90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 21 – Judging What’s Right or Wrong for Someone Else’s Life

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 21: Judging What’s Right or Wrong for Someone Else’s Life

“If we had no faults of our own, we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those in others and judging their lives as either black or white, good or bad. We all live our lives in shades of gray.”

-Shannon L. Alder

Get out of other people’s business! You are responsible for your journey, not theirs. Some of the best advice I ever got was, “If you are busy trying to run someone else’s life, who is running yours?”  This was given to me by my friend Sarah after I was so focused on what a person who was abusing alcohol was doing instead of focusing on what I was doing. I lost my identity by focusing on his actions. I was miserable!! I started focusing on what I could fix to better MY life—ME! The beginning of my metamorphosis was upon me. When I stopped putting all my attention on him and what he was doing I gave myself the energy I needed to do what was best for me. I was no longer prisoner of his actions.

LOVE has nothing to do with us being right and someone else being wrong. If we think we are telling people how to live their lives out of love, we need to REALLY look at it. This is NOT easy!! Why do we feel like we need to insist on our way as the right way when it comes to how someone else does something? FEAR! We are scared that if he, she or they don’t do it, he, she, or they will suffer or others will suffer because of their choices. We JUDGE suffering as WRONG! We learn from our suffering. Suffering can often be our BEST teacher because it can get us uncomfortable enough to do something to change. If we continuously rescue, enable, and/or demean someone for the choices they are making… how are we encouraging them to know they are capable of making choices to better their own lives. People need to be held responsible for their own rewards and consequences of their feels, thoughts, words, actions and reactions. That is not a judgment that is a Universal law of the energy we put out in the world. I don’t know of a spiritual or religious practice that doesn’t talk about personal accountability for what we do.

We can’t MAKE people change! So why are we going to insist on what we have no power over. What kind of energy are we contributing when we tell the Universe that we know better, LOL. I laugh because I still need the reminder. If you haven’t been following the series, I have kids. I often have to remind myself to help them understand rewards and consequences for their own choices and remember to give natural consequences when they make choices that negatively affect themselves or others. I’m a work in progress just like every human being is. Whether I it’s my kids, family, friends, or strangers, I have to be in full awareness of how I encourage people to be their best selves.

When it comes to the actions of individuals, religious groups, governments, institutions, terrorist groups, etc. we have to be aware of how our judgments of them are affecting the energy we are contributing to what we want or don’t want. If we are consumed by fear-based energy for their actions, we are feeding and manifesting more fear. We are feeding the problems instead of the solutions.  If we are responding to their energy from a place of love and respect for ourselves and others, we are responsible for creating more of that love and respect in the world around us. HOW AWESOME IS THAT???

Someone’s story of drama, trauma, abuse, disempowerment, and/or victimhood can trigger me. If I’m triggered and not aware, I can easily get attached to the other person’s choices of how they deal with their situations. I can pull in or feed the negative energy (fear) that won’t help my or their situation. I can’t take any credit or responsibility for what someone else’s decides to do. I learned from being in AL-ANON (12-Step program for friends and loved ones of alcoholics) the best way we can contribute is to speak from our own experience, strength, and hope. We don’t have to insist that people do what we did or what we wish we did. We just encourage by showing options of perspective. Sometimes just by seeing options, it opens our minds to see what is the best choice for ourselves. By sharing with others on this level, we can detach from the situation with love and know that they will need to go through whatever is necessary to go through in order to learn. They are on their own path. It is not ours to Judge.

When we try to take the power over someone else’s life and judge it as right or wrong, we aren’t seeing the big picture. Remember that straw exercise from a few days ago (Day 16)? Well just imagine all we can see is whatever that view through the straw shows us. Where our focus is will determine what we will see, it doesn’t represent everything that is there.  We are all given what we need to make us the people who we are. Some of us have to go through hard and challenging lessons (ME) to wake them up to seeing who she/he IS and who she/he wants to be. We can CHOOSE to follow whatever path we choose. It is not in anyone else’s hands.

Why do we want to spend our own energy judging someone else’s lessons? We have no idea where those lessons can take them. It could be what makes them an amazing therapist, activist, coach, leader, doctor, inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, business owner, customer service representative, waitress, artist, designer, etc. The list goes on and on. They can also choose paths that deliver pain and suffering. We still can’t attach to their paths.

