On Judging Others

By Ivan Nikolov

I often say that I don't judge others.

But, in all honesty, I do judge others.

And, that's okay!

(What?? Did he just say it's okay to judge others? I can't believe he really said that!)

Yes, I said that.

This is how it oftentimes plays out (not always but often)...

I would talk with someone and I'd say something that sounds and feels like I'm judging the person.

And, then I'll say something like this: "By the way, no judgment here. I just want you to know what it looks like from the outside." Or, something to that effect.

What's actually going on in my head is this:

I will be triggered to bring the person's attention to something and at the moment I'm triggered to say what I want to say there's a brief moment of judgment, which then goes away, replaced by open-heartedness and compassion.

At the moment I'm saying: "No judgment here" there is no longer judgment, but the reasons I feel compelled to say it are 1) because I do not want to be judgmental, 2) because I realize that the other person may feel judged - and I don't want them to, and 3) because I feel guilty for momentarily judging.

This momentary judgment of the other person doesn't happen all the time.

Sometimes the feeling of compassion is so pronounced that there's really no judgment. But, yet, not all the time.

(Let's be honest!)

So, there you have it!

These days, as I'm learning to self-accept here's what's more important than judging or not judging others (for me at least):

1. A heightened level of presence and awareness so that I can immediately catch the inclination to judge someone while the judgment is still at the "tendency" state

2. Dismiss judgment

3. Not judge the judgment (self-accept)

Why am I making peace with this (as opposed to unsuccessfully pretend that I'm a zen monk)?

Because, if the awareness is there, it really IS OKAY to be human!

I am in acceptance of that.

The main point is this:

I do (often) judge even when I say that I don't.

I now do NOT judge my judgment AND I definitely do not linger in judgment!

Simple as that!

For me, one of the most important values is Integrity - integrity with myself and integrity with others.

And, by admitting this I remain in integrity with myself... and you!

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