“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Any belief that we hold onto makes us feel separate. We blame, criticize, and divide the world into right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.
The pain of the judging mind runs rampant.
Every day I hear of people judging the decisions they made when they were younger, judging their appearance, judging every word that comes out of their mouth, and judging what other people say and do.
How Judging Thoughts Affect Us
How does it feel to judge? Check in with your own inner experience. You’ll find that you feel sad, contracted, shameful, separate, and alone.
Judgments contain a solid sense of the personal “I” who thinks it knows what is right and wrong.
- I’m right in thinking he should have acted differently.
- I know everyone’s looking at me and thinking there’s something wrong with me.
- I know she’s shouldn’t be so negative.
Do you want to be right or do you want to be close, connected, and aligned with the truth of things?
Finding Another Way
My invitation to you today is to turn away from judgments that appear in your mind. Why? Because it’s kind.
I know that might sound hard to do, but give it a try. Notice judging thoughts, but know that if you follow them, they won’t take you to happiness.
Say, “No thank you,” to the pain of judging thoughts.
What do you do instead? You find another way.
Instead of staying stuck in right and wrong, look beyond those thoughts and bring compassion and understanding to the moment.
If you’re judging someone else’s behavior, get curious. Wonder why they’re doing what they’re doing. What’s the feeling or intention behind the behavior?
Use the opportunity to break down your own mental ideas that divide and separate, and connect with the tender humanness of the other person. Can you simply say OK to them as they are?
And if you’re judging yourself, you already know that it doesn’t serve your peace and happiness.
Whatever you’re judging about yourself needs your love and care. Hold that part of you like a loving mother holds her child. Bring compassion to the one who is hurting, to the one who is doing her best.
Be supremely kind with your own inner experience.
Leaning Into Love
One day as I was driving, I noticed that the car in front of me had a vanity license plate that sent a message about the driver’s self-importance. A harsh judging thought arose in my mind about how conceited that person must be. And immediately I felt a strong, almost physical stab of sadness and separation.
Letting that feeling be, I looked for another way.
I felt deep compassion for the human condition—the one who judges and the one who chose to publicize their views about themselves on a license plate. Did that license plate really matter to me?
This seemingly trivial experience led to a huge heart opening that included everyone and everything. My internal dividing walls collapsed, and I fell into an ocean of love.
It’s the nature of the mind to judge, but you don’t have to give those judging thoughts any of your interest and attention.
You don’t have to engage with them at all.
Let them float off like a cloud moving across the sky. And find your way to your huge, natural, loving, open heart. You’re going to love it, I promise you.
What About You?
Do you notice the pain of judging thoughts? What’s another way? I’d love to hear…. And if you’re reading this by email, please click here to visit GailBrenner.com and to comment.