Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “You shouldn’t judge” before. Perhaps you avoid confronting inappropriate behavior because you don’t want to appear judgmental—or because you fear being judged by others. Or perhaps you comply with others’ expectations in order to avoid feeling like others are judging you. Many, many of us have misunderstandings and distortions around the idea of judging. In Reality, we each must judge. The ability to judge between alternatives and make sound judgments is a spiritual, emotional and intellectual gift we each possess. How do we use this ability in Truth instead of distortion?
In this episode, Jodi clearly explains the difference between judging (in Truth) and being judgmental (in distortion). This is a vital, powerful distinction.
PDF Version: Episode 86: Judging—Your Responsibility
Episode 86: Judging—Your Responsibility
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Good morning and welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. I’m Jodi Hildebrandt. This morning, it is a memorable date for those of us who live in America, and also for many people who live around the world. It is September 11th 2016. I’ve been sitting thinking about where I was on that day, and the horrific information and images that are seared into my brain of that frightful day where evil came into our country and attacked us, and took innocent lives of thousands.
So, my heart is tender this morning and as I prepare to share with you the podcast this morning, it seems rather apropos. I actually did not plan this for this morning but as I’ve been thinking about in preparation of sharing this, I thought, how appropriate for this particular podcast to be shared on this day.
I have had this podcast heavily requested for several months. It is about the power of judgment. Judgment. And the differentiation between judging and being judgmental. Like I said, here we are on September 11th 2016. It’s the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York City.
We all played a role in that day as far as, maybe some of us had people that we knew, maybe some of us were in New York. All of us were alive on that day and we all participated and had a role in experiencing those horrors of that day, and it causes me to reflect on my responsibility in my life, and am I willing to be accountable for the choices that I make and keep my life in check, so that I am being honest about what it is that I think, what it is that I feel. That I’m not projecting my hurt, or anger, or entitlement onto another person. That I’m self-contained as far as my thoughts and emotions and expectations go. That I’m not expecting another person to show up in a particular way for me in order for me to be okay or in order for me to not be angry. Like, how tightly accountable am I around my own agendas and expectations?
So, as I commented, this podcast has been heavily requested for several months to support us—all of us—to remember that we, each of us, are responsible to ourselves and for ourselves. We each are required to judge ourselves and be accountable and congruent within our own moral, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, familial and sexual belief systems.
Now, the word judging or judgment is often misunderstood. So, when I say we are responsible to judge ourselves, what I mean by that is we are the only ones that are conscious of what it is that we’re thinking, what is that we’re feeling, and we are responsible to keep a close eye on how we are responding/reacting to life. And it is never, never, never appropriate to place our expectations onto another person, ever. Ever. And I say that word very consciously. It’s rare that I use those kind of extreme words, and at times when I need to be really demonstrative, I will use them.
Our expectations are about us and we are responsible to meet those. And we if we need help or support in meeting an expectation that I have, then I may request support and assistance from another person and it is never okay for me to react to them or in another manner if that expectation is not fulfilled. That is part of what creates this judgmental attitude that so many of us have. So, a lot of us get the two words mixed up: judging or judgment versus being judgmental.
So, we are each responsible to be congruent with our own moral, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, familial and sexual belief systems without attempting to control the other. So, I just got done saying that; our expectations are an outcome of me wanting to control another person or control what it is that I feel is appropriate, or I feel entitled to, and that is just absolutely not okay.
“The other” is anyone who is outside of me, anyone who doesn’t conform to what I believe is “the way” or right, or what I think is appropriate, or what I think should be or is legal. Or what I think is scientific or not. Or what I think is religious. Or whatever you want to use as a way to reinforce you for backing, to force, or coerce, or threaten, or control, or dominate another person. That is when we get into a very judgmental attitude and just because something is legal does not mean that someone gets to force it upon you.
Now, there are certain entities that we’ve agreed upon that will follow through with enforcing law. It is not up to each one of us to make sure that someone “follows the law” or make sure that someone is doing what I think is right or what I think they should not be doing. That’s when we get ourselves into this place of kind of like, “I’m the judge and jury,” and I start becoming very judgmental.
We all have agency to choose as we will. Therefore, we—all of us—need to be really accountable and responsible for ourselves and have compassion for how we choose and what consequences will follow. We not only affect ourselves but we affect others, so being empathic is really important. I need to recognize that I’m affecting myself but I’m also affecting another person.
So, it’s this duality of, I’m aware of me, but I’m also aware that I affect other people. And so, being conscientious about how I affect another person is really important.
So, I’m not suggesting to not follow your strongly held beliefs, or your conscience, your thoughts. Just understand that we all affect each other and whatever we choose to do, we are responsible for the outcomes and making things “right.”
If we have injured someone or ourselves, we are accountable to be sensitive enough to know that we’ve injured them. And when I say injured, I’m not talking about someone goes into victim and isn’t being responsible for themselves, so they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m injured. You hurt my feelings.” I’m talking about really injured, like violating someone, stealing from someone, lying about someone. I mean, you know that you’ve made choices that have significantly affected another person, and so you are responsible to go clean those up.