I’ve had to learn from multiple people who taught me through showing me pain and suffering. I’m incredibly grateful for the lessons I learned from them. They showed me the most about my courage, strength, hope, and perseverance to be the person I am today. They are the ones who taught me amazing lessons in compassion and empathy for others who have been belittled, demeaned, marginalized, and victimized.

The negative energy that I put out has taught me how I made myself miserable and showed me the power I had to change the trajectory of my life. I needed to make myself accountable for all my feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions. When I did, I got to enjoy the rewards that life offered me in return. No one else’s judgments on my life got me to where I am. I’m grateful for that since many, including me judged that I would be dead.

The point is we never can know what is best for someone else’s journey. Showing people they have a choice in perspective and encouraging them to question their own thinking, is so much more powerful. In the end, whatever happens to that individual is based on his/her own choices. Judging them has a better chance of feeding shame cycles that contribute to their negative thought patterns which keep them suffering.

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Here’s an example:

If a person we love is staying in a verbally abusive relationship and we keep telling them that they HAVE to leave and they are STUPID for staying, the person staying can spin that into their shame cycle saying, see I’m so stupid. What kind of idiot would stay here to put up with this shit? A person staying in an abusive relationship is abusing her/ himself, so when another person abuses them it feeds the cycle of self-abuse (more on self-abuse Day 29) in their heads. Our judging them for not leaving ends up feeding their cycle too. That person who is being abused has to see her/his own value before they will be able to make the choices they need to work her/himself out of the situation.

We can’t demand respect from someone else, but when we respect ourselves, we don’t need to. People KNOW we respect ourselves by our healthy boundaries, demeanor, actions, and reactions. We can’t force or fake self-respect. Even if we fool others, we can’t fool the Universe. Just try to remember, people with healthy amounts of self-respect respect themselves, others, and their environments. When we are operating from a place of self-awareness we know we are responsible for any negative or positive energy we put out there, so we do our best to make sure the energy we are contributing is to represent our best selves a.k.a. our best lives.

Just for Today

Be self-aware when your thoughts go to a place where you think you know what is best for someone else’s life. Question your thoughts and try to see other possibilities. Pay attention to how attached you are to their outcome. How is it making you feel emotionally, physically, and energetically? Ask yourself if that is really what you want for yourself.

“The grass isn’t’ greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.”

-Unknown

Thank you for reading today’s installment. Feel free to go back to Day 1 and/or pick and choose the topics you feel that would benefit you. How you use the material I write about is up to you. Just know that this is your journey and you have the power to make it into whatever you want it to be. The more we allow ourselves to question the thinking that isn’t working for us, the more open we are to create new ideas about what does and will better. Don’t forget to check out today’s companion letter 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 21 – I Don’t Know What is Best for Someone Else’s Life

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 20 – Judgment in Our Intimate Relationships

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 20: Judgment in Our Intimate Relationships

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

-Mother Teresa

As I wrote about earlier in the 90-DAY A BETTER ME SERIES in the section about fear, there is often confusion around what is considered love. Some of us are taught that to love is to fear. Others are taught fearful actions are projections of love. We make it okay to name-call, belittle, condemn, degrade, intimidate, manipulate, and violate (all fear-based living). Some of us will live in internal hells while we are in relationships because we are so caught up in our toxic stories in our heads that lead to jealousy, rage, betrayal, distance, separation, depression, anxiety, and isolation.

Sometimes we come into relationships with our ideas of a happily ever after story playing in our heads. We have this ideal image of what happily ever after looks like and we judge everything in the relationship against that criteria. We don’t even SEE the person standing in front of us. We are in a fantasy world that isn’t our reality in that moment. In the moment we could be ignoring red flags flying or  ignoring a great person who is looking to get to know us better. All those judgments about  how love should be could actually be stealing the focus from where our attention needs to be—Making sure we are loving and honoring ourselves, so that we can give and receive love from our partners. This is how we keep ourselves out of the toxic muck that judgment creates in relationships.

In intimate relationships we are building trust with our partners. If a partner is being judgmental, that creates holes in the trust. We want to feel safe with our partners and judgment is not safe. In order to not let judgment get in the way of love, both partners have to come to the table with love for each other and themselves, self-respect, respect for each other, awareness, presence, and curiosity. We aren’t all going to think the same way. We aren’t all going to do things the same way. Some of us like the toilet paper to come off the top and others like it to come off the bottom. Some of us like our glass to be bottoms up and the shelf, and others like them to be bottoms down. There is no right vs. wrong. IT’S JUST PREFERENCES! In a healthy relationship we can discuss preferences without things getting ugly with judgment.

