Sitting in judgement, jumping to conclusions, and giving the benefit of the doubt are all areas that in certain places I struggle with, and in certain circumstances I’m able to handle favorably.
When it comes to self-judgment, I’m extremely harsh. Yet when it comes to how I want others to judge me, I want them to look upon me more favorably and kindly.
When it comes to areas where I’m critical of myself, I find that I’m naturally critical of others, regardless of if it’s truly important to me. When I say truly important, I don’t care how someone votes or their political or religious beliefs, as long as they don’t wish me harm. To veer off on a slight tangent, I believe all religions and beliefs are good, as long as they are a guide to treat others with love and kindness. Despite this belief, when I learn that someone votes differently or sees the world differently than I do, I immediately turn to judgement. I guess we would refer to that as bias. The good news is, for the most part, I’m able to move away from these judgements, unless it’s others seeking to harm me and I feel the need to defend myself.
My question today is, how do I eliminate my biases? How do I rid myself of these negative judgements?
I think the answer starts with self. I truly believe that however I treat myself, I will end up treating others. Many times, I have thought my self-judgements aren’t good for me, yet they don’t harm others. Well, they actually do, as they allow me to bring my negative personal biases to other relationships, which prevent me from being in someone else’s shoes.
A proverb of one of our great sages is: don’t judge others until you are in their place. The point being, you will never be in their exact place, so don’t judge others– ever. I want to take it a step further and say, don’t judge yourself, as you have never been in that place either.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t permission to do whatever I want. Yet, judgements lead to shame, which does not lead to change. Instead of judging, observe, be kind, be loving, and ask, how is this behavior serving myself and others? Seek to understand and then seek to see if there is a way to coexist in kindness. Defend your values, yourself, and your family while at the same time asking, is this good for all of us?
This week, let’s remind ourselves that self-judgement hurts not only myself, it hurts everyone around me too. My actions always have greater implications than I assume. Be kind to ourselves, and we will naturally be kind to others.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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