So, as I record this podcast, I’m very aware and I have put a lot of thought and prayer into this podcast, because I’m very aware that it’s a controversial issue. It’s kind of like, you can perceive this podcast in lots of different ways. And I realize that the theme of this could be taken out of context very easily, and the spirit in which it is being shared could be exploited by some.
And it is my hope, I sincerely hope that no one will try to harm another person with the information that will be shared. This is my attempt to invite anyone who would choose to raise their consciousness and hold themselves more tightly accountable to do so.
So, this is an invitation to the one. If you would like to start really paying attention to the difference between your own judgement versus you being judgmental, then this is a podcast for you. This is not about me making a statement about everybody else. People are free to choose and live however it is that they want, and if you are one that wants to become more aware to your own thoughts, your own expectations, your own fears, your own distortion, and realize how those things are being acted out through your choices, then this is something that I think you will appreciate.
This podcast is about asking each of us to think for ourselves and be accountable for our feelings. And not to react to something shared that you don’t agree with. If you aren’t agreeing with what’s being shared on this podcast, turn it off and realize that your reaction is the very issue for why I’m recording this. Your reaction is suggesting, possibly, that someone else “can’t” or “shouldn’t” have an opposing view from your own, or you’ll be offended.
If you find yourself offended, or angry, or confused, or feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s fine. Just be responsible for your own thoughts and your own feelings, and get curious instead of being reactionary and going into a judgmental attitude, and wanting to control or go into a victim spot, or want to blame me, or accuse me, or accuse someone else for the feelings that you’re having, or the hurt that you’re having, or the anger that you’re having. Be responsible for yourself. Mature yourself. And judge you. Or in other words, get curious about you and wonder why you’re reacting and being triggered. Judging yourself instead of lashing out and being judgmental towards an opinion that’s different.
We all have the opportunity to be free. Free to think, free to speak, free to feel as we do and no one gets to control any of that. So, I’m inviting anyone who is listening to keep your focus on you. Ask yourself as you’re listening these difficult questions. Ask to forge a more intimate relationship with yourself. As you know you, and you’re at peace with you, you will be more tolerant, more understanding, less fearful, less offended. You will be more curious about others and less defensive about yourself and your positions.
There is enough room for all of us to live peacefully with each other, so let’s begin to learn how to do so, starting with you.
So, that is just an invitation for all of us as we listen to this to sincerely look at oneself and my hope is, is that no one, as they’re listening, will respond in a way where anger is provoked. And if it is, then again, I would invite you to really pay attention to why you’re feeling that way and get curious instead of becoming defensive and wanting to lash out to prove your point. Because there’s always people in the world that you can go find that will align with your position. Even though you have a bunch of numbers behind you that say, “We all agree this is right,” that’s not the point. The point is not that you have many people that support you in your position, the point is why are you in that position? And why is it that you are struggling allowing someone else to think and live in another way than you?
So, I want to first begin with describing the difference between being judging of self, versus being judgmental. So, the word judge, or judgment, or judging versus judgmental. Judgmentalism, if there is a word like that – being judgmental.
The word judging or judgment is about you. It’s about focusing your intention on me. In fact, I’m going to talk first person.
So, when I am judging, my focus needs to be on me being responsible for me, me being curious about me, me being open about me. Judging suggests that I am objective, that I am thoughtful—thoughtful as far as thought-provoking—that I respond versus react, that I become curious, and that I look for the facts, the things that are logical, the things that are concrete, the things that are based in Truth.
Being judging means I focus on my behavior and I invite my behavior to change. It’s not a focus on my being, it’s a focus on what it is I choose to do. And then, I say to myself, “Do I want to keep choosing to do that?”
Being judging is a directive for me to stay in Reality and Truth. It’s a place where, as I recognize that I have deviated from my own standards, my own values, my own morals, my own belief systems, I can change. I can make restitution. I can repent.
And when I do that, I create stability. I create connection. Being judging is about learning how to protect myself. And when I say protect myself, what I mean is, is that I’m responsible for what it is that I think and feel, and therefore what it is that I choose to do with my thoughts and feelings.
And so, I want to be very conscientious about what choices I make, and keep protection around me emotionally, and physically, and spiritually. And as I am judging, I learn how to create and set and hold boundaries. And so, as I’m living this stable boundaried life, it allows me to stay in the Reality.
I don’t take things personal, and the focus is absolutely me-centered. I’m looking at myself. I don’t cast my gaze out on another person or something else. I am aware that that person, or that event, or that experience has affected me or has influenced me, and I then keep my focus on how? And why? And what does it mean to me? I come right back to me.
When I’m being judgmental, I go at you. I’m aware that you’ve affected or influenced me and therefore I attempt to try to control you. That’s what being judgmental is. When I’m judging, I’m trying to create a balance or a homeostasis inside myself, even though all things around might be swirling and there might be behaviors, and people, and experiences that I don’t agree with or I think are immoral, or I think are not correct, or I don’t believe in the tenants of the choices others are making. Even though all that’s going on around me, I can have a peaceful, centered, balanced life.
It doesn’t mean that I acquiesce to those things that are happening figuratively or literally around me. I may absolutely give my opinion, and I do not attempt to force my opinion on someone else. I do not desire to control another being, for they too are free to choose as they will.