When we get stuck on little ideas of right vs. wrong, the big ones can really get us. We have to remain in a calm place and communicate with curiosity about each other instead of judgment. When we don’t agree there is an opportunity to learn. How much do you really care about your partner? If it’s A LOT, then being willing to open the door to try to understand where he/she is coming from. How did they get to the beliefs they have about relationships, life, religion, positions of power, family, strangers, etc.? What we don’t see eye to eye on is an opportunity, not an obstacle. Once we know where their and our perceptions of truth come from, if we communicate from a loving place instead of a fearful one, the relationship will grow. We get to understand our own belief systems by communicating this way. We also get to decide if old beliefs are still working for us towards the version of ourselves. If they’re not, we can choose to let them go.

In a healthy partnership, we support each other’s growth. A healthy partner doesn’t try to keep the other partner down with their judgments. Curiosity fuels relationships and judgment creates toxicity.

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If one partner takes the journey down fear’s road, and the other follows, the toxic energy just brews and festers. I used to think of it as when I went down, he went with me and when he went down, I felt like he was dragging me down to be where he was. It wasn’t a healthy way to look at it. It was only when I had enough self-love and self-respect that I could have solid boundaries to the point I could actively choose not to go down with him.

“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.”

-Wayne Dyer

Now, in the relationship I’m currently in, we know when each other need a little space to figure out what is going on in our heads and we take it. We do our best not to communicate if we are heated and triggered because we might mistakenly judge each other instead of figuring out what inside us is being triggered. What we find is it is usually not what is happening in the moment. It is something from the past that has crept in to our perception of truth. It could be a trigger from an old relationship or judgments we felt from childhood. Either way, we choose to process first before we communicate. This has kept our relationship a very loving one. This doesn’t mean we don’t have our stressful moments, but we actively work to communicate in a way where each of us are heard and understood, even if we don’t agree with each other. We use laughter as our favorite tool when we know the other person isn’t reacting to what is happening in the moment. For us, it reminds us that we aren’t making the judgment that the other one thinks we’re making.

When we do our best to seek understanding instead of insisting on our own way, we reveal who the person is in front of us. Then we get to decide if this is a person who we want with us on our journey based on who they are not who we want them to be, or who they feel they need to pretend to be to get us to want them. If we feel safe in our relationships, communication isn’t either party feeling like they have to walk on egg shells. That is a sign that something is wrong. It could be our self-judgments, projected judgments, or their projected judgments or self-judgments. It could be that there isn’t a mutual respect. Whatever it is that is keeping the relationship in a toxic cycle, it is important for us to see our part in the chaos. If we are staying, when in our hearts we know its not healthy for us to stay: what are our self-judgments that keep us there? If we know the person we are with is a good person, but we feel disconnected: What are the inner judgments going on that are making the relationship feel off?

In order to be healthy we have to stop trying to change someone else’s behavior and start looking to the one person we can change. OURSELVES! We need to be responsible for our own feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions. We can’t hold another person responsible for our health and happiness. If we are pointing the finger in blame, we are hiding from the truth (A reminder from Day 17)!

Just for Today

If you are currently in a relationship, think about how your judgments in the relationship have affected the relationship. Don’t focus on what the other person is doing or not doing. Just focus on your own judgments.

If you aren’t in a relationship, think about a past relationship with the same focuses. If you’ve been keeping up with the series, you might remember my story about how I avoided looking at my own stuff and it kept me in the toxic muck. I went out and repeated toxic and unhealthy patterns with my next partner. The experience blew my life wide open and it is what set me on the path to develop the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP. I did the work to get me out of my own way, and it all started from seeing how I really felt about myself and what I was projecting into my relationships. I saw first hand how my pretending to be healthy couldn’t fool the Law of Attraction. Your life and relationships will change for the better by doing the work. If we focus on the one person we can change, instead of trying to make others conform to us, we win in the biggest way possible, because we get to live and love authentically! It’s the best feeling EVER! Keep with the series and if you’re not there already, you will have plenty of opportunity to get there.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Part of the work is writing your own letters of inspiration. Read 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 20 – Judgment in My Intimate Relationships to see today’s letter of inspiration.

Do you like this series? Don’t forget you can scroll down and enter your e-mail to follow along.

