Non-judgment is about being discerning. Being discerning means that we can still have an opinion, but we are not condemning another for having a different opinion or way of being than our own way. Being discerning means that we notice the differences but we are still able to remain open to the person, rather than closing off energetically to them, which can impose limitations upon them and become conditional. Non-judgement is about noticing and accepting that what is, is.
“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself’Unknown
Cultivating our silent observer and noticing our reactions to certain situations, people and scenarios we take note of the things that we are judgemental about and work through that process by taking responsibility for our thoughts and emotions. Asking ourselves how we feel personally and what we can learn about ourselves and the situation can help, as can honestly asking ourselves how we are best equipped to respond and relate to the other, whilst remaining open to the experience. Not always easy – that’s the challenge! And that’s the growth. Being non-judgemental is about remaining fully present with another, so that when someone says something which we do not personally agree with, we are able to own and acknowledge our own values and consciously separate those from the experience of the other person – paradoxically so that we can remain connected to them – knowing that there are differences between us all and this is ok. When we are non-judgemental, we do not get entangled with another by trying to change them, influence them or create a drama.
When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge”Gerald Jampolsky
Our unconscious judgements can effect the things that we say as a form of influence upon another. Every word that we say and the questions that we ask of another all say more about our own reality and the way that we perceive things than it says about the other person. It can be useful to notice that when we go into a judgemental place, it is often saying more about us as a person than it says about the person themselves.
“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand”Sue Patton Thoele
When we are judgemental of another person it may be the case that we are seeing something in another, which is similar to something within ourselves, that we do not wish to acknowledge or ‘own’. For example, someone who has no self-awareness of their own arrogance may be judgemental and scathing in their attitude towards them. What we see in others is often a mirror of ourselves, afterall, what is it about that aspect of the other person that has caught our attention? Why has it irritated or aggravated us to that extent? Think about all the things that we don’t notice, often it can be because there is little importance or relevance placed upon those things – so what makes the things that we do notice so compelling at times? Are we trying to tell ourselves something? Is our consciousness calling for further awareness?