So, being judging is again, it’s about me and it keeps my focus on my behavior. It is not super emotional; there’s emotion in critiquing myself, and I’m more rational rather than emotional when I am judging myself, and as I hold that position, I feel clarity. It allows me to become curious about what things mean to me.
So, my curiosity about myself or something else that I’m involved with or affected by, it improves my awareness, my consciousness. It feels secure and it allows me to see distortion or fear if it’s present. It raises my awareness and therefore I can be more vulnerable. And I can validate not only myself but also others. So, it invites this open posture and a complete responsibility for myself.
So, the choices I make inside of me being judging are driven from a place of consciousness and deliberateness.
So, the definition of judgement or being judging defines: you come to a resolution in your mind as a result of consideration. Or to make a choice from a number of alternatives. Or to reach a decision.
Here are some synonyms that describe judging.
To settle. To become at peace or an understanding.
You make up your mind to form an opinion or a conclusion about something, and you gather additional information.
So, basically you keep your nose in your own business. You keep your focus on you. That’s what being judging or judgment is about.
Now, juxtapose that with being judgmental. I’m going to put these side by side because when I am in the process of judging, it’s all about me knowing me and being responsible for me. Whereas, judgmental is about me projecting me, it’s me projecting my fears, my expectations, my wants, my entitlements onto others and saying, “You change and accommodate me, so I feel love, so I feel safe, so I feel heard, so I feel validated. You have to change. You have to do something in order for me to be okay.” And that is just not the Truth. That is not the Truth. That is a controlling posture and we need to stop that. It’s horribly, horribly divisive. It’s causing us to fight with each other. It’s causing to not have empathy for each other. We need to keep our focus on ourselves. There are a lot of us living on the planet, billions of us, and we are responsible to look at ourselves.
I just met a dear woman yesterday, and she’s had a very, very hard life. And if anyone could be judgmental it would be her. She’s had all sorts of trauma. She’s hard all sorts of people in her life, specifically men, who have dominated her, who have forced her, who have confused her, who have in some way stomped out her spirit or stomped on her spirit. They didn’t stomp it out but they stomped on it. And she still suffers with indoctrination of control, and power, and domination from men who wanted to own her. And she’s the most happy woman, she’s just a happy soul, because she keeps her focus on herself. I’m sure that she will continue as she has been doing over the years at understanding what has actually happened to her. And at the same time, she desires to have joy. And she’s an inspiration to me, I just was very fortunate to have met her. I thought about her for many hours yesterday and would love to align my life to mirror the way that she’s been able to hold happiness, and peace and joy, even in the midst of horrific experiences of control and domination.
So, here’s the juxtaposition of being judgmental. So, judging is about my personal responsibility. Now, juxtapose being judgmental. That is my complete irresponsibility for myself. My being judgmental is about a closed, rigid position.
Being judgmental suggests my focus is on the other. My being—like, my being—is being critical, and harsh, and reactionary. Being judgmental suggests that I’m being subjective and there’s lots of emotion inside of being judgmental, because that’s what drives me—my emotions drive me to react and tell myself a story about the other person.
I react from a place of fear and distortion. If fear’s present, distortion’s going to be present. Distortion is that I take the Reality and I make it something that it’s not. Being judgmental is not based in facts.
It’s not thoughtful. It’s making up and perpetuating these storylines that are actual lies. It’s like I tell myself something and I never check it out to see if it’s the Truth. I just say, “When I see this or I hear that, or I become aware of such and such, I get afraid.” And so, then I start filling in the story without actually going to the person or the thing and gathering the correct or the factual information.
So, being judgmental is about focusing on the other, focusing on something outside myself. Whereas, being judging is about me. I’m keeping my focus on me. I’m self-contained. Whatever’s going on with me, I’m responsible to manage it and not have it leak out onto other people.
So, being judgmental is about you-focused. How will you or that or those affect me? It’s about me being selfish, and aggressive, and defensive, impulsive, unstable, co-dependent. It’s a place where I have little to no boundaries. I get really critical. I’m not interested in facts. I’m not focused on my behavior or the behavior of others, I’m only focused on the being. Like, they should not be that way, instead of watching their behavior and getting curious about why they are that way or why they say and do the things they do. I don’t care about that. I just say, “No.” Or “They should.” Or “They shouldn’t.” So, I don’t get curious about their behavior.
And therefore, in that state of no curiosity, I am absolutely unable to be vulnerable or validating. I can’t differentiate between inappropriate and appropriate behavior. I don’t know how to love the being and be curious about the behavior. So, I hate the being and I’m not curious about why they behave the way they do. I’m very confused. I’m not responsible for myself, I blame others, I’m not interested in additional information, it creates incredible disconnection and the choice is being driven from an unconscious, projecting personal issues and agendas onto the subject.
So, that’s what’s driving it, is this unconsciousness—or maybe I’m conscious, maybe I’m very deliberately doing this, being judgmental—and I project me and what I deem and feel is right, and appropriate, and “The Truth” onto another person. It’s horribly aggressive, and no one on the planet wants to be controlled or feel controlled, and being judgmental, that’s all that is, is that for whatever reason, I feel like I have the green light to “share,” or tell, or use a megaphone, or use the law to attempt to control other people.
