We all do things that we know don’t make us happy and certainly don’t make us feel good. One at the top of my list is judgment. I often teach of the dangers and dire consequences of judging others. I assign buddy work to spend an evening not judging and consciously choose not to, but it is not long before we are back to blanket judgment often not even making it out of the room. It happens so quickly; the instant that we see or hear another person we are making numerous judgments.
Judging freeze-frames our world. It creates a world that looks the same every single day and stops our lives flowing and evolving. Judging robs us of the feeling of expectancy, knowing that good things are going to come to us – which they do. Understanding this and even being aware that judging is our way of attempting to externalise our guilt we still seem to find it difficult, almost impossible to stop. So what is it that locks us into this damaging thought process?
Judgment, we know, puts us into sacrifice as in judgment we either place ourselves above or below others. This makes love and equality impossible and even when we place ourselves below others it is just our way of losing the occasional battle but still intending to win the war. I have spent some time recently musing on my addiction to judgment, the necessity to have bad guys in my world and during my training in Hawaii I came to an astonishing and dreadful insight: I have resorted to judgment because I wish to make others lose.
Obviously this is a very well hidden and deeply buried aspect of us but as we look around we begin to see it more and more. We have developed some highly sophisticated methods of making others lose, hiding it with a serene appearance on the surface that all we want to do is help and fight for all the good and right things. Typically we have three styles of getting others to lose. Firstly we make ourselves a citadel, independent, steadfast and unmoving, then others lose by crashing around us: if only they were like us! Or we may revert to my favourite strategy to make others lose and that is we cast ourselves in the role of a victim, a billboard to our injuries and the injustices of others! Lastly but not least is sacrifice role that comes directly from judgment. If we are in sacrifice then we have judged, we have judged somebody to be a certain way and now we have to give up our lives and help them but how we cry when they fail.
Our judgments are attacks. They are attacks against others and the only reason we are attacking is because we want others to lose, we want others to pay the price of our own unhappiness, our own deep-seated feelings of loss. When I realised that for most of my life I wanted most of the people around me to lose, starting with my older brother, I was shocked knowing the truth of it. Then came the question, what do I do now?
I think the answer is simple: continue to give up judgment to the best of my ability; extend myself to all those around me, voting for them, blessing them, wishing them every success; and heal my mistaken belief that I have ever lost.
It’s not that I deny my feelings under some rational process, but feeling these feelings is the bridge to understanding that I have never lost anything. I have just forgotten for a moment!