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 19 – Using Judgment to Act Against Myself

Letters From A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 19: Using Judgment to Act Against Myself

Dear Self,

I now see how I’ve been using judgment both towards myself and towards others to tear myself down. I see where the energy of judging has kept me trapped in a place I’ve been struggling to get out of. I see that my judgments don’t change anything. They just make my problems bigger.

I can’t fight other people’s judgments about me. That is their own issue. I can simply be and do the best I can to lead the life I want to live. I don’t have to take any of their judgments personally, because how they see me is a reflection on them. If they are a person who is meant to be in my life, they will appreciate my value. If they don’t, they won’t. That’s okay! They are doing me a favor by showing me who they are. That way I can decide what place they will have in our out of my life without letting their views affect my inner world.

I’m committed to putting out the energy that will lead me to being the best version of myself. This means I need to be aware of how I’m using my judgments at all times.

If I’m not, I can easily slip back into unhealthy thought cycles. I know the power is in my hands to change.

I’m grateful I’ve seen my choice in this situation, so that I have space to come up with solutions that will work in and for my life. I’m so grateful for the understanding that nobody has the power of my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions except for me. This gives me a sense of freedom that no one will be able to take away from me.

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Are you keeping up with the daily letters and messages? If not, simply explore the blog and go back through. You can start at Day 1 or pick and choose topics based on what you want to focus on. Enjoy the journey any way you want to! Don’t you love having choices??

Today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 19 – Being Judgmental is an Act Against Ourselves

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 19 – Being Judgmental is an Act Against Ourselves

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 19: Being Judgmental is an Act Against Ourselves

“Unconsciousness, dysfunctional egoic behavior, can never be defeated by attacking it. Even if you defeat your opponent, the unconsciousness will simply have moved into you, or the opponent reappears in a new disguise. Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

-Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose p. 75

I remember the first time I read the words above almost a decade ago. I’ve heard the message said different ways since the time I was a teenager struggling to survive my own internal hell. For some reason it was the lessons I was going through when I read this that made the message really stick. At the time, I was in a toxic relationship that included so much judgment it had the consistency of toxic sludge. The judgments were just being thrown back and forth and both of us felt like we were under constant attack. I was so drained and exhausted all the time. I was doing the very thing this quote talked about. I was trying to defeat this toxic cycle of communication by attacking it. I was sick and drained because I was acting against the person I wanted to be—The person I knew I was beneath the toxic sludge that had filled me. I remember the moment I decided to stop contributing to the toxic energy of the judgment slinging. I simply refused to engage. This opened a door for me to grow, and my life started shifting in amazing ways.

I wrote earlier in the series about the energy of AGAINST, and I will talk about it more later, but to sum it up we can destroy the most meaningful relationships, causes, communities, groups, and/or organizations by focusing on what we are AGAINST instead of focusing our energy on what we are FOR (what we want). We pick to focus on people’s beliefs that we don’t support and that we judge negatively instead of focusing on what and whom we do support. This leaves us in situations like I mentioned above, feeling drained and beaten down, even trapped. We are just trying not to let that energy win, but by focusing on it, we give it more power. Going back once again to the Law of Attraction and Karma. We are going to get back whatever we put out!

“Be curious, not judgmental.”

-Walt Whitman

We aren’t cosmically, religiously, spiritually, or personally held responsible for other peoples’ actions, reactions, thoughts, or feelings, but we are responsible for our own. We are responsible for how we choose to feel, think, react, and act in any given situation. That is our power! We aren’t victims to the Law of Attraction and Karma—We are active participants. There is no judgment involved in how they work, it is just energy. If we don’t want to be responsible for contributing to the negative energy that judgment puts out, we have to stop participating in it. This includes self-judgment, but that is a box too big to get into here. That has it’s own section in the series.

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One of the hardest lessons I learned was watching how I let someone else’s choices, energy, and toxicity affect my life. I let it have power over me to the point where I believed all the hurtful things that were being said about me. I felt worthless and unlovable. I didn’t even see how I let that consume what I was putting out into the world. I thought I was being nice, but I couldn’t fool the energy that was lurking below the surface. I kept attracting more and more negativity. That was the time in my life that I was addicted to gossip magazines and crime shows. I surrounded every inch of my life with judgment. I was convinced that people everywhere were just sitting back judging me. Like I am that important in anyone else’s world, and if I am, that is actually their business because that is where they are choosing to put their thoughts. If it is a positive voice that helps to inspire them, COOL! If I’m the villain in their story, that is their story. It doesn’t have to hurt me, because I know who I am. They can judge me however they want to. I only will react to it if I believe a piece of it is true, or my own self-worth is so low that I worry about them telling someone else and that person will believe I’m this evil villain. I might have mentioned it before, but it’s definitely a good time to mention it again:

 “It’s none of your business what people think about you.”

