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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What Does Judging Do To You?


Judging - not only yourself, but also others - is an exercise in negativity, although some may feel momentarily uplifted by their apparently lofty visions of themselves as opposed to those they are judging.

While the reproduction above of the Last Judgement by Hieronymous Bosch is not exactly about the tenor of today's post, it nevertheless depicts the suffering and degradation you (or I, or anyone) subject yourself to when you judge.

Let's first examine why you judge. Is it not because you either tacitly acknowledge a lack of confidence or feeling good about yourself and hence - by judging another as even 'worse' than yourself - you find a road to feeling better about yourself, or because you don't acknowledge a lack of confidence (while nevertheless, in fact, lacking said confidence), and/or a lack of inner well-being, and so, just as in the other example, you find that you tacitly feel better (at least for a moment), after having had thoughts or words about someone whom you consider further down on some kind of artificial scale than yourself?

I hope you can see what is wrong with this picture. Firstly, it's ego-based. Your ego is the part of you that falsely believes it will feel better by judging or denigrating others. And most of the time you do - but only for a bit. Then it's back to same old, same old. So you have achieved nothing, other than a few moments of feeling better, in exchange for having created - inside of yourself - negative energy by having such thoughts, or speaking such words about someone else. Secondly, it builds on a premise that never moves you forward. By using negative, judgemental thoughts about another to make yourself feel good, or to give yourself confidence - while, even if only momentarily believing that you yourself live according to another, loftier, higher standard - you defeat any mechanism that might truly move your spirit in a higher direction.

Without belaboring the point, here is another way to go about this business of improving a lack in confidence or inner well-being. Try catching yourself each time you 'hear' thoughts or words of judgement pour from you. To catch yourself, you obviously need to practice being aware, so that in the moment that you do catch yourself, you can truncate those thoughts or words by telling yourself that they will only give you a false sense of improved confidence or inner well-being at the expense of another (who may or may not be as you are on the verge of expressing, but how that person is or is not, is simply not germane to your ultimate inner sense of confidence and well-being), and that by sending a silent blessing to the person or group of people, or race, religion, or nation you were about to denigrate, you will begin to change important aspects of your inner wiring that will - eventually - allow you to feel not only greater self-confidence, but also much greater inner well-being and love for yourself.

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