Replace judgment with curiosity ~ Lynn Nottage
Judgment invites us to look at how our assumptions about others can cause us to mindread and misconstrue what is going on. When you ‘flash’ judge others by noticing what is wrong with them or how they are not acting in accordance with how you think they should be behaving, it builds a wall rather than a bridge of connection and leaves no room for curiosity or compassion.
In looking to shift the tendency to judge others, it is helpful to look deeper into ‘Why’ you draw the conclusions about others and situations that you do. If you take the time to reflect, you might discover that you judge traits in others that you hope you do not possess. The unconscious logic says ‘If you find it in others and judge it as negative or bad, then it is ‘out there’ and not in us.’ There is a moment where your inner voice might rejoice that ‘thankfully you are not like that!’ Sadly, your limited awareness can not only keep you separated from others, but it can also drive you deeper into your own denial where you hide your own shortcomings from yourself. In that behaviour, you birth your baggage!
Here is a great exercise to help you connect you with all that you judge in others that can help you move into a new level of acceptance and love for others and, more importantly with yourself.
NOTE: This exercise was suggested by Pema Chodron who is a well-known and much-loved Buddhist nun who is the author of many spiritual classics. Try this and then notice what happens to your judgement of others:
“Just Like Me”
“There’s a practice I like called “Just like me.” You go to a public place and sit there and look around. Traffic jams are very good for this. You zero in on one person and say to yourself things such as “Just like me, this person doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable. Just like me, this person loses it sometimes. Just like me, this person doesn’t want to be disliked. Just like me, this person wants to have friends and intimacy.”
“You can’t presume to know exactly what someone else is feeling and thinking, but still you do know a lot about each other. You know that people want to be cared about and don’t want to be hated. You know that most of us are hard on ourselves, that you often get emotionally triggered, but that you want to be of help in some way. You know that, at the most basic level, every living being desires happiness and doesn’t want to suffer.”
From her book Youlcoming the Unyoulcome-Wholehearted living in a Brokenhearted World
Feel free to leave comments about what your observations were like for you – We would love to hear from you!
Be well and breathe love into yourself then send it out to others,