–My mom

When we get so consumed by self-judgment and the judgment of others we are acting against ourselves. We do get selfish and self-centered doing this. We can get so caught up in our stories that we don’t even see the web we have spun ourselves into. This is not self-care. We tell our story to anyone who will listen and we create stories about people just to keep people listening. By doing this we keep ourselves in the victim role. Then we might get upset if someone else is judging us for our part. It’s a vicious self-defeating cycle.  The only way out is to actively choose not to be there.

Just for Today

If you hear yourself weaving a story of judgment in your head, re-write a different story, write it out on paper if you need to just to break the cycle. No one else is responsible for how we tell our stories. We can create them to be whatever we choose. We just have to remember the Law of Attraction. Make sure your writing your story the way you want to be living your life.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 19 – Using Judgment to Act Against Myself

If you need help re-writing your story join the

 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp!

It’s a fast-paced way to start living the way that fuels the Law of Attraction to work in your favor. You will see amazing shifts in the 35-Day process if you commit to the work!

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 18 – Becoming Aware of How Judgment Has Affected My Foundation

Letters From A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 18: Becoming Aware of How Judgment Has Affected My Foundation

Dear Self,

I had no clue how my judgments were affecting my reality. I never understood why I my good deeds didn’t seem to feel as good as I thought they would. My underlying judgments of people, places, things, and even ideas were putting out energy for what I don’t want. I’m actually contributing towards the causes I’m against instead of what I’m trying to represent. Now that I know better, I can do better. I’m going to clean up my foundations of judgment so that I’m putting my energy where it belongs—On what I DO WANT!

I also am aware of how I’m letting other people’s judgments affect my foundation. They only can do this if I give them permission to. I don’t have to accept any judgments and/or beliefs that I don’t want to or that don’t feel right for me. I can be aware if their judgments are coming from a place of fear or a place of love. I can CHOOSE whether or not to accept what they are putting out there. I don’t have to let anything someone else says or does affect the energy inside of me.

I will commit to become aware of my judgmental energy and work to reframe it from a place of love instead of a place from fear. I’m committed to coming up with solutions from a loving place so that I won’t be drained by the energy I’m putting out there. I will be ignited by the loving energy inside me.

If I fall back into my judgments and/or accept unwanted judgments from others,  I will learn from them and commit to looking inside to see why I keep putting my focus there. I will reframe what doesn’t sit right inside of me to help me support the life I want to be living.

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 18 -Judgment Makes and Unpredictable Foundation

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 18 -Judgment Makes and Unpredictable Foundation

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 18: Judgment Makes an Unpredictable Foundation

“When you judge another, you don’t define them, you define yourself.”

-Wayne Dyer

Judgment makes an unpredictable foundation for how we live our lives. The word judgment can be used in different ways, which can confuse how we interpret whether it is contributing to a stable or unstable foundation. We can hear people say stop judging others, and something doesn’t sit exactly right so we go into an internal war in our heads, then we don’t hear what the rest of that message is trying to say. We can go into thoughts, theories, and concepts about using “good judgments”. Well, once again people saying we shouldn’t judge at all would go against that and we stop listening. We hear tons of quotes in many variations about judgment day, good judgment, bad judgment, and no judgment. This can create a lot of confusion making our foundations to build on very unstable. One of the ways we hurt ourselves the most is in the confusion of trying to stick to one definition of judgment in our heads. We want to see judgment as black and white, but judgment lies in the grey area depending on how it’s used. It can shift us towards destroying all our relationships or setting healthy boundaries with unhealthy individuals.

When we become aware of our blocks and hear the word judgment, it can help us to open ourselves to hear, listen, and understand the context in how another person is using the word. For me, when someone is talking about using good or bad judgment, I might quickly shift the thought to: being aware or unaware, exercising consciousness or unconsciousness, being perceptive or naïve, choosing loving or fearful actions, making healthy choices or unhealthy choices, choosing positive energy or negative energy. I go with whatever feels right to me at the time I’m hearing or seeing the message. This way it helps me understand the message a little clearer without judging it as good or bad.  This thought process on judgment can actually help us find stability in our foundation. It will be brought up through out the series, because this form of thought is about becoming aware and learning from our life’s lessons.

