I JUDGED my friend… what does this mean?
Hey friend, do you consider yourself a judgmental person?
A couple times a week, I row in the mornings with a wonderful group of women. It’s a super fun, inspiring experience that we all share before the sun has even risen.
Earlier this week, we had a great, challenging row, and walking back up on the beach, one of my crew members said she was going to go home and hop on her Peloton for an intense cycling workout…
I smiled and said, “you’re crazy!”
I wasn’t particularly judgmental in my tone, but the statement was definitely rooted in judgment, because at the same time I was also having the thought “that’s not healthy…” even if I didn’t voice it.
A few years ago, though, I might have said something like “be careful with exercising so much!”
But I know now, that wouldn’t have been any of my business. I thought about it as I drove home.
There was nothing seemingly “wrong” with my reply “you’re crazy”—I likely did no harm to her or anyone else (after all, she likely chose to share that information to attain some reaction), and like I said—I stayed in my business which is great!
But the fact that I immediately felt a sting of judgment still caught my “mind’s eye,” if you will.
Most people aren’t willing to call themselves “judgmental,” but most of us are.
This doesn’t make us bad, or even “wrong,” but I do think it’s worth taking a look at within ourselves.
I’m borrowing a line Melissa Hartwig has shared (I’m not sure if it’s “hers” or not) that has resonated with me so much…
Judgment is a mirror, not a window.
Our judgments of others are almost always, in some way, a self-reflection; if not a direct reflection, then perhaps a reaction to it.
More often than not, our self-judgment is not immediately apparent. This is because it’s easier to see in others what we actually dislike about ourselves.
Upon reflecting, my knee-jerk reaction to judge my friend for her two-a-day exercise session triggered my own connection with my past and my struggle with exercise addiction.
While I have done diligent work over the last few years to overcome this addiction, I am still conditioned to pay extra close attention to it—both in myself and therefore also, of course, in others.
Why does this matter?
If I’m feeling judgmental towards someone else–I’m likely still judging myself for the very same thing.
Yes, I’ve done a lot of work to get to where I am in my relationship with exercise, and with myself—but there’s always more to do.
My judgmental reaction is not necessarily a sign that I’m still struggling with an addiction, but rather it is a reminder to check in and assess how I’m doing, and if there’s anything I might need to support myself.
Maintaining true awareness is key to moving through this journey, rather than trying to go around.
Recognizing the root of my judgment, I was able to find that clarity and awareness.
My goal isn’t to change anything—but instead to simply notice what’s coming up, and be curious about why.
This curiosity, without judgment, lets me approach other situations with the awareness in mind.
This allows me to continue to respond in a way that’s aligned with my authenticity, while also staying in my business, rather than reacting. Even if the reaction is mental.
I encourage you to reflect on a recent judgment you may have made about someone else, or notice a future judgment when it comes up. Where is this rooted?
Can you see it living in yourself, somewhere?
If we look at judgment as a mirror, we have all the power to explore what’s there and learn from it.
When we look at it as a window, we rob ourselves of that power, because we deny ourselves the truth.
I think it helps to remember that we all judge out of our own conditioning, confusion and pain.
We are not bad for doing it, but it is our responsibility to take a look at it and decide whether or not we want to keep carrying that judgment around.
It is so much lighter without it!
Sending light and love,