Many religious traditions have an idea of non-judgement. But for so many years I missed the point completely.
You know the phrase… “Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself”.
I thought this meant something along the lines of…
“Hey there big-nose!”
“Big nose? Well, you’ve got big ears!”
“Oh yeah… well you’ve got wonky teeth.”
I didn’t realise the much deeper meaning of non-judgement.
You see, I’ve come to realise that judgement is about right and wrong, it’s about better and worse.
If I look at your life choices with judgement then I make you a better or worse person because of those choices. I fail to realise that you are doing your thing, standing in your truth and that whatever you are choosing to do is your best interpretation of what’s ‘right’.
The consequence of this form of judgement? It means that people can be ‘better’ or ‘worse’ because of their life choices. People can have their very truth invalidated in my judgemental eyes.
And the clincher? I, myself, am not immune to these judgements.
It’s not that others will judge me if I judge them. It’s that carrying the consciousness of judgement means I am constantly judging myself to be a ‘good’ person or a ‘bad’ person or a ‘better’ person or a ‘worse’ person.
I end up beating myself up over the mistakes I’ve made in the past, or the habits I have in the present because I’m somehow inferior. I put other people down so that I can—for a brief spell before the shame kicks in—be superior.
When we stop judging others and let them be, we can allow ourselves to be.
As always this doesn’t mean we put up with bad treatment from others or bad behaviour from ourselves. We can still change it. But we don’t judge it. We don’t make ourselves superior or inferior based on our history, life situation, feelings, emotions, thoughts, habits or behaviours.