In the remaining days of this judgment section in the 90-DAY A BETTER ME SERIES we are becoming aware of how the other form of judgment and being judgmental affects our lives. We will focus on the judgment that puts ourselves against others (DAY19), fuels unhealthy intimate relationships (DAY 20), and shows a lack of respect for other people’s journeys (DAY 21). If we want to stay on a stable foundation and build an internal home to live our lives in, we have to face and fix what will keep our house from having to be re-built over and over.  Today, I will focus on some of the overall concepts of judgment that keep us on unstable ground.

GOSSIP

 “Never judge someone’s character based on the words of another. Instead, study the motives behind the words of the person casting the bad judgment.”

-Suzy Kassem

Our addiction to gossip can be powerful! We see it everywhere around us. We are presented with article after article, book after book, news story after news story, post after post, and hear story after story from friends and family asking us to judge other people’s lives based on that person’s interpretation of them. It is easy to get sucked in. We can get triggered by our own pasts and respond out of a place of what happened to us. The circumstances could have been completely different, but just one line of writing or in conversation could have brought us back to an event that is still stirring us up from the inside. Then we judge the person who we don’t know by our personal attachments to our or our loved ones past experiences.

It can take a lot of space and awareness to see that we are dealing with unhealed issues within ourselves. If we are avoiding healing our own foundations, we are more likely to pounce and break windows in someone else’s house, metaphorically speaking for most of us.  When we are the spreader of gossip, we have to look at our own intentions behind saying what we are saying. Are we making judgments about the person? Are we wondering how to help the person? Are we trying to get advice for ourselves by focusing on someone else’s story? Is it to make money? Is it to get attention? Is it to feel important? Are we judging other people’s stories against our own? There can be a million of reasons. Only we know why we are doing it, so being conscious of what we are spreading is KEY!

US AGAINST THEM/ THEM AGAINST US

One of the ways we use judgment that can destroy our foundations and vandalize other people’s homes is by us against them type of judgments. No matter how we look at this it is causing separation. We are valuing ourselves as more or less than people, places, and things. We are better/ they are worse, we are inferior/they are superior, we are important/ they aren’t important. We use against them to disguise our own lack of worth. People who have a healthy self-concept don’t have to measure themselves against others. When we see we are taking on the stance of us against them, it is a good time to reflect on why we feel it necessary to do that. Why does someone else’s perceptions of truth have to affect our inner worth? Why does someone else’s poor choices have to create us to make poor choices? This is not about justice and holding people accountable. This is about focusing on the overall concept of us AGAINST them. The energy of AGAINST is more powerful than most of us know. We will be talking about that more in PART II of the series.

RIGHT VS. WRONG

I’m right and your wrong is a hysterical concept to me. It goes right along with the art of what you should be or shouldn’t being doing, what you should have done, and what I would have done vs. what you did.  Once again, this is not about justice. We are focusing on judgmental patterns of thought. As a parent, I can let this judgmental way of thinking destroy my inner Zen VERY quickly. This is why I laugh. I keep Byron Katie’s quote about fighting reality close by at all times:

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Things are going to happen. People are going to act in healthy and unhealthy ways. Some people will try to attack us with their judgments and we will choose whether or not to use ours against them. This is where the concept of perspective of truth can really help us to not drive ourselves crazy. I promise we will spend a good chunk of time there in Part II once we become aware of how our judgmental thoughts are NOT helping us to live the lives we want to be living.

We can choose to perceive messages we receive any way we want to. Whether they are messages from inside of us or outside of us. We can choose to see things in a world not of right and wrong, but of learning how we want and don’t want to be living. When we think in black and white, right or wrong, it can get us upset even by things that are meant to inspire and/or encourage us. Here’s an example:

  • “All doors are open to the believer.” –Patti Smith
  • “When one door closes another one opens.”- Alexander Graham Bell

Hmmm… do I have to believe one is right and the other is wrong? I could if I wanted to. I could get so worked up by the wording that I started attacking the page or person who posted it. We see this all the time! We see it in politics, entertainment, traumatic events, news, between loved ones, and the list goes on. We can have different views without someone being ABSOLUTELY right and the other being ABSOLUTELY wrong. Our judgments don’t have to have power over us if we don’t let them.

