Friday, September 10, 2010

Judgements and Personal Responsibility

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." ~Mother Teresa

Why is it that we value the opinions of others, over our own? Were we trained that way? I don't think so! Yet, we go out and ask our friends how our outfit looks, or our hair, or the makeup... How does it FEEL? Do YOU like it? Aha! That's what matters :)

The flip side of this, is that we allow others to judge us. Heck, sometimes we even judge others! And again, I think this is conditioning. We've been trained to act this way. And anytime we judge others, we are filtering that judgment through our own personal experience, or personality and beliefs. We are judging them based on what WE believe, not on where they are in their own lives.

Let's break it down a little, shall we?

Each of us has a specific path to walk in this lifetime. This path includes very specific lessons, tailor made for our own individual lives. In other words, the same lesson is not generic, it does not work for others. Kind of like a prescription drug - each drug has different side effects, and the same drug does not work for everyone. Another example: Breakfast. We don't each eat the same way, the same foods. Nor do we get the same lessons. Also, we arrive at the place to receive a lesson, in our own time. Some of us may have already learned that lesson, and be less understanding of say, an older person who has not. Yet, there may be lessons the Elder learned at a very young age, that we ourselves have not yet experienced. We each learn in our own way, and in our own time. Life's lessons are very specific to our particular life. 

Granted, we will each learn each lesson that we chose to learn in this lifetime. Some of us were born knowing certain lessons, while others spend their entire lives searching for them. Do we automatically suppose that the one who was born knowing something, is more intelligent? Sometimes we do. That is a judgment. See how easy it is? :)

What we have to remember is that each of us is responsible for learning our own lessons, not forcing others to learn theirs. Nor judging others for having not learned theirs yet. Some of us take longer to learn lessons than others. This is not wrong, it is just the way it is. Certain lessons require a lot of hard work. Sometimes, we repeat the lesson, over and over again, until we finally get it. Being a Scorpio, this is a difficult one for me. I am a "why" person. When I don't get a lesson, I ask why is it like this, I don't understand. If I'm not understanding the meaning behind the lesson, I'm not going to get the lesson. Some lessons deepen in meaning, as time goes on. There is a whole deeper level of understanding involved with every single thing we can possibly learn. So we might learn a lesson, only to have it repeated, because we didn't reach that deeper level of understanding of that particular lesson. Or there is more to it than we originally learned. 

"Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins." ~Cheyenne Proverb

Jamie Sams, in her Sacred Path Tarot book, says that we each stand on the same rung of the Wheel of Life, at some point in time. The rungs of the Wheel, are the lessons we come across. How can we judge another when we've been in the same place ourselves?

When we have our own issues, how can we judge others for their issues? We're not here to worry about others, we're here to fix ourselves. 

When you undergo a major healing process, you learn that worrying about others is a distraction that we use, to keep from focusing on ourselves, and the lessons we need to learn. 

Here's a related blog post on the subject of Distractions:
Distracting Ourselves

We distract ourselves with many things, to avoid feeling, or to avoid thinking about our own lives. Television, movies, games, internet, and yes, other people's problems! Why? Because it's easier than dealing with our own issues. It's easier to say that someone has a problem with abuse, than it is to realize that we ourselves have an issue left over from our childhood regarding abuse. Again, we've filtered our judgment of another, through our own misconceptions. This is easy to do, as we are constantly searching for some comparison with others, to relate to them better, or make them feel as if we do understand where they are coming from. It is in this "comparison" that we make our first mistake. Sure, we're all spiritual beings having a human experience, but that's about as far as it really goes. For to take it further, inhibits individuality. And our society is all about being like everyone else, and rewarding those who are.

Sometimes, we have to step outside the box, and look at our own lives, and where we are with them. We have to look at what makes us unique, in order to truly appreciate ourselves. It is in this uniqueness, that we find wisdom. Now, can we allow others to be their own unique selves without judgment? Give them the space they need to learn their lessons, that is, if you want the space to learn yours. Focus on yourself and your own life, and stay out of others. Stop distracting yourself, and look within for answers. That's the only place you'll find the truth. It's not in others opinions of us, it lies within ourselves, for only we know what we came here to learn. Don't expect others to teach you your lessons, nor should you attempt to teach their lessons to them. Live and let live. 

