We all deal with judgment. On some level, no matter how hard we try, judgment bares its ugly fangs, and we make judgments on and about people, situations, behaviors, outcomes. Actually the list rages on significantly into politics, gays, drugs, war, abortion, religion, gun control, you name it. They are all very polarizing themes. We judge someone else’s beliefs based on our own experiences. Judgment really boils down to perception based on experience. The issue is how to use it wisely without destroying someone else or thing in the process.
Judgment as a noun, is synonymous with ‘common sense’. It also means making a decision based on evidence, a deductive thought process involving presented facts and possible clues. The definition can also imply ‘decision about blame’ depending on the usage and intent, sliding down into ‘doom and fate.’ In other words, through our beliefs we can choose’common sense’ and make good decisions/observations, or move into ‘dooming and fating’ someone with our perception of what is ‘right or wrong’. These judged opinions are based on our past programming, social upbringing, and circles of influence. Judgments are also based on our insecurities; what makes us uncomfortable. If we are completely comfortable in our own skins, judgment isn’t an issue. We don’t judge others if we feel good about who we are intrinsically.
A case in point. My husband asked how I felt about someone we know who had an emotionally-based-alcoholic-let-down. Due to a heavy consumption of liquor, he went a bit out of control, influencing the events of the day and our evening. It bothered my husband; his feelings were hurt. Ironically the behavior had nothing to do with my husband, however none-the-less, he took it personally. This goes back into his personal history dealing with several alcoholics over the course of his life, who through their dysfunctional behavior heavily influenced his family members. For me, this man’s behavior meant nothing; I was neutral. In other words I wasn’t offended, hurt or in judgment. Again, my husband’s reaction and judgment were based on his past experiences and memories.
I explained if this man had been out cavorting, sexually trying to scratch an emotional itch, now I would’ve felt differently, based on my past. I would have felt more inclined to judge his behavior, feeling his actions were out of alignment with his integrity. Of course, this stems from childhood experiences and my belief about infidelity.
One thing I have learned is there are always (one of those words we are never to use) multiple views, with multiple perceptions with many outcomes. Someone’s behavior has a basis, an origin that created the reactions. No matter the situation, there is an emotional foundation which instigated the behavior. The best solution and best possible place for any of us is to be in supportive love. (As in our weekend, I had great empathy at the thought of the massive hangover that would eventually ensue. The headache alone would’ve been punishment enough.) And if judgment arises instead, it is time to question our own piece in it to allow forward neutral behavior. No matter the situation. Where do our feelings of blaming, punishing and harsh sentencing arise from within? Where is the disconnection? It’s the reason why captives have been known to be swayed by the emotional fervor of their abductors, known as the Stockholm Syndrome; sympathy is developed, making the other side of the coin visible. The captives looked within and embraced emotional empathy.
I have learned to take the time to dig in and see where my own insecurities lie, where my emotional disconnections arise, so I can change my reactions and behavior. It’s not fun to look in the mirror and see where I’ve been adrift emotionally, where the holes in my emotional boat can drown me in misconceptions, perceptions and judgment. It’s much easier to stay in that place of safety, judging others for their misdeeds and actions. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is one of the Archetypal characteristics I chose upon arrival onto the planet: the Judge. Learning to put the role into good use is the key.
I love the definition of judgment as common sense. Utilizing acumen, parlaying it with awareness, intelligence and rational intuition, our keen observational skills have the ability to address the situation from a place of inner percipience and knowing. Combined with the willingness to explore our inner psyches and the lovely patterns which helped shape us, builds a savvy discriminating and discerning ship of quick maneuverability, an emotional ark of empathy and positive response.
Here’s a toast to ‘Common Sense’.
Cosmic sunshine to you.