How easy is it to judge another person? How easy is it to assume that people are exactly the same as when you saw them last, particularly if it was many years ago? How easy is it to see what we want to see, rather than what is truly there for us to feel? How easy is it to label and imprison ourselves in the harshness of judgment?
I have made choices in my life that I wished I had not made, and as the years have rolled on, what remains is my own memory of these times and a whole lot of regret. In so many instances I have struggled to let it go. I could not accept these choices, mistakes and imperfections and would find my mind reverting to them constantly, like a video on replay. These incidents and regrets were so alive in my body, accumulating as the years rolled on, that it felt like they occurred only yesterday.
I could feel how reliving the things I have done or said in my life kept me stuck, small and contracted in a false “I am bad” program. Guilt kept me in the illusion that I was unworthy of wonderful things, such as loving relationships and self-assuredness, laughter and joy.
When I made unloving choices, and I’ve made a few, I struggled and judged myself harshly. I had high expectations of myself and would strive for perfection, even though it was impossible to achieve. I held in my imagination the way I thought people or things should be and, when it went wrong, I would become very frustrated.
When I turned on the TV to watch the news I would sometimes shed a tear, and would need to turn it off because I did not like or want to see what was truly happening in the world. I so longed for people to be loving, harmonious, respectful and fair; I couldn’t accept that it would not always be like this and that this was just part of life here on earth.
I know I have been judgmental of others too and I could hold onto my label of them for years. I remember in one instance, when I felt brushed off by a lady who I really did not know, I judged her as a snob. Every time I saw her or thought about her, I remembered her as ‘the snob’. Then one day, a few years later, our paths crossed and in that moment all I could feel was how lovely this person really was. She was a very tender woman and I wondered what was really going on at the time I made the initial judgment.
I have also been the receiver of negative judgment from another. It hurt that another person would come to a negative conclusion about me, overriding all the really lovely things that I felt I offered the world. I couldn’t understand why someone used a particular incident, or my unloving choices, as evidence to support the label that they put on me. What pleasure was there in focusing on these mistakes?
I began to wonder how many people walk around burdened because of their poor choices, unable to move on.
- Do people addicted to drugs have to carry around the label ‘druggie’ forever?
- Is a person who has committed a crime always going to be a ‘crim’?
- Are those who react emotionally going to live with the tag of ‘unstable’ or ‘fruit-loop’?
- When people move from job to job regularly, do they deserve to be judged as ‘unreliable’?
- If someone were deeply depressed would they be spoken about as being ‘dark’ for the rest of their lives?
I have personally carried the burdens of judgment for so long and the only thing it achieved was to adversely affect my sense of worth, continuing a cycle of further criticism and disappointment. No matter how I had changed my life, these labels stuck like glue and many I accepted as true or even put onto myself.
Indeed, we all need to be free of these labels so we can return to live from the essence of who we really are, for we are more than our behaviour and unloving choices.
It was only by coming to Universal Medicine and learning about self-care and self-love and being more responsible for my choices that I began to experience true change in my body, and slowly this judging cycle started to lose its power.
The more I dropped away the protective shield and let people into my heart, the more I allowed myself to be naturally tender, delicate and sensitive, I felt how natural it was to bring understanding and acceptance to myself and the situations of the past and begin to allow the world to be, just as it is.
What was transformational was that the love I was now feeling in my body was bigger than these judgments, for they were just no longer true.
As I have come to know myself in my own unfolding path, there is absolutely every possibility that we can change and live more of our true qualities and potential; a more loving way that enhances from one day to the next.
Just recently I made a wise decision to give myself a clean slate and start anew – to start from today and to know that I am divine and I am returning to that, simply learning to let go of hurts and patterns of behavior that are not divine in expression.
Really seeing myself as I present today, in this moment, is all that is needed
There is no need to imprison myself in serving a life sentence for something that happened years ago, something that might be trivial to another but made to be a mountain for me. It feels so much more joyful to free myself of these judgments and instead bring loving understanding and acceptance to my day to day life.
I am becoming much more allowing of mistakes and imperfections because I now feel how they are not me, they are not the person, but they are still a part of life.
By Maree Savins, Engineering Project Officer, Tertiary Education, Australia