If we spent as much time looking within, and working on healing ourselves, as we do worrying about others and their lives, we'd have a much healthier planet!

If you've been the target for someone else's judgment, the best thing I've found to do is to set a boundary. "I don't believe in judging others, but if you do, that's okay", is a good statement to use.

Another way we can be hurt by someone's judgment is to hear what they said about us, third hand. Our parents can be prime examples of this, talking about us to our siblings, not knowing they'll pass it on, or, not caring if they do. It is at this point, that we have to realize that we are the only one's whose judgment matters to our own lives. No one else's opinion matters! Don't let it get to you. Realize they have their own issues, and let it go. Remember, we're not here to judge them either! Instead, show some love, and some patience. Know they are going through a rough patch with their own issues, and be understanding, if you can. If you've been on that rung of the Wheel already, you know what they are going through. And if you haven't, you will!

Also, be understanding and patient with yourself, when you are learning your lessons. Don't judge yourself either. The Creator judges no one, nor should we. To Him, we are all equal. And that's what life is really about, after all, isn't it? Realizing our equality with every living thing, and learning to respect All of Life. 

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." ~Chief Seattle

This also goes back to the subject of Reflections. Often, what we see in others, is what we ourselves need to learn. Perhaps we see someone angry, hurt, sad, at the loss of a loved one. Are we holding on to feelings of anger, hurt, or sadness, because we lost a loved one in the past? Maybe we meet someone who appears to have a huge ego. Is there a lesson in this for us? If we take the time to feel what is really being said, we can learn from it, even when what is being said is hurtful. Remember, we all hurt, at some point in time. Show some compassion for their pain, if you want good karma, and maybe others will in turn show you compassion when you need it the most.

Everything we need to know lies inside of us all. Look in your heart for your answers, not outside yourself.

ps- My sincerest apologies for the spacing of this blog entry. Blogger seems to have a mind of its own today, and while it shows me in draft that there is only one line between paragraphs, published copy shows several. I am unable to remove the extra spaces at this time...

Peace and Blessings,


Tara said...

Michelle, as usual I really get a lot out of your posts. This one almost had me crying, but I am having a no crying policy today and this weekend if I can help it....I don't think it's going to work as I'm tearing up now. I can't wait until we have the opportunity to meet. I am trying to heal as you know. It's so hard. Me and a friend are going to a "Grow" class every Sunday for the next four Sunday's. It is to help me/us basically let go, get a grip, learn what and why things happen etc. It is being sponsored by my local pagan friend and her shop. I have a feeling I'll have really swollen eyes Sunday. It's from 1-4pm. I'm excited and scared all at the same time.

Michelle said...

Tara, I'm glad you got a lot out of this one, but I'm sorry it made you cry! And the astrological energies this weekend are going to be no help towards your no cry policy, I'm afraid! Sometimes you have to grieve so you can get past the pain, and onto the healing. Let it out! Let the healing begin...
Sounds like a great class to be taking. I'd love to hear how it goes!
Best of luck, lots of love,

Illustrated Ink said...

Michelle, this is my first time visiting this particular blog of yours. I'm so happy that I did! I've been struggling with some of the things you mentioned...caring too much about my Mother's opinion (we are very close, and too often I question my own choices based on her words) and being frustrated with a woman in my knitting group (now I think that I've been too harsh in my opinion of her, as she is in a different place on the wheel of life). As a rule, I try not to judge, but we are all only human, and your post has reminded me of this. Very thought provoking, thank you!

Michelle said...

You're very welcome, Leila. I'm happy that these words could help. I find that a lot of the time, I'm writing out what I need to imprint on my brain, and/or what the current astrological energies are bringing to the table for us all.
I've been doing this blog, in one form or another for 6 or 7 years now. It's kind of a release for me to have it here to feed, and to be able to share. And when I get stuck, there's always Art!
Thanks so much for following!
Be kind to yourself ;)