Part 10- achieving non-judgment (2nd benefit of loving ourselves unconditionally)
When we love ourselves, we find that the judgment of ourselves ceases, and consequently our judgments of others cease.
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron
For instance, if someone makes a remark or a behavior and you find it repulsive, often it is something you may also judge in yourself.
Here are 3 examples of judgments:
1. I wouldn’t tolerate the same behavior or characteristic in myself.
I am at a party and I see a very outspoken and interactive person moving throughout the crowd. I say to myself, “What a show-off, such a loud and obnoxious person!” This is because I would be embarrassed to act that way, and I resent and judge someone else doing it. If I really get in touch with my feelings, I might also realize that I may not fully express myself sometimes and I feel resentful when I see someone else doing it. If I can see the truth of this for myself then perhaps I can express myself more completely and that this would result in freer self-expression and freedom from the necessity to judge others in this way. Loving myself will help me not to fear the self-exploration, but to use this as a gift to myself.
2. I display the same behavior that I hate in others. I am “projecting” my dislike for that trait in me onto others.I am talking with a friend who is telling me how she dislikes one of her friend's behaviors, and I think to myself, “She does the same thing she is criticizing about her friend.” It is always good to look within and see if we share some of the dislikes we have for others. Freedom comes when we love ourselves even with our projections. Eventually we can do self-exploration without feeling threatened or scared by our vulnerability to ourselves, but experience a loving exploration within ourselves. It will result in having self-love, and greater compassion and acceptance for others.
3. I am envious and resent the feelings that come up so I find something wrong with those who have what I want and end up judging them.I notice that I am feeling resentful and jealous of my boss's success and prosperity. I think that I am glad I am not like him because he is such a snob.
If I get in touch with my feelings, I may consider that my boss's success feels threatening to me because of my lack of success. If I find something “wrong” with him, then I may avoid my own feelings of inadequacy.
Freedom comes when I become inspired by the success of others, and love myself with my feelings of inadequacy. In this way I have a free and open pathway to create my own success.
Most judgments of others are ego strategies to avoid facing our inner feelings. But, if we lack the awareness of what causes them, they can result in even more suffering down the line.
I am not saying that I cannot have likes and dislikes and preferences. And I can still find that certain types of behavior in others is unappealing. But when I look within, the ego tricks that we play with ourselves will begin to be exposed, and this is the process toward the authentic self.
After we practice loving ourselves, we no longer have the need to judge, because we find that facing our feelings in love is not something to be resisted, but something to be embraced. It is through this process that we become authentic. When we face the question why do I exhibit this behavior, or why do I have these unpleasant thoughts, or why do I constantly judge others, then we are on the journey to authenticity. And the way to arrive at our destination is to love ourselves unconditionally.
The old way is to hate those things or feelings that we would like to change. The new way is to love ourselves WITH those inner feelings. The love that we have for ourselves will initiate a transformation inside of us. Love never fails.
Rather than unconsciously participating in ego gratification by judging others, I let my reactions and judgments help me achieve greater self-understanding—and accordingly, greater happiness and success.
When I use my judgment of others as a mirror to show me the workings of my own ego, then every person’s reflection can become a valuable gift, making each person I encounter a teacher and a blessing. This is true freedom, when we release all comparisons to others from our thoughts, and allow our understanding to create compassion for ourselves and others.
Achieving non-judgment helps us to avoid the suffering we experience in the mind. Because we see a flat tire as bad, we may curse, and fear spending money, and regret the loss of time, etc. If we accepted the flat tire as a neutral event, we wouldn't suffer. The fact of the matter is that whether we see it as bad or as neutral, it doesn't change the outcome or what we have to do. We still need to change the tire. So it is what it is.
The hidden truth of this is that we don't realize, as we judge, that we are taking on a burden; the burden of diminishing the value of others as well as ourselves. When we practice non-judgment, we unburden ourselves from needless, self-created suffering.
Taking judgments from our minds results in eliminating a good portion of our thought life. What can we do with that? We can love, create, plan compassionate deeds, and generally have fun with ourselves. All in the experience of loving ourselves just as we are.
When I truly love myself, I will not judge myself, I will observe myself without assigning value (good and bad) to my actions. When I do this, I will be able to do the same for others. I will become an observer of my world, not a judge. Hooray!
Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
Next: the 3rd benefit from Loving oneself: Wholeness or oneness with myself is experienced.