So, the definition of being judgmental suggests displaying an excessive critical point of view. It’s censorious, condemnatory, disapproving, disparaging, depreciating, negative, overly critical. It judges harshly. A negative word about someone who rushes into judgment without reason. Someone who believes their opinions are based in Truth and Reality. Someone who thinks they know everything. Someone who makes snap judgments.
So, being a judgmental person doesn’t define the other person, it defines you. If you are engaging in judgmentalism, it’s very clear that you are coming from a position of fear and that you are not being responsible for yourself. Like I said at the very beginning of the podcast, we are all free to choose, and there is enough physical and emotional space on this planet for us, if each of us will be responsible for our own decisions. And not only our own decisions, but how those decisions are impacting others. When I say that, it gets real tricky because I’m not suggesting that if you are “offending” another person (that’s the effect) that you stop doing what you’re doing. You’ve got to really get honest with yourself and say, “Are my choices injuring—injuring—like physically injuring another person? Or is it taking away the freedoms of someone else?
Because words, they affect you but they really can’t injure you. You can mature past words. And you can even mature past behaviors that people have done to you. I know that from my own life, I mean I’ve had my fair share of mean things said and done to me, and it’s one of the reasons I feel like I can talk so boldly to you, because I have worked and I continue to work to, when those kind of things get flung in my direction, to challenge those and usurp them, move past them. Understand that it’s not personal.
So, why is it important to understand the difference between these two frameworks: being judging versus being judgmental? These two mental, and spiritual and emotional frameworks. Many of us use these two words—judging and judgmental—interchangeably, and they are not synonymous nor similar, nor even being supported, or reinforced, or driven by principles that mean anything of the like. They are completely contradictory to each other. It’s like saying love and hate, or pain and pleasure, or confusion and clarity are similar or have similar properties to them.
Judging and judgmental are the antithesis of one another. They are contrasting and opposites as far as what is motivating these two words. And those of us who activate the characteristics and animate these two words.
Contrasting the words judging and judgmental allows someone to better understand and appreciate the juxtaposition of the two, and thus consciously choose to use either position in awareness and deliberateness. Understanding the meanings of being judging contrasted with being judgmental is necessary in order for someone to use their gift of choice consciously.
So, you’ve got to understand them or you’ll get them all mixed up. That’s the last thing that I would want for me, is not understanding certain words and then not using them correctly.
So, when you juxtapose them, then you can learn about both of them and see them in their contrasting reflections. And then, I can use this gift I have of choice and be really conscious. So, one position, being judging, brings or invites clarity, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, awareness, stability, boundaries, vulnerability, openness, validation, connection, Truth, Reality, protection, invitations into understanding behaviors (my behaviors), and having compassion for myself and for the other.
Both sides are understood when I’m judging. Both sides, myself and the other, are seen, are heard in clearness of the issue or person ensues and follows. That’s beautiful. I want to judge me. I want to know me. I want to be responsible for me, so I’ve got to keep my focus on me.
The other—being judgmental—invites and encourages fear, impulsiveness, reactions, selfishness, being closed and unwilling to know Reality and Truth. It’s not based in facts, rather opinions, usually from a moralistic perspective. It oftentimes has distortion where the focus is on the other, and an unwillingness to be curious of why they’re choosing, or behaving, or speaking the way that they are. It’s not desirous of additional information or connection. It is totally irresponsible because it’s full of blame, accusation and finger pointing.
The person is not interested in understanding either the issues or the other. They are only interested in proving their point and soliciting others to join them in their angle or position. It is a very emotionally driven perspective, where the person is wanting someone else to be responsible for their feelings, their thoughts, their choices, outcomes, consequences, fears, expectations, everything. It is motivated by I’m “entitled” or I have a “right” because (and then you fill in whatever your agenda is). I have a right or I’m entitled because… because I can, or because there are more of us than you, or it’s the law, or whatever follows that because.
And I’m not suggesting that people don’t follow the law, I’m just suggesting that not everybody try to enforce the law, that you go to the proper authorities and say, “Hey, here’s what’s going on.” And let them follow through with that, and not you.
It appears that many of us are wary at best, let alone willing to judge. So, why is that? So, I just spent a considerable amount of time contrasting these two positions and surely, you can see the destructive nature of being judgmental versus the constructive nature of judging. Is our hesitancy because we are confused or not clear about what these two words mean? If we have been told by our environments—people, parents, extended family, teachers, friends, random adults, society, employers, religion, leaders, popular opinions, others’ fears, insecurities, irresponsibility, political correctness—anything that we have had shared with us or anyone that you perceive has power, either power over you or power over something that you deem is significant—
Is that why you fear to judge? Is that why you fear to look at oneself? Or do you have those words mixed up? Are you okay to think for yourself? You need to know why you don’t judge. And what I’d say here is the Truth is you do judge, we are just unconscious and most likely, we’re acting out in judgmental ways because you’re unconscious, or you’re afraid to judge, or you think it’s wrong, or not loving to judge. But you are judging. It’s just the judging probably is going outside yourself and it needs to come back to you.
