There’s one shift I’ve made in my life that has brought more peace than any other, and I want to share it with you.
About ten years ago, I decided to stop judging others.
What do I mean?
I consciously stopped talking about what would typically be described as the questionable behavior and choices of others. It not only didn’t work for me, it actually contaminated my peak state.
In short, judging others wrecked my peace.
First, when we judge another we exponentially increase the odds that we will experience the same event we are judging.
I learned this the hard way when I was struggling with nursing my first-born child.
Before then I thought everybody nursed their children. I quietly wondered and judged those who didn’t nurse their kids. After what remain the ten most difficult weeks of my life, struggling to nurse my first child, I became one of those I had previously judged.
We experience what we judge to learn compassion. You don’t have to tell me that twice. This experience alone could have helped me stop the judging game.
But besides avoiding being on the receiving end of that which we judge, there are other reasons to release judgment.
How much time would you get back if you stopped having conversations about another’s weaknesses or mistakes?
How much energy would you reserve if you didn’t dive into the story of another and why they are “so wrong?”
How much more positive would you feel about yourself, if you extended compassion to those who might know better, but aren’t doing better?
Have you ever delivered a rant judging your boss, colleague, family member, spouse, or tennis competition and then felt like you needed a shower because you felt so dirty? Do you ever really feel good about being ‘right’ in these instances?
Judging others eats at us like a highly toxic poison. It wreaks havoc on our mindset and emotions and leaves us focused on things outside of our control and missing any opportunity to be part of a solution.
One of the best pieces of advice I was given on this topic was in the form of a question: “If you’re in their business and their in their business, who’s in your business?”
The answer is simple: no one. Get back in your own business literally and figuratively. Obsessing with others behavior is our manipulative egos’ effort to distract us when we don’t want to do our own work.
Spot it. The next time you start to judge another for being greedy, selfish, lazy, insensitive, depressed, rude or afraid ask yourself, “Have I ever been (fill in the blank with your judging adjective?)”
If you’ve ever acted the same, you likely recall it was a time you weren’t at your personal best either. Perhaps you were afraid of something. Can you understand, even empathize, and extend compassion versus judgment?
Try it. When you extend compassion instead of judgment, you’ll find your body will relax. You’ll stay centered, restore peace and be able to hold your focus on creating your next masterpiece.
Now I am not always perfect. Recently I was being challenged with New York Congressman Wiener and his situation. So I used my tools:
“How am I like Congressman Wiener? Have I ever been addicted to something? Have I ever sabotaged myself? Have I lied?
The answer is “yes, yes and yes.” I’m addicted to sugar. I’ve certainly sabotaged myself when things were good. And yes, I’ve lied too. I’ve done it all on some level of the spectrum, and so I understand him and can choose to extend compassion to him. He is not at his best and highest self. I’ve been there. Have you?
What’s the point of releasing judgment? I feel better. I haven’t put more negativity in the world today by talking about it with others. I haven’t wasted my air, energy, and time.
Instead, I’ve kept my focus on delivering my gifts versus draining my resources and that pays dividends.
Bottom line: Releasing judgment is a gift you give to yourself.
To shift to peace when you find yourself judging, ask: “How are we alike?” rather than “How are we different?”
Remember, when you change YOUR world, you change THE world!
Here’s to more peace while creating your masterpiece!