We judge without thinking, based on people’s appearance, beliefs or behavior. What we want to remember however, is that in the end, we are judging ourselves… our judgments reflect our fears and perceived deficiencies or faults.
We may all hold some judgments about others, but many of us judge ourselves much harder than anyone else possibly could…While it is useful to be discerning, to know what attitudes, patterns, situations in life and what people that we wish to avoid, holding judgments can be particularly insidious in one’s life. Judgments have a way of limiting perspective, preventing us from seeing clearly and responding to a situation or person fairly. Our judgments kind of freeze us in place so we are unable to grow.
The judgments we hold can be obvious to ourselves and others – someone who judges themselves ugly will rarely dress or behave in a way that is beautiful – and then there are those that are not so obvious – someone who is subtly resentful of your success, will usually qualify their words of praise with some off-putting remark that leaves you hurting.
One of the best ways to begin releasing judgments is to see – and accept – the purpose in all… each of us is travelling our own unique path, with our own lessons to learn along the way. Detach from others’ choices, allow everyone the freedom to learn in their own way.
Here is an exercise to help you detach from your opinions of yourself. For this exercise, we’ll work on recognizing, then releasing, some of those limiting judgments.
- List what you perceive to be your big “mistakes” in life.
- List the judgments about yourself that you have held about those mistakes.
- Take a moment to review the outcome of each event, “what happened afterwards”.
- Ask yourself: “What was the purpose, the lesson, the pattern in each….How is this lesson serving you right now? What did you really learn and gain?”
- Then release your judgments – burn the the lists and let the ashes go in running water, or bury them in the ground.
Become more conscious of your judgmental thoughts. Be attentive…. Notice the times when you judge yourself or others…. Then replace the judgment with a loving thought. Love yourself enough to let go of your opinions of what might be right or wrong for yourself – or anyone else.