If you don’t understand the answers to these questions, you will have a high propensity to react to life and thus end up being judgmental solely because you aren’t willing to be conscious. You know what, why, how you think the way you do, stay open and curious to additional information that is always being presented about everything. That means or translates into judge, judge. Gather data. Gather facts. Form opinions. Stay open to people, don’t close yourself. Connect with them, get curious about them, understand them. And as you do that, you will love them and appreciate them. you’ll appreciate their angles, their vulnerabilities, their histories, their fears, their concerns. Everything about them, you will start learning to really value, because you’ll see that they’re you.
You can also, through judging—like judging yourself—share you and your contrasting views, and your vulnerabilities, and your beliefs, and ask for you to be validated by them and ask them to understand you, which is different than agreeing with you.
You can share oppositional angles in as much fervor and animation because you judge. You judge differently. It’s okay. It’s okay to have a different viewpoint, you just judge differently than they do. But you can share those opposing angles with each other. It’s all good.
Our behaviors don’t have to agree with each other. Our positions around life, around family, around marriage, children, religion, spirituality, sexuality, what is right and wrong, what is real and perceived, what is true and Truth? Anything. We can differ from one another and still stay in connection with each other.
When we judge from a position of personal responsibility and honesty, we can stay connected. We can stay open. We can understand the other. We don’t have to be afraid. We can learn to respect each other’s perspectives and not feel threatened because we are judging and being responsible for our own judgments.
When we judge, we understand that what I think, what I feel, what I believe, what I value, what I would sacrifice and even die for might be different than another. And that’s not bad. It’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be a problem. I don’t have to feel or be threatened by your lack of agreement with my own internal judgments. I take responsibility for my own self and you’re doing the same.
Now, that’s a tall order that I’m inviting any of us who are listening to this to engage in. It becomes a problem when someone’s not willing to do that, so I’m over here being as conscientious as I can and taking care of myself, and being accountable for me. And then, the other, you, are other there being flippant and flagrant and throwing your opinions or your anger or your expectations around. That causes a problem.
When I become judgmental, that’s when you and I, depending on who is being judgmental, whether it’s you or it’s I, or maybe it’s both of us—that’s when we become divisive. That’s when fighting starts happening. That’s when domestic violence happens, whether it’s inside of a marriage, inside of a relationship, inside of a nation. That’s when fear, and blame, and hurt, and anger or threats, violence, taking things personal, going into distortion, feeling like a victim, dropping responsibility and refusing to be emotionally honest and accountable for your own perceptions, your own emotions, your own choices, your own outcomes and consequences.
The Truth is nobody is responsible for those things but you. You are totally responsible for you. Being judgmental acts like everyone has to agree with me or the other. Or (fill in the blank), like and I’m not loved, I’m hated, I’m no good, I deserve, I don’t deserve, I’m entitled and if anyone opposes me, then that is the evidence that they are sexist, bigoted, hateful, unloving, you name it.
Being judgmental is just a set-up for you and me both. And you go into a place that if people don’t agree with you or people have an opposing view that you go to that “safe spot” that says, “Well then I’m not loved, or I’m not enough, or I shouldn’t be treated this way.”
And then, you cast your gaze and your finger towards another and you call them names. It’s horrible. It just breaks my heart.
Being judgmental doesn’t allow behavior to be critiqued because the person who’s being judgmental feels attacked. They feel attacked, they’re not being attacked. But in their distortion, they feel attacked. Whereas, when someone is judging, the whole focus is on the behavior of the person, not the being. I’m critiquing my behavior and I’m looking at your behavior, and I’m saying, “Wow, why are they behaving that way? Let me go talk to them and find out why they’re choosing to say and do those things. I don’t understand that.”
And I get curious because I want to understand you. It’s just such a contrasting experience between judging and being judgmental. Judging is all about desiring to truly understand myself and truly understand you. Being judgmental is about wanting to destroy, wanting to be dominated or be dominant. It is full of anger and pain. Whereas, when I judge, my focus is on me and I am desiring to be connected and be loving.
Being judgmental is very manipulative. Being judgmental won’t tolerate or allow for another’s viewpoint, another’s opinion or another’s perspective except for their own. And the person cries foul and squawks and goes in distortion and cries victim and poor me, if anyone dares offer another opinion.
Being judgmental is all about control, power, fear, disconnection, victim orientation, blaming others for their feelings, thoughts, choices, outcomes.
So, can you appreciate now why so many of us are afraid to judge? Because for most of us, we’ve got this mix-up. It’s like “I don’t wanna judge” because we think judging is about the other and what I’m telling you is that being judging is about you. Come back to self.
We don’t understand the responsibility and consciousness that we’re required to use when we judge, and we need to.
We either go into being judgmental and then wield power that way which is totally irresponsible. Or we have people around us that are judgmental and those people are affecting us by their irresponsibility, their control, their victim mentality.
And so, either I’m going into judgmental or somebody around is projecting their judgmental towards me, and thus I don’t even want to act like that. I don’t ever want to be that way. I don’t ever want to cause another person to feel the way that I do, so I enter this space where I refuse to be conscious and deliberate and boundaried because I don’t want to engage in that.
