How to Let Go of Judgement
Do you believe the world is all messed up? Unfixable? Disgusting?
Do you look around in utter despair wondering how others could be so horrible, selfish, or pitiful?
If you suffer from judging others, this is for you.
I’ve got good news and bad news. The relief you seek is not “out there”, it resides within so you can absolutely control it.
But it starts with a hard truth.
You don’t see the world as IT is, you see it as YOU are.
Let me explain…
When I look at someone with disgust, or frustration, or disappointment it hurts. Bad.
It’s easy to believe my hurt comes from them. To blame them… but it doesn’t. The pain comes from knowing I’ve been that same person at some time.
I was the inconsiderate jerk, the spoiled brat, the one acting terribly.
Because I hated who I was in those moments, I judge. I make it about them, but it’s not. It’s about me. Who I was in a past moment. This “other person” is just reminding me of my own flaws.
You cannot recognize in others something that doesn’t exist somewhere within yourself.
Read that last line again because its important.
All of the anger, selfishness, or beauty you identify in the world impacts you because you’ve experienced it within your own heart or mind at some point.
The moment you recognize yourself in someone else’s world is the moment you can begin to understand. The anger, the hopelessness, and the immense beauty that resides in every Soul surrounding you.
Like a field of treasures, each coffee shop, amusement park, or grocery store has more living wealth than is comprehensible. Such intimate, fragile humanity treated like unnoticed jewels strewn carelessly about the planet.
Every person is scaling their own peak. Fighting for survival in their own way. Bravely staring their unique set of consequences in the eye and doing their best to stand strong. They fear that their safety or their identity is under siege. That the world they know will be changed or cease to exist completely.
Yes, they stumble, crumble, and collapse into primal ugliness. It is difficult and uncomfortable to watch, but it is a necessary part of the process.
The growth is in the standing up, not the falling down. Without hitting the ground we have no way to rise.
But there is a glimmer in all that dark desperation. They are approaching their pivot point. The most oppressive part of their journey. But it’s still in there…
Just look in their eyes. Do you see it? The electricity pulsing within.
The violent search for hope. Their fear clawing to find courage. The deepest regrets that may one day fuel their desire to do better and BE better. Even during it’s most desperate, raw moments the light inside is distinctly visible — if you choose to see it.
Their efforts may be misguided, but you can see yourself in them if you’ve ever been in those shoes.
There are only 3 steps to relief:
The first step is caring enough to truly look.
The second is recognition.
Third is forgiveness.
Every time you judge others, look within yourself. It is YOU doing the judging and causing the drama. Not them. The discomfort is in your head and they didn’t ask to be on trial because they have troubles enough without your verdict.
Relief begins with realizing that you are get to choose. Judgement or understanding. Condemnation or consideration.
The next step is to forgive and love yourself. Not forgive them. Forgive you.
Go back to the time when you were that person. Because if you can recognize something terrible in them, you’ve lived it at some point. This is not up for debate. If you see it in them, you’ve definitely been in their shoes and acted out the part they are currently playing.
So go back. Understand where you lived in that instant. Give yourself credit. Even if it’s only a sliver. You did the best you knew how in the moment. Especially if you chose badly.
You’ll see its true. How could you have chosen differently given the situation you were in? You don’t need to “make it right”. Just acknowledge and forgive yourself.
You’ll suddenly find your harsh judgement of others falling apart. Replaced with compassion and understanding.
You’ll get where they stand. Their heartbreak or naked fear. In your own mind your Soul will walk with through the fire with theirs and comfort them. For who truly knows the pain causing their actions better than someone who’s lived it?
That’s when you’ll see it. It becomes undeniable. We are all the same inside. Truly. To our deepest fibers.
In their shoes you’d do the same.
The pretty girl who can’t stop making others feel less because she’s in love with her appearance. Utterly unaware of the shadow she’s casting on others.
The mother so frustrated with herself that she takes it out on her children and then hates herself even further for her actions.
The businessman so starved by his inner emptiness and unhappiness that he’ll do whatever it takes to fill it. Even at the expense of others.
Good people do bad things all the time. You’ve done it. Now it’s someone else’s turn. It’s part of being human.
Instead of heaping your anger on them, envelope them with your understanding and love. In your own mind treat them with the compassion you’d need in that position.
Truly, if they are acting so badly, they could dearly use your Light. It is their time of need, be it temporary or incredibly deep, so lend them your heart’s gift.
The deeper you dig within yourself — the more you love, accept and forgive yourself — the more you’ll see all the world in that same light.
You can create what’s outside by finding it within.
Reconcile your hatred and misunderstanding.
Like soft water carving flat planes into the Grand Canyon’s broad smile, transform your self righteousness into understanding and loving.
Not for their sake. They don’t even know you’re dressed in your white wig and gavel. For yours.
You get to benefit.
To live in a place of connection, inspiration, and understanding within your own mind.
I once read a parable that struck me:
A Spiritual student said to his guru, “It hurts my bare feet to walk across uncovered ground. Is there was a way to cover the entire world with leather so it wouldn’t hurt so much?” The guru then looked at the student and asked, “Why don’t you just cover your own feet so you’re free to walk anywhere you please?”
If you don’t like the world you see, rather than attempting to change the world, change yourself.
The world is your mirror. Be it ruthless or beautiful, the reflection you see is self authored. Choose to write and experience a story worthy of your Best Self, and you’ll be amazed at what happens.