We are all on a path to enlightenment, towards becoming our true selves, towards remembering who we really are. The point is that each individual’s journey is unique. Everyone does it at their own pace, some slowly, some quickly.
However, one experience common to all of these individual trips is that of a small regression in their progress. Everyone has felt this little obstacle that makes it difficult for them to continue on their way to awareness. The good news is that these windbreakers can be overcome. All that is necessary is that we are vigilant about our own behavior and reaction.
What causes us to step back when we should instead be moving forward with all of our energy?
The culprit here is judgment. Without realizing it, we engage in judgment too frequently every day. These figures need to be checked if we are to truly move forward on our journey of self-discovery and awareness.
It does not mean that judgment is bad or wrong. In fact, it is one of our most natural responses. And it works everywhere, whether it’s someone or something. Judgment is the power that helps us discern whether certain things are going to affect us positively or negatively.
Our choices in life, whether big or small, rely heavily on judgment and therefore we can never get rid of it entirely. Thinking of judgment as something bad that needs to be removed only makes the problem worse. It’s a natural impulse and when we insist on not acknowledging it, it just takes us one step back in our consciousness journey.
A judgment is, quite simply, an opinion.
The problem begins when we start to approach these opinions as the marker of something or someone’s identity. And in most cases, this marker is such that it separates us from the object/person we have presumably judged.
Opinions should ideally change. As we grow older and our situation in life changes, things that were not favorable to us before might be better suited in light of current circumstances. Therefore, opinions based on judgment should be fluid and subject to change, not harsh and inflexible.
So when it comes to judging people and forming solid opinions about them, we can be wrong. And it’s even worse when we project our fear onto them without ever having given them a chance to show us otherwise.
In order to do this, we will have to look inwards.
When we try to find out what makes us look at a certain situation or a person the way we do, we can not only come closer to going beyond our judgments but also come to a better understanding of ourselves.
What we also need to understand is how judgment or rather the identifying marker that we put on people affects not only them but it affects us as well. We deprive ourselves of knowing and learning from so many interesting people simply because we have decided that we are either too intimidated by them or disgusted by them.
This prospect actually limits a lot of potential communication and we could end up being on the losing side. The fact that most of the time we are not even aware of how much we might be missing only adds to the problem.
Therefore, we must consciously put effort into all of our interactions every day, lest we catch ourselves falling victim to judging others. This is the only way forward that will help us on our journey of awakening.