My invitation is that we are willing to judge, judge ourselves and not be judgmental. To advocate for our values, our standards, our families, our beliefs, our viewpoints, our opinions—anything that makes us a being. That’s what judging does, it allows you to share you with another. Judging says, “Here’s what I have judged. Here’s what I’ve perceived. Here’s what I postulated. Here’s what I believe is true. Here’s what I think is right for me. Here’s what I want to share with you.” And then, you get to do the same, the other person gets to do the same. If you share you with someone and they become agitated with you, they are reacting in a judgmental fashion because there’s no reason to react to someone sharing themselves, just because you don’t think or they don’t think and agree with you. There’s no reason to react.
The reaction is about them. Not about you. The reaction is about them not being responsible to own their own viewpoints and not to feel threatened by yours. You must judge. It is the only way for you to be conscious and be a being that knows what you believe, knows what you think, knows what you value, in any kind of comparison to somebody else.
Being judging is good. It’s righteous. It’s of God. God expects us to judge. He wants us to know what it is that we value so we can stand for something. It’s righteous. It’s necessary. It’s what allows a person to be centered, calm, conscious. It allows a person to be present, aware and allows them to love and connect with another and with themselves.
The concept of being judgmental would say, “You can’t love me or connect with me if you don’t agree and abide by the same constructs or ideologies or beliefs as I do.” Again, being judgmental is all about the focus on the other person. It’s my selfishness projecting onto another in a desire to control. I’m in distortion and therefore I’m disconnecting.
So, being judgmental means you cannot live in the Truth. We can love each other and connect wither each other and not agree with behavior of each other when we each are responsible for our own judgments, and not project them onto the other. We can stay in connection.
I’d like to give some examples here. I have talked very clearly, as clear as I know how. I have repeated myself many, many times just to keep iterating the important distinction between these two words, so that you can more consciously make decisions about how you want to conduct your life, how you want to use this beautiful gift of choice that you’ve been given to either be judging and keep your focus on you, or lash out and be judgmental towards another, which all it does is cause pain, and sorrow, and sadness, and fear in both parties.
Here’s some examples of those two words.
I like the heat. I was raised in Arizona and I love dry heat. I have been living in a place where in the winters it’s incredibly cold. And so, some people, because they like the cold, they absolutely choose to live in a different part of the country. We each have different opinions. Even though I’ve been living in the cold for the past 20 years, I don’t like it. And so, between me and my neighbor who absolutely loves the cold—they hate the heat—we have different opposing viewpoints.
So, still we can love the person, the being. Like, I care a lot about my neighbor and even though we don’t agree on certain things, we can still stay connected. They aren’t wrong and I’m right or they aren’t right and I’m wrong. So, being judging is about heat versus cold. One’s not better than the other. It’s just what it is that we both enjoy.
Being judgmental, if I were to go into being judgmental, I would say something like this: “One is better than the other.” Or, “You’re crazy to want to live in the cold.” Or if they were judgmental, they would say to me, “What are you thinking? It costs $300 a month to keep your air conditioning on. Why would you do that when you could live in this environment and not use air conditioning at all? That is just crazy that you would put yourself in that kind of atmosphere.”
So, you can hear that judgmental nature of telling the other person that they are wrong. And when someone’s wrong, it means that someone else is right. And like I said, it’s very divisive. It causes wars when we’re judgmental with each other. Wars, whether they be inside of a marriage or inside of a family. Sometimes, people have been separated not only for decades but sometimes a lifetime, because they have acted in ways that are very judgmental.
Here’s another example. Someone says something to you over the course of your years on the planet that’s hurtful. Are we willing to let it go? They say something like, “You’ll never amount to anything.” Or, “You’ll never do well at math.” Or, “You’re too short to play this sport.” Things that are just mean. Things that are judgmental—because what does it mean you’re too short to play a sport? That doesn’t make any sense. Or you’ll never amount to anything? Saying “You’ll never” is always. And “Amount to anything,” I don’t even know what that means. It’s all this judgmental, really reactionary, emotional posturing from another person.
Versus judging. Judging. When someone says something hurtful, I look at myself and say, “Ow, that hurts. Their judgmental posture is coming towards me and I don’t have to take that personal. I can let that go.”
It’s kind of like, “Sticks and stones may broke your bones but words can never hurt you.” I don’t know what happened to that axiom. I heard that growing up and it seems to have been lost in today’s world. We get all upset when somebody says something to us that’s hurtful and we don’t know how to let it go.
Here’s another example. What if I go get plastic surgery? Or I fill my body full of tattoos or piercings? We each get to choose what to do with our bodies, yet we each need to be responsible for ourselves. So, no one is or should be required to be responsible for us. We are. That’s what being judging is all about. We are responsible for us. When we are being judgmental, we say, “This is right, this is wrong.” We say, “Others should accept me, or agree with me, or pay for me, or not look at me in a particular way.”
Being judgmental creates an illusion that I should be able to control others. I don’t allow the other to have the very freedom of their own thoughts, feelings and opinions as I desire to have.
When I’m judgmental, I have a very thin skin and I’m offended, or hurt, or I perceive injustice coming towards me because I want to control others’ opinions.
