You will have all heard the old saying; ‘bad things happen in threes’, of course this is not fact but a myth we have heard through generations, however for me this concept takes a positive spin as I am certain that my ‘critical life learnings’ come in threes! So I am grateful to the Universe that it is persistent enough to ensure I get it! In the past few weeks I have been inundated with the notion of ‘judgement’ from every angle, grasping every sense of my being and seemingly debilitating it into a standstill. It is apparent the Universe was pushing me beyond the superficial and passionate judgements I make when watching my favourite tennis players or when I am screaming at the television when the Aussie cricket team or rugby union team are battling to win (those of you who know me will absolutely agree that this is also a reflection of my extreme competitiveness and unrelenting high standards!!).
Many of you reading this will have had the same experience as myself; attending Sunday School and continuously hearing Matthew’s scriptures; “Do not judge , or you too will be judged and with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.” At first we spent many a year wondering how on earth a plank of timber could even fit in our eye (some of us no doubt even literally trying it out!)….but as years went by we began to grasp the concept and accept that it was not for us to judge. So imagine my surprise when 40 years later the Universe is gently, well more accurately shoving me to show up and revisit judgement, as if every Sunday in my childhood wasn’t enough ( clearly the Universe knows better than I)!
Just over two years ago I was gifted a book ‘The Four Agreements’ (PS: this is a must for your top 5 reads), in summary it basically outlines four agreements to transform your life. The third agreement is ‘Don’t Make Assumptions’ and it goes on to explain this by suggesting we: ‘Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.’ For me this agreement translates into ‘Don’t Make Judgements’ and profoundly the Four Agreements author says that with just this one agreement you can completely transform your life! So conquering the judgement battle for sure must be worth the effort and discomfort? Completely transforming my life is more than enough incentive for me, but how would the next steps be revealed…
Last week in my coaching session I was challenged to see the true power of judgement, that ‘by judging myself I had the same judgement for others’ and ‘in judging others I was judging myself in the same way or even harder.’ Every single one of my senses was now in full swing and I was determined to find the ‘secret’ which is funny in itself given that I had over 40 years of being face to face with this so called ‘secret’. Pushing on (yes like a dog with a bone) , it occurred to me that judgement in its simplest form is the negative extension to discernment. When we show discernment we see things exactly as they are, it is only when we add a comparison to how things are and how we think they should be, do we add judgement into the mix and this is exactly when we experience misunderstandings, sadness and the unnecessary drama. Leaving out the judgement and remaining in a space of discernment is a healthy response and it allows us to display compassion in its purest and most beautiful form and it is this that will transform lives. There is an overwhelming sense of freedom that comes to us for looking at situations just as they are, without guilt, without fault, without question, simply ‘It is what it is’.
So with the ‘secret’ revealed I now must go forward and challenge myself each and every time phrases such as ‘it should be like this’, ‘that isn’t what they should do’, ‘they are not doing this or that right’ and ‘why are they making this choice’ enters my head. Judgement is indeed a natural instinct so it will take as much persistence from me to be less judgmental, as it took the Universe to reveal this lesson to me! Fortunately I already have many strategies to put into practice – stop and breathe before responding, don’t take anything personally, always look for goodness, look within and feel good about myself. In addition to these strategies, a daily practice guided by the Learning Essence Inspiration Deck is sure to keep my challenge top of mind and to keep me focussed on responding to judgement with a wise mind and healthy heart (and I’m certain with Wimbledon just around the corner some passionate sporting judgement will remain or maybe I will call it giving them advice!).
Finally, I accept this process is a work in progress and that if, ‘I Always Do my Best’ my transformation will flow at my perfectly designed pace!