We humans are a judgmental lot.
That’s what we do. We judge constantly…all day. Every day. It’s not good or bad, just something that happens. My guess is it has something to do with our evolutionary need to stay within a tribe. We must be a part of a group, and be accepted by that group, for our survival. If we don’t stay within the socially acceptable parameters set by a particular association, we may be cast out into a dangerous world with lions and tigers and mean people and people that look different from us.
Which could mean death.
It’s harder to hunt for food, have emotional support, bake bread, get medical care, have fun and all the rest of the things provided by community, if we are alone.
There’s safety in numbers and all that jazz.
The primal reason for judgment was to survey a situation and think, “Hmmm, this doesn’t look good. That tiger looks hungry. I think I better run.”
Now that we’re not being chased by tigers, our judgments have gone haywire and are running rampant through our psyches. We've mainly turned on ourselves. Not to mention kicking the stress hormone cortisol into a chronically elevated state, causing all kinds of physical problems and disease.
In our modern times of social media, Facebook and Insta-stalking, keeping up with the Kardashians and all other forms of striving for ideals that we aren’t really sure exist anyway,
has our instinctual judgment gone from keeping us together to tearing us apart?
(*not actually trying to give social media a bad rap...I actually think it has wonderful abilities of bringing people together)
Think about how many things we judge on a daily basis, in many ways:
what people wear
what people say
what people listen to
what our house looks like
our children (this one is so dangerous and we all do it)
ourselves (the most dangerous)
If we can see our judgments for what they are — only the imaginary opinions of a mind full of old computer programming from the past with a spotty wifi connection at best — we can find the peace and balance in life we are missing…and seeking.
It’s easy to sit back and tell you, “It doesn’t matter what other people think. Don’t care about that.” But that’s not realistic.
The most productive and helpful thing is to say:
just watch your own thoughts. Be aware of where your thoughts go and who/what they are directed towards.
Even better, I have a challenge for you.
Go for one entire day…just one, and track your judgments. Try not to judge anything.
Look at everything around you and accept EVERYTHING
as it is.
Not bad or good. Not too hot or too cold. Not angry or sad. Not happy or ADHD. Not arrogant or depressed. Not lazy or entitled.
If your child is throwing a tantrum or talking back to you, or a client stood you up, or your dishwasher breaks, accept what’s happening as just something that is happening. Stay cool. Don’t get sucked into the drama of judging the situation.
And just handle it.
Some might call this mindfulness. Being aware of your mind, what’s going on in there, and having the tools to make adjustments to create more peace.
Being able to see the world from a neutral place, helps us to create more space in the mind.
And that space leads to more love and possibility.