot more of this than I ever could, but many therapists and life coaches realize this Truth: when you judge others, you are actually judging yourself.
Judge not others, lest ye shall be judged.
What drives you nuts in another is what you are judging in you. Anger, hatred, fear? Yep, look in the mirror, pal. It’s a harsh realization, but if you let it unfold, you start to release the ego hold so that you can open the door to compassion.
And then there is the really in-your-head self judgement.
This is terribly painful to uncover. Even if you don’t find that you over-judge your neighbor, it’s highly likely that you over-judge yourself.
- they are judging me
- I’m not enough
- I need to be more like …
- I can’t …
On and on the ego can go. And you give him a second to occupy your mind? You are well on a train ride to self hatred land.
So how do we break free from this trap?
This is tough, especially if you have been in a judgy environment. If your family judges, your friend group bonds over judging others, or you play the comparison game like a hobby, it’s actually a real addictive type behavior that needs help in order to stop.
Start by noticing and redirecting. If it helps, when you start making up the story, turn it into another story.
Example: that guy cut you off in traffic.
Your brain: that guy only thinks about himself… he isn’t considering my feelings… I guess where he needs to go is so much more important….
Redirect: that guy has a sick child and he is worried about her. His mind is probably elsewhere. I sure do want him to get home to her safely.
What about the self-judgement trap
Well. You might have noticed that your ego loves self judgement.
He might call you names, tell you you’re not enough, pick on elements of your appearance or intelligences, etc.
We are human; there are plenty of areas where the ego can go nuts here.
The antidote to self judgement is of course self love, and it starts with self talk.
I recommend the works of Louise Hay. She has tons of recordings and talks about self love, self awareness, and how to change the brain patterns to be accepting and loving of yourself.
When you can truly love yourself, you can hold space for others. And that is a lot of the work while we’re here in this life, isn’t it?