For example, if I go get piercings and tattoos, the person that I work for—my employer—has a right to not want to hire me. He or she has absolutely a right to choose to not hire somebody who has chosen to put a tattoo sleeve on their arm. The employer may not want their customers to view that. It’s not because the tattoos are bad, it’s that the employer gets to not be forced to “deal with” the outcomes of my choices. These are the consequences of my choices of putting a tattoo sleeve on my arm. If that’s what I decided to do, then that’s fine, but I need to learn to not take offense and that there’s no bigotry going on, there’s no hatred, there’s no sexism. The person who’s tattooed themselves could be a lovely individual, full of integrity, connection, validation. And the employer may, through judging—it’s not judging the tattooed person, it’s about through their own judgment of their own business—they may decide that they don’t want that presentation in the workplace. Period. That’s it. That’s as non-personal as this is.
It’s no different than someone who comes in and says, “I want a job,” and at the same time they’re asking for a job they’re picking their nose. Or they come in and say, “I want a job,” and they have foul language, or they’re not clean, like they smell, or they’re unkempt. All the choices the person’s making, every time you make a choice there’s a consequence. And the consequences of the choices are that: they follow your choices.
So, all these choices the person’s making and the consequences are that another person gets to choose, just like they are choosing. You get to choose and I get to choose. If I walk in picking my nose and ask for a job, I’m probably not going to get hired.
Now, this is where people could get all upset like, “Oh my gosh, me getting a tattoo is not like picking my nose.” Well, you know what? For some people it might be. That’s just the cold, hard Reality, that all of us live on the planet and we all have opposing views.
So, if you want to tattoo your arm, have at it, go for it. And, don’t force another person to deal with your choices and be okay with your choices. Don’t go cry to more people who tattoo themselves and say, “This isn’t fair.” You get to be responsible for your own choices and the person that you want to hire you gets to be responsible for their own choices. There’s not an attack on you. It’s choice. It’s choice and consequences. It’s choice and outcomes. And we all need to be free to choose and experience outcomes and then judge our choices and judge our outcomes and see if we want to change our choices.
We have been taught in today’s world, that I can choose and then I can control the consequences. I can control you. And I’ll get a law passed that says you have to hire me. I’ll force you to do that. And that is wrong. Any time control or force is going on between two people, that is not okay, because we all have freedom to conduct ourselves as we choose and see fit to.
So enough of this. We all as a human family need to stop being judgmental, controlling, projecting, crying foul when no offense was intended. We each are responsible for ourselves, we each are responsible to be honest about the choices we make and the consequences that follow. The consequences which are others’ choices in response to our choices. Those are the consequences. Somebody else is going to choose in response to our choices that follow.
I love the fact that we have natural consequences because we choose and something follows and we experience the consequence and say, “I like it,” or “I don’t like that.” and we alter our choices next time or keep them the same in response to what we experience, it’s very simple.
I was sitting in my office and this little 18-month-old girl was there with her parents and her dad kept saying, “Be careful, there’s the hard ledge.” She was standing up on the couch, she kept throwing her head backwards and there was a marble ledge to the window, and he kept trying to protect her saying, “Be careful, you’re going to hit your head. This is hard.” And she kept throwing her head back and smiling, and he’s like, “Honey, you’re going to hurt yourself.” And she threw her head back when he wasn’t watching and she smacked her noggin just so hard and let out the most offensive cry, like, “How dare that window sill hurt me like that?” She cried and she cried and she cried. She probably cried for five minutes just really wailing.
When she got done, she turned around and she pointed at it and said, “Hard. Hard. Hard.” She kept pointing at the window sill and her dad’s like, “That’s right. That’s hard.”
And she learned from a very simple choice and consequence that she doesn’t want to throw her head back when she’s standing on the couch because that’s hard. And she learned that when she makes a choice like that, she is going to have a very unforgiving substance meet her and cause pain to her body.
So she chose not to do that again. It was very simple. Even though it was really hard to watch her in pain, none of us could do anything about it, and that’s how we learn. We all get to choose. We all get to—and we have an obligation to—think, and believe and act according to our own conscience.
Judge yourself, don’t be judgmental towards other. She was judging. She was saying, “Hard. Hard. I’m going to make a judgment and say that’s hard and that hurts my head when I push my head against it with any kind of force.” That’s a judgment. At 18 months, she figured that out.
Just because you think something, it doesn’t mean that someone should agree with you. Just because you believe you should eat ketchup on your eggs, or wake up at 5, or wear a helmet when you go bike-riding doesn’t mean your judgment is right or the absolute authority. Let others, let people choose. Let them have the outcomes and consequences of their choices, and allow choice and consequence to teach them.
But we all need to be responsible for our choices, our outcomes. We don’t get to choose experiences and consequences, and then say, “I don’t like the consequences of my choices. I don’t like what just happened. So, now you are responsible for me.”
We’re back to the control, the irresponsibility, the chaos. We’re back to the immaturity, the entitlement, the domination. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have it both ways. Either you make choices and you are willing to accept the consequences of your choices, or you choose from a position of being judgmental and you experience disconnect throughout your life. But you can’t have it both ways.
However, many people are trying to live their lives controlling themselves and others around them.
I’m going to read off just quickly some examples that I’ve experienced in the last month, of control or people being judgmental. This is my experience of people being judgmental. And I know that I’ve been judgmental as well.
