Monday, May 23, 2011

Rooting Out Judgment

I have always been a good little rule-follower. In fact, I was often referred to as "goody-two-shoes" by people who knew me. I have a definite perfectionistic streak coupled with a good memory for things that have gotten me or others in trouble in the past, and I've used it to full advantage.

I also have a heart for people. In my teen years I began volunteering at a camp for abused and neglected children. As I found this highly rewarding, I went on to a degree in psychology and subsequently worked with emotionally disturbed children in a group home. This exposed me to a harsher side of life, which I thought made me less judgmental of others. I was wrong.

I was made aware of my judgment because of my daughter. In so many ways, she is the complete opposite of me. She was tomboy to my girlie-girl. She has a tendency to misjudge how others see her (always negatively), while I grew up aware of being popular and well-liked. Then there is her rebelliousness. It wasn't just the usual teenage stuff prompted by a desire to separate from her parents. It was irrational, out-of-control behavior which had me at my wits end more often than not.

The world often takes the attitude that poor behavior is the result of poor parenting. Granted, as a single mom I was never the world's greatest parent. Still, I have always been a strong person and did what I could with those talents at my disposal. It didn't help my daughter, and I beat myself up for years trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

The thing is, I wasn't doing anything wrong. My problem was in believing what the world told me was true about being a bad parent because I had couldn't control my daughter's behavior. I had judged myself, not from any true standards but from standards the came from the world's "rules".

I also found myself judging my daughter for the "mistakes" she made. As I looked around, I realized I used the same standards to judge others as well. I was filled with judgment! What's more, I finally understood that this judgment I had separated me from having solid relationships with those people in my world.

I am convinced it is this same sense of judgment that is responsible for all the problems in the world. We have a defininte "us" vs. "them" mentality where we think we have to force them to accept "the truth" in order to save them and save the world. The thing is, the only thing this mentality does is cause more and more separation! If "the truth" is something we have to force on people, isn't there something wrong? How can it be "the truth" if they can't see it?

It's time we started rooting out the judgment in our lives--time to find those ideas that separate us from one another and call them into question. Where did they come from? Who did we learn that from? Does that feel right when I ask the light at the center of my being? The answers to these questions may surprise you.

It is time to shift out of the ego-driven, separationist mentality and strive every day to find the connections and commonalities we have with all others. It begins with rooting out judgment.

No comments:

Post a Comment