When it comes to what our minds are engaged in moment to moment, judging is very near the top of the list.
We constantly judge almost everyone, everything and every situation and the vast majority of those judgements are determining whether something is “good” or “bad”. In other words we have a very powerful and unconscious compulsion to label virtually everything.
Think about a typical day. You wake and decide if you feel good or bad. You catch the morning news and decide if that’s good or bad. You drive to work and judge the traffic as good or bad. Check your bank balance – good or bad. Have lunch – good or bad. Afternoon meeting – good or bad. The judging is literally non-stop all day.
When we meet someone for the first time we automatically begin affixing labels to them in our mind. Those labels are based on what they are wearing, how they speak, what they say, how they are groomed, their hairstyle, shoes, nails, handbag, dialect, mannerisms, etc. We then, in short order, determine whether we feel inferior or superior to that person and that determination largely controls how we interact with that person from that point forward.
The problem with this should be obvious. Very often (mostly) we get it wrong which is not only a disservice to the person we are judging but to ourselves as well because the labels construct a false prison for both and escape is both difficult and rare.
So why then all this judging? Simple – ego. In order to understand the phenomenon we must understand the distinction between our true selves and our ego. The best way I can describe it is your ego is what’s doing the judging. Your true self, your awareness, is what realizes you are doing the judging. Your higher self is the silence between the constant judgmental thoughts.
Our true selves, our higher-self if you will, is not concerned with judgements at all. It is only concerned with what is. It does not resist what is. It seeks but one force – love.
Our ego, on the other hand, is engaged in an unending battle to preserve itself and the best way it knows how is to pronounce something bad and itself as better than. Why? It makes us feel good – at least temporarily. But at what cost? The damage we inflict on ourselves as well as others is witnessed in the miserable states that our constant judging creates.
The key to stopping this madness from which we all suffer is making peace with the present moment as it is – to accept the now and not resist it. There is no power in resistance of the now. Only in the yielding to it do we find strength.
If you want to understand the immense power and peace that results from suspending the constant judging of your ego there is a simple way. It takes practice and sometimes you’ll even need to chunk it down into small increments of time. For example on the first day you may decide, “I will not judge anything until after breakfast.” Day two it’s until lunch time and so on.
Anytime you feel a judgement arising, simply remind yourself to accept the moment, person, thing, event as it is – no judgement about it whatsoever. Soon enough your true self will begin to emerge and your ego (though it will fight you every step of the way) will begin to diminish and the peace of acceptance will be yours. To put it another way – you will become happy.
~Edward G. Dunn