Here are some examples of judgmental coming towards me.
I was pulling into a parking lot and there was a motorcycle, and there was a gentleman sitting on the motorcycle and as I pulled in beside him to come into the parking lot, I was slowing down, I wasn’t anyway near hitting him or even being close to him, and all of a sudden he swore at me. It was like seven in the morning and I had my convertible top off and he was on a motorcycle so I heard what he said. I was hurt. I was offended. His words were really aggressive.
Another example. I had a gentleman, he was at a construction site that I was standing on, and he came up to me and he’s like, “You know who is building this construction site?” And I said, “Yeah, the name of the guy’s on that sign right there.” And he’s like, “Well, you need to tell him that he needs to cover up this stairwell.” There was a stairwell going down into a basement and there was no cover around it, and I’m thinking, “Who are you? And why do I need to tell the construction worker to do anything?” He said, “Somebody could back up and fall down into that hole.” I just looked at him and I said, “Well, they would learn not to walk backwards when there’s an open hole someplace.”
He looked at me like I was just so uncaring, so unloving, because I wasn’t willing to join him in his control. Like I need to control and make sure nobody falls down into that hole. That’s not my job. My job is to pay attention to me, and me not fall down the hole.
Another example. Someone gives an opinion and you begin to gossip about it. So, someone tells you something and you don’t agree with it. So instead of just saying, “I don’t agree with it,” and letting it go, you start telling other people and you start embellishing the story. You start sharing that that’s the wrong angle, or they shouldn’t think that way or feel that way.
I went up to a homeless man as I was driving by and I said, “Hey, would you like something to eat?” And he’s like, “Oh, yes, thank you so so much.” And so, I went and got him just some fast food. I handed it to him and I told him what was in the bag and he goes, “I don’t like that.” I said to him, “Well, then don’t eat it!” And I drove away.
I was sitting at a stoplight waiting for the light to change and I had my phone in my lap and someone texted me something and I just responded with the word yes, and as I lifted my phone up to type the word yes—again, I had my convertible top off—and this woman next to me in her car that was sitting waiting for the light to change yelled out of her window, “Get off your cellphone.”
Another time, I had my car on and I was waiting for someone to come out of an apartment and someone came up and knocked on my window and said, “You need to turn your car off because poisonous fumes are going into the atmosphere.”
Another example is, I watch people walk around with their dogs and sometimes their dogs are not on leashes and there’s a leash law probably most places in America. It’s amazing how many people will go up to people that they don’t even know and tell them, “Your dog needs to be on a leash.” I just sit there and shake my head, like oh my goodness, stay in your own business.
I just had some dear friends of mine come back from Africa. They video-ed little clips of their stay in Africa, they were in some villages. And I looked at the environment there in Africa and they kept saying, “Oh, the people are so happy. They’re so happy.” And they like have nothing. I mean, they really have nothing, and dogs are running around without leashes. I get it. I get it. We need to be responsible for our animals so they don’t bother the neighbors and I understand all that.
That’s not my point. My point is, be responsible. If you have a dog and your dog is not trained, then be responsible so that it doesn’t go and affect another person. Just be responsible for yourself. If someone doesn’t have their dog on a leash, you don’t need to go remind them, you need to stay in your own business and just let people live the way that they’re going to live. And if they’re affecting you, if the dog comes running at you or something, maybe then you can give them some feedback. But we are just so quick to attempt to control other people.
Now, again, please hear me. This is not the letter of the law that I’m talking about. I’m talking about the spirit of being judging and being judgmental. I am the first one to not be okay with other people’s animals just running rampant, so please don’t go to an extreme with this. And, look at your behavior. If someone’s out walking their dog for example and the dog’s walking right next to them, you don’t need to stop them and say, “Get your do on a leash.” You don’t need to do that. You need to say, “Huh, I wonder if they have a leash. I wonder if they can even afford a leash. I wonder. I wonder.” And get curious instead of becoming judgmental. Please, please don’t take this out of context.
Let’s keep our focus on ourselves. Let’s not focus on how we’re right and that we have evidence because we have laws behind us, we have Science behind us, we have moral dictates behind us, that we can stand behind. Rather, let’s reach out to our brothers and sisters and support them. Get curious about them. Know them. Ask questions about them. Be vulnerable with them. Validate them. Understand and hear them. Then, and only then will we know them. We will know the other and we will see that the other is me. We are the same. We all want and need connection and we need to be vulnerable with one another instead of being “right” and judgmental, so that we can connect.
I hope and encourage all of us that are listening to this podcast to really keep your focus on yourself and judge yourself, and place love and curiosity about others into your paradigm, instead of being judgmental. And act on that versus reacting and being judgmental towards another.
That is a lot of information, and again, my goal is to prick you, to poke you, not to incite you, not to “cause” you to react and want to defend yourself. That’s not my purpose. My purpose is for anyone who’s listening to this podcast to think about yourself, see if you can become more aware of the critical nature of you going into being judgmental. I know I want to do that. I look at myself often and I think, I need to stop being so judgmental, I don’t want to be like that. I want to understand the other instead of being judgmental towards the other. That is my sincere hope and desire.
Until next time, stay connected. Bye bye.
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