Our brains are designed to label and categorize… it’s part of being human, and a part of how we evolve. The subconscious is filled with a lifetime of memories experienced as both positive and negative. It is how we perceive whether something we experience matches up as good or bad, pain or pleasure; i.e., touch a hot pan = burn your fingers!
So, our mind wants to label, categorize, and file everything away for future reference, but that does not mean we have to resort to the judgment and criticism that is often accompanied in the process. Perhaps we should allow ourselves to use discernment and refrain from being judgmental. I’m speaking of the innocent, every day observations we make of others like the way they dress, parent, eat, speak, behave, what they buy, etc.
Let’s break this down a bit, and look at some definitions.
discern (verb) – to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different
judge (verb) – to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically
When we choose to discern, we are looking at the person, place, thing or behavior and distinguishing how it is the same or different from us and whether it is something or someone that is in alignment with our morals and beliefs. In using discernment we are free to make our choice without becoming critical and negative. We can say “That’s just not for me.” and let it go, without directing negative energy towards the thing that we discern. Resulting in a free to be me, free to be you mutual recognition.
If we choose to place judgment on a person, place, thing or behavior, it starts to look and feel much differently! Suddenly, there is a lot of negativity involved in the process which taints both parties energetically and results in a narrow mindedness that feels very constrictive and can lead to personal attacks on another’s character and lend to a ‘holier than though’ mentality.
Think a moment about this quote from Edgar Cayce:
“. . . each soul has a mission in the earth, and is in expression a manifestation of the thought of God, of the First Cause. Thus all stand upon an equal basis before Him. Then, ye have no right to condemn self or to judge others. Let all be done rather, then, as an appreciation of the love, the thought as may be expressed in appreciation to that Creative Force called God. And the greater lessons may be learned from His manifested activity in the earth through Christ Jesus.” Wow! I think that pretty much sums it up! We are all on the same level, none higher than the next, we are encouraged to avoid condemning and judging others OR ourselves and we can learn from the examples that Jesus showed us how to treat each other.
In being confident of your own decisions in life, whatever they may be, you stand in your truth and allow nothing to shake that foundation! If people choose to be judgmental and critical of you, it is only showing you that they are uncomfortable in some way with themselves which in turn will not allow them to be comfortable with your choices. They may feel out of control in a certain aspect of their life so they try to control the lives of others by insisting that they adopt their way of doing things. It could be a lack of self esteem so in tearing others down it temporarily makes them feel better. There may be a hundred reasons people act in that manner but the bottom line is, it’s their issue and not yours. Judgment and criticism of others stems from fear not love.
We all find ourselves falling back on old patterns from time to time, so if you find yourself being critical and judgmental of someone or something, take a step back and check in with yourself. What is being reflected back to you that is something that you may need to address inside of yourself? Why are you feeling such a strong resistance towards this person or behavior? Is that trait something in you or someone you know that you struggle with? Where does the negative association stem from? In doing the inside work on yourself, you will find freedom for yourself which in turn frees others on an energetic level at the very least. Seek help if you need guidance in clearing these old limiting beliefs, there are many great modalities available that are highly effective and provide results quickly.
We are all on our own journeys in life, and I believe that people will awaken to the non-judgmental mindset when the time is appropriate for them. So let’s be gentle with each other knowing that each has their own story. We each have our personal preferences/opinions, so live them, love them and teach them to those that will listen! However, I invite you to keep them sacred as your own and to let those that choose differently to live their choices in peace and without criticism. Do your things in a way that you desire and let others do things their way! It’s in the small steps we each take to live more mindfully, with tolerance and more brotherly love that will create a better, lighter and more peaceful world. “Be curious, not judgmental.”— Walt Whitman