I"Learn to look upon the world as a means of healing the separation. Healing is the effects of minds that join, as sickness comes from minds that separate...It is when judgment ceases that healing occurs." - Gerald G. Jampolsky
Anyone who has ever engaged in the pursuit of personal development realizes that the intent is to learn to know themselves better. Ultimately, one comes to accept that this is indeed a rewarding, yet endless journey. Having this awareness can lead us to only one conclusion, that judging someone else's behavior is an absurd waste of time. How can we possibly judge another when it may take us years, if not a lifetime, to understand our own behavior?
Let's look at the shift from Judgment to Love in the context of the our aspects of our being:
- Physical Level (External) - Right/Wrong
- Mental Level (Intellect) - Understanding
Emotional Level (Feeling) - Empathy
- Spiritual Level (Internal) - Love
Physical Level - From Judgment - Right/Wrong
When we judge someone's behavior as displeasing/bad/wrong, we are being reactive - which usually begins with name calling "What a #!*#! How could s/he do such a thing? I'm right -- s/he's
wrong." This is truly reactive behavior, and an extremely limited, black and white view of reality.
In her fascinating book, In Resonance, Jasmuheen offers us some promising news; "Even though it may appear that our emotional reactions are automatic, the nerve pathways that carry the information to the brain take approximately three seconds to relay this information before the emotional responses, and our minds experience of them, are triggered...so even though we are unaware of this process, we are built to think before we feel."
So we are not victims of our emotions. With ample desire, we can indeed develop a more mindful, less reactive behavior. This is good news and a good place to begin, however, it is still a primitive means compared to our true capability.
In the conclusion of this article, we will see how we can bypass this "training" altogether, if it is our desire and intention to do so.
Mental Level - To Understanding
Here we begin to mindfully respond vs. react. As Hendrie Weisinger has written in his book, Emotional Intelligence at Work; "Recognize that it is your appraisal, not someone else's behavior or an event that causes your reactions; it is the meaning we assign to events and to people we encounter that affects us for good or ill, not the events or people themselves."
As we make the choice to shift to understanding, we realize that
the "meaning we are assigning" is coming from a lack of "mental information, and "spiritual" insight. We simply don't have enough information to make sound judgments of others. This is a broader, more contextual view. "Perhaps s/he’s preoccupied about a health problem -- perhaps a past or present, mental / emotional issue, such as a feeling of inadequacy -- maybe under financial strain -- a concern at work -- a troubled relationship at home -- needs a vacation," and any number of other possibilities which you couldn't possibly know. After all, people do tend to do the best they can given their interpretation, or to use Weisinger's language, "the meaning they are assigning" to their past/present life experiences.
How about yourself? Do you judge yourself? Are there past or present issues of stress in your life? How understanding are you with yourself? A great place to begin working with the shift from Judgment to Love, is to begin with yourself by moving toward self-understanding (see Intention's - April 1999, In Search of The Authentic Self).
Begin with the assumption that you are basically a good person and there are reasons why you behave the way you do. Cease your own self-judgment and self deprecating thoughts and you'll find it far easier to cease judging others; we see within others what we see in ourselves, consciously or unconsciously.
Emotional Level - To Empathy
Continuing to respond vs. react, we shift to empathy. In Webster's dictionary, empathy is defined as the "imaginative projection of one's own consciousness into another being." In other words, it is putting our feet into the proverbial shoes of another. It goes beyond understanding, to relating more and feeling for another with compassion.
In The Art of Happiness, The Dalai Lama says, "If we maintain a feeling of compassion, loving kindness, then something automatically opens your inner door. Through that you can communicate much more easily...You'll find that all human beings are just like you, so you'll be able to relate with them more easily."
Spiritual Level - To Love
At this level, we shatter the illusion of our separateness. We view all beings as aspects of our own extended body. We perceive wholeness vs. separateness, each person being a facet of one beautiful diamond. Quantum physics tells us that in our essential state, we are made up of vibrating energy and based on the Law of Resonance, we will attract back to us whatever vibration we are projecting. Therefore, under this "law," we realize that we literally have attracted everything to us, including this person.
This notion leads to the "spiritual" insight I alluded to earlier in this article. This insight is that we are all participants in this play called *life.* Each of us comes with lessons to learn and our interactions are purposeful. When we take this view with each interpersonal experience, we seek the opportunity for growth. Asking ourselves questions like, "Why did I attract this person into my life?" and "How can I learn from this 'teacher'? " and so on.
Finally, the Law of Resonance tells us that when we project love to others, we are truly projecting love to ourselves. When we shift from self judgment, we end some of our own suffering, and we reduce the level of suffering for all; a truly wonderful win/win situation!
In conclusion, let's look at what happens when you flow from the PHYSICAL to the SPIRITUAL Level -- When you choose the PHYSICAL world as your source, you see what's "wrong" with others, you lack understanding and you judge with the "critical/reactive MIND," you resonate with that EMOTION and become SPIRITUALLY disconnected with others.
Now let's see what happens when you reverse the order and flow from the SPIRITUAL level to the PHYSICAL level -- When your intention is to choose the SPIRITUAL level as your source, you perceive the meaningfulness and perfection of it all, your EMOTIONS resonate with that empathic love, you quiet the "critical/reactive" MIND, and the "creative/responsive" MIND simply observes, with compassion and understanding, and you attract more joy and happiness into you PHYSICAL world.
If you are attracted to adopting this shift, there are several approaches. Simply reading this article from time to time, or some of the books I've referenced, may work for you. There are also a variety of whole brain tools to suit all ranges and styles; from the most analytic, logical and detailed, to the most nonlinear and metaphoric, such as imagery work with pink light. If you're interested in any of these tools, simply send an e-mail with "non- judgment tools" in the subject line or simply call the "Coach."