Even in this moment, you may be reading things I write and picking apart concepts, phrases, words, or even grammar that strikes your judgmental cords. If you have a negative attachment to anything I or anyone else says or writes, investigate your thinking:

  • Are you using your judgments to feel more or less than someone else?
  • Do you find yourself saying that is/isn’t right?
  • Do you have to make someone else’s way of thinking wrong?
  • Are you judging yourself for not being able to fully be in a place where you’re not, because you view the way your living as wrong?

These are just some of the questions we can ask ourselves when we find ourselves in the place of judgment. We can also investigate our thoughts when we are on the receiving end of judgment:

  • Why is this REALLY bothering me?
  • Does it matter if this person thinks I’m wrong?
  • How am I letting it affect me by listening to this person’s judgments of me?
  • If they are judging me poorly, how are they judging themselves?
  • Is something this person is saying triggering me to feel bad about myself?

There is no place in a peaceful life for should have, would have, and/or could have thinking. Just the thoughts create an internal chaos of questioning our own decisions as right vs. wrong. If we aren’t attempting to destroy other people’s peace, we don’t want to be spending time there either. Healthy solutions don’t come from our judgments. They come from our ability to see the lessons and use our creativity to find new ways to get the results we are looking for. The reality is that whatever happened is what happened. We can learn from what life showed us, or we can hide behind our judgments, shame, blame, fear, and hate. We get to make the choice to proceed with loving or fearful thoughts, feeling, and actions. The choice is ours.

We choose how we want to live in each second of our lives. We can choose judgment one minute and then realize it’s not helping and choose another way. We are never stuck or trapped in our minds if we don’t choose to be. We don’t even have to use negative self-judgments if we don’t want to. When we can become aware that we are the only one responsible for our inner worlds, our life opens up to change whatever is not working. Once again, the choice is ours!

Just for Today

Watch your judgments! See where you fall into gossip, us against them/them against us, and right vs. wrong thinking. How does it feel in your body when you are there? How does it affect your communication with others? How does it make you feel about yourself? Do you notice how your energy shifts when you get into a judgmental mindset?

Don’t forget to get today’s companion letter at: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 18 – Becoming Aware of How Judgment Has Affected My Foundation

Thanks for reading!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Tragedy Strikes: Let it Bring Out Our Compassion not our Judgment

We sit and watch as tragedy after tragedy pass in front of us. Natural disasters and shootings keep coming up across my newsfeed. Yesterday, I spent the day reading about the mass shooting in Las Vegas and a double-murder suicide in my area. I have my brother in-law who works for Jet Blue in Puerto Rico in the heart of so much tragedy. I have family members getting surgery, and I sit here overwhelmed by all that is going on in the world.

I can’t help but think about families and survivors of these tragedies trying to get through each day. Tears start streaming down my face as I watch so many lives being ripped apart. Many people will have to completely re-build their lives. The more I think about what all this means for these people, the more I want to cry. I will be the first to tell you that I don’t understand why there is so much tragedy.

My only hope is this perfect storm of events will keep our compassion level on high and encourage us to love our fellow human without all the judgment. I hope these events don’t cause us to run to cover up these intense feelings we all have and instead launch us into action to do what we can to make life better in any way we can.

Many people are going through a tragedy right now. These big events might not have even touched their lives. There are plenty of people out there who are losing loved ones to cancer, mental illness, health issues, addictions, heroics, violence, and wrong-place wrong-time situations. These experiences should not be forgotten because they are not making the news.

If we can’t help the people far away, there are plenty of people in our neighborhoods who could use our love and support. What people don’t need right now is our judgment; this includes judgment towards yourself. We are all doing the best we can. Just because all these things are happening in the world doesn’t mean that your own personal challenges don’t mean anything. Be kind to yourself, and use that kindness to extend love to others.

In times like this I’ve watched people use it as an excuse to self-abuse. They ignore their own feelings then in time their physical and mental health pay the price. We don’t need more tragedy. We need to take care of ourselves in order to better serve our communities. Just like on a plane, we need to put the oxygen masks on ourselves first.

My prayers and love extend to all the people near and far who don’t know what to do, that want to help but don’t know how, and to all the people in the direct lines of any personal tragedy. I hope everyone has a community around them with big hearts to help them through. If someone needs help, I pray that they reach out and see there is someone there.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017