|Judgement for one and all
In this world of contrasts and constant change, we learn early on in life to judge and to expect judgement. Everything is compared to other things; everyone is compared with other people - often quite ruthlessly. No matter how much we may deny it, most of us are concerned about what others think of us, based on the standards and ethics with which we were brought up or those that we have later adopted.
This can be crushing, particularly if you have tried to do something really well and are understandably pleased with what you have achieved, or if you have tried to be generous or kind to someone else, or if you have set yourself, what you believe to be, high standards of behaviour. These examples, and many more, can be judged by others as not as good as we believed them to be, or completely unacceptable, clichéd or worthy of cruel remarks. It is hard to rise above others' cutting comments or criticism.
Judgement within our society
This is one of the main reasons we find living in this world so difficult because we know that, whether or not anything is said, people are used to judging everything. If people don't verbally judge us, we frequently imagine what they're thinking - and we may very well not be correct in our assumptions but we have a back story of self-judgement that only allows us to think negatively. And competition is hugely important in western society - from gameshows, to talent competitions, to sports, to simply applying for a job because there are usually such a large number of candidates.
Many people feel judged most of the time. It is no wonder that mental health has become such an issue now. Most of the mental health issues that have been highlighted over the last twenty years or so have probably arisen out of others' judgement.
One area of judgement that can be crucial is in our jobs - we need to earn a living and jobs are often not easy to get. Negative comments from our line managers about our ability to achieve the goals that are set, whether deserved or not, can make the difference between keeping our jobs or not.
So let's look at judgement - without judgement (!) - as it arises in society generally. What is the motivation behind a lot of judgemental behaviour?
Motivation for judgement
When you judge, it is usually a way of diverting attention from your own feelings and behaviours. For example, it is frequently the case that bullies are, in fact, very insecure people who are trying to direct other people's thoughts away from that. When we know judgement is a key part of a society, we think about it quite a lot so that if we can divert people from perceiving our own self-judgement because it makes us feel weak or inadequate in some way, we may well take the route of bullying and aggression.
In a job setting, line managers are being judged by those above them and it goes right to the top of an organization - and beyond that to shareholders - so that all the way down the hierarchy judgements are being made, based not only on the expectations of those further up the ladder but also on a personal level. Some people are just not suited to management and yet it is often the goal of youngsters starting out on their careers to expect to work their way up the management ladder, believing that life will be easier and better once they get to the top. Regrettably, most have found this not to be the case because a whole new set of challenges awaits them - judgement never disappears.
In our family roles - partners, spouses, siblings and extended family - judgement can be sapping because everyone has their own idea of what any particular relationship should be like. There are some lovely people who just accept people as they are but, more often, it seems the family environment tends to engender some sharp and long-lived judgements simply because people believe that being a member of a family gives them entitlement to judge. Again, it can be crushing and can completely change someone's personality as they grow up; it can have an effect on the way they behave in their jobs causing them to be less comfortable and satisfied with their job. And their social interactions with others outside the family may well be adversely affected.
These are just a few examples to show how challenging judgement can be but there are enumerable other scenarios because judgement is just an integral part of our societies. Many people who judge do it with a smile, or an extra witty remark, or a hug saying they're only saying it because they love you. This doesn't make it any easier to bear for most people. It becomes insidious and it is probably one of the reasons many people develop mental health issues. If you cannot trust your family to love you without conditions, you are unlikely to be able to trust anyone else.
The wider issue
There is nothing loving about judgement - it is about confrontation and challenge, whether it is voiced or not. Remember, our thoughts permeate the energies around us and are therefore passed on to everyone else.
If you spend just half a day monitoring your thoughts, you will realize how much of the time you spend judging everything and everyone. Sometimes you verbalize what you're thinking without any filter at all if you think you know someone well. We are not always aware of it but, over our lifetimes, most of us have hurt numerous people with our judgemental comments whether we meant to or not. And the majority of our remarks are probably made to those closest to us.
When we've been on the receiving end of these comments, we know how devastating they can be and how, sometimes, we can go about our normal routine for days with a judgemental comment echoing around inside our mind. But, strangely, this doesn't seem to stop us doing the same to others.
But the well-known reminder that when we point the finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at us holds true in all these situations. Even the seemingly most arrogant and insensitive of people is aware of their own frailties even if they refuse to admit to them.
There is no reason to judge others - or ourselves, which we often do quite harshly. We are all one - when we judge others, we are judging ourselves and vice versa. In effect, we are judging and harming ourselves when we judge others.
Trying to think before saying anything judgemental is something that takes some time to learn in a society where judgement is the norm. But it makes this easier if we can remember that, when we judge someone else, we are also judging ourselves. Also, remembering that our thoughts are energy that is put out into the Oneness helps us to understand the magnitude of our judgemental thoughts and actions. This is not just between you and the person you are judging; it becomes part of the energy of the planet, which is probably why we live in fear for most of the time.
We are not here to be perfect but we are here to try to improve the way we relate to others. Curbing - and eventually eradicating - our judgement is one of the most important lessons for us to learn.
Linked with this is forgiveness. We are not here to be harsh or unkind with ourselves or others. Bearing this in mind, it is so beneficial to forgive those who judge us and to forgive ourselves for judging others. We are learning; everyone makes mistakes when learning.
It would be easy for me just to say we need to treat ourselves and others kindly - it is a glib statement. But the above offers a practical suggestion for helping judgement to be overcome by all of us - for all of us. But it has to be our choice - no one is making us do this.
It seems like common sense to me. Do we really want our children to inherit this energy of judgement that is all around us when they could otherwise be happy and fulfilled, as well as mentally balanced? We are one, whether we know it or not; anything we do or say impacts the whole and judgement makes the most impact personally and universally. All those with mental health issues are part of the whole just as the rest of us are and we all have to take responsibility for why they have these issues.