Our minds are very discerning.
This pizza is good. That person is unattractive. I feel bored right now and that is bad. I am not doing life right. That person is a mess-up. I am the only one who thinks the right way. I am stupid. I hate school. I hate my job. Vacation was the best. All of these shows are boring.
Judging is useful. Discerning the qualities of people and events aid in survival and make life have flavor.
Judging is also a trap. Everything and everyone gets put into boxes. We miss out on encounters with people that could change our lives by focusing on one quality we judge as "bad". We lose out on character development, such as patience, persistance, self-awareness, and even joy, by filling all our moments to prevent boredom. We lose the beauty and joy of the moment by judging it as "good" or "bad" rather than allowing ourselves to experience it.
I recently got stuck in a unrelenting rain while at the Big Butler Fair. My family and I had a good distance to travel walking back to our car. My suffering ended when I stopped judging the experience as "bad" and allowed myself to experience the feeling of the water all around me. Laughter came from acceptance. Rather than fighting against what was, I allowed myelf to experience it. Joy came from acceptance.
For me, becoming a counselor has been an experience of growing in non-judgement. Having the privilege to be invited into the deeper thoughts and difficult experiences of people's lives has shown me an immense joy in non-judgement. It is helpful for me to remember that every person that comes into my office seeking help is the expert of their experience of their own life. Non-judging allows me to learn and grow in sessions as well.
Mindful meditation has been an even wider door into non-judgement for me. I have become aware of how frequently I judge the moment I am in by comparing it to my hopes for the future or my experiences of the past. I have been learning to be aware of the"now", rather than experience this moment as simply a pathway to what is next.
Right now, I encourage you to take just a moment and pause from reading this. Sit and allow yourself to recognize that you are breathing, that your heart is pumping, that your senses are providing your mind with a stream of information about this moment. Seriously- try it.
Mindfulness is a pathway to liberation from judgement. By becoming aware of what is happening now, rather than the anxious, ruminating, busy life of thoughts, we can begin to experience real life. "Real life" is not how we judge things or thoughts that we have. "Real life" is happening right now. By becoming aware of what you're experiencing in this current moment, you join the flow of the"now". Our thoughts help us time travel, but life is happening right here, right now.
I invite you to experience yourself and the world around you through this lens today. See if you notice any joy and liberation spring to life as you increase your awareness of what is really happening right now and not what you are judging the moment to be like.
I wish you joy and acceptance of yourself and the world around you today.