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Practicing Compassion towards our judgement

March 30, 2018


Our opinions are absolute. Our sense of right and wrong are so markedly segregated. People and situations invoke a response within us and even before we have dressed up our response in words, we can feel it deep within us. It can be a feeling of joy or elation or a gut wrenching feeling of anger, disappointment or resentment.  As we nourish this judgement with our thoughts, our words, our actions and our reactions, it grows stronger and becomes an absolute for us. We find ourselves transitioning from judgement to anger, and from anger to contempt.

At times I cannot help but wonder –

What is the root of this judgement?

What evokes these feelings within us?

And how can we control it?

One morning, in the quiet of nature, something occurred to me:

What if we are what we roaringly and unapologetically judge?

Maybe what creates this deep rooted and charged response within us is our own shadow, our     own unresolved beliefs and experiences.

This realization was very unsettling.

I realized that most of my judgements assumed me as being on a higher pedestal of morality, character traits and values. My judgements were justified as reactions to bad behaviors and flawed morality of those I judged. The urge to prove my righteous point of view was often strong and it caused me to latch on to my judgements, hold back on empathy and forgiveness. For how could I forgive and embrace those who devalue others. My own contempt was easily justified in my head. In the end, I was invariably being what I so vehemently judged in others.

I paused. The realization was also humbling.

I recognized that I needed to strip myself of my own self-righteousness. That despite differing value systems and beliefs, we all share a single humanity.  And suffering is common to all of humanity. And for those who, in my mind, propagate the suffering with their words or actions, I struggle practicing compassion.

I turned to my friends and mentors. I had long, heart-felt conversations with middle and high schoolers with whom I work. I recognized that the root of all judgements lies within our own vulnerabilities and our deep-rooted fears and insecurities. Understanding this suffering allows us to adopt a mindful view of circumstances we are judging.

A compassionate outlook does not mean we are accepting the angry and contentious behavior of others doing.  In fact, it allows us to practice mindfulness in simply observing what is the motivation behind those in distress and anger and prompting them to make their choices.  It allows interactions to be potentially fruitful. At minimum, it allows for a diffusion of power of judgements and unrest within us so we are more grounded – and ultimately, our end goal should be our OWN growth.

When we practice compassion towards our judgement, we are in turn being kind and empathetic to our own inner selves. We subdue the feeling of powerlessness or the urge to establish our righteousness.

It feels like a tall order most days, but most empowering when one can do it.

When we compassionately embrace the thinking behind what we judge, we feel whole.

And when we feel whole, we are closer to the goodness within us.

From → b-Lotus

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