OMG! She’s so judgmental!!! I can’t believe she would say that to someone! Who does she think she is?!” You’ve heard something like that before, haven’t you?

I heard it again today and seriously started laughing out loud; even snorted a little. The sheer oxymoronishness of the statement would generally have been enough to send me into hysterics, but the conviction of her nun-like superiority adding “who does she think she is?!” at the end sent my sides to splitting. Who indeed?! 

Ha! I was already judging her!!

Let’s face it, we all judge other people everyday in a million different ways. Go ahead…convince me you don’t judge and I’ll buy that swamp land in Florida from you.

I was taught young that judging is a bad thing. “Judge not lest ye be judged!” was the bible phrase most often thrust upon me with distain. I knew better than talk back or question it, but secretly inside I was asking “aren’t they already judging me by assuming I’m judging someone else?” I think that was the turning point that compelled me to start inventing words like oxymoronishness.

Judging is not a bad thing, it’s a human thing. As a matter of fact, it’s essential if you want to make it in this world. How else would we ever make decisions? Can you imagine the ramifications of a world without judging what we see, hear, taste and smell? How else would we figure out what we want and don’t want? We’d all wear the same clothes, eat the same food, drive the same cars…you get the Stepford picture I’m drawing here, don’t you? Not even the worst criminal offenders would end up behind bars and every contestant in every bikini contest would be a winner. I’m sorry. Call me judgmental, but I’m not ready to go there.

Judging is how we make decisions. Decisions lead to action or inaction. Action or inaction leads to so-called successes or failures. Successes and failures give us information and the opportunity to learn, make the next judgment and move forward. It’s a viciously-delicious cycle.

What is it then that gets people’s panties in a wad when it comes to judgment? It’s the thoughts about the judgment or the people doing the judging, and it’s the feelings that the thoughts bring up.

Example: If Candice has a thought “Susie shouldn’t judge!” it may bring up feelings of insecurity, jealousy, self-righteousness, self-doubt, panic, or a whole slew of other juicy reactions for Candice. It may cause her to avoid Susie, gossip about her, or even shoot her the occasional evil-eye at the PTO meeting. All that time, the thought is bubbling in Candice’s craw like a bleeding ulcer, causing her more and more distress. And all that time, Candice is living the one thing she so fervently declared Susie shouldn’t do. She is judging Susie.

Candice is miserable because her thought is a lie and her heart knows it. The turnaround for Candice here (as taught in The Work of Byron Katie) is “I shouldn’t judge.”  The realization of this truth more than likely will cause Candice to catch her reflection in the windows of her own glass house and soften her judgment of Susie. A hard case of “judge not lest ye be judged…by yourself.”

Everybody judges. We make decisions and take action (or not) based on judgments. But if your judgments about yourself or others are causing you to suffer, it’s time to get to the truth of the matter. Once you take a look at your own thoughts and un-wad your panties, life becomes a much more comfortable place.

But hey, don’t take my word. Judge for yourself.

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