Stepping Stones

by Carol Hansen

"Letting Go of Judgments"

©1995

"She sure is stupid"
"They're just a bunch of old fogies."
"He'll never grow up."

The above phrases probably sound familiar. What do they have in common? They are all judgments. For many of us, phrases similar to these permeate our thoughts. Probably most of us are unaware of how may of these judgments we make daily.

A couple of years ago I was involved in a process to help me get in touch with my judgments and to assess how many of them passed through my mind on a daily basis. I carried a small notebook around with me and each time I had a judgment I made a tick mark. I was amazed by the end of the first day to discover that I had over 150 tick marks in my notebook! As I continued to monitor my judgments, my tick marks decreased until by the end of the week I had only 4!

"So what?" you might ask. What difference does it make if we hold judgments in our consciousness? First of all, if we examine our judgments honestly, we will find that they are not really our own. We are not born into this world with judgments. We acquire these thought processes from our parents and our peers, who acquired them in like manner. In most cases these thoughts are not truth. They are merely a reflection of another person's thought. Therefore, we are expressing mentally, if not verbally, ideas that we may have come to believe are our own but in reality are not.

JUDGMENTS KEEP US IN A STATE OF SEPARATION. All the above phrases are personal attacks and indicate that those to whom we are referring are in some way "less than" me. Instead of assessing the situation, we attack the person. "She sure is stupid" might in reality mean, "Her actions really hurt my feelings." "They're just a bunch of old fogies," probably means that the group refereed to does not engage in activities that interest me. "He'll never grow up," could mean "I am tired of taking care of him."

We also make judgments about ourselves with thought processes such as, "I sure am stupid," "I don't ever get anything right," "I'm such a failure," etc., etc., etc. When we allow these thoughts to rattle around in our consciousness, they become our reality. Instead of beating ourselves up, we need to assess the situation. When we change our thought patterns, we change our lives. "I sure am stupid" could mean that I don't understand the way this material is being presented to me. "I don't get anything right," could mean there is a better way to handle this situation and I'm capable of doing that!

JUDGMENTS KEEP US IN A STATE OF NEGATIVITY. I think of judgments and criticism in the same light. All of us have probably found ourselves in situations where the favorite pastime is to sit around and complain. This often happens in a work environment. Being in such an environment saps our energy. We go home feeling drained and in many cases angry--and we don't even understand why.

We can each make a difference in such a situation by consciously refusing to participate in judgments and criticism--by assessing the situation, not the person. When we intentionally begin to eliminate judgments from our consciousness, we change our energy--we raise our vibration. And when our energy changes, it affects the energy of those around us. When I was going through my judgment process, my boss made a remark to me that normally would have set me on a spiral of criticism. Instead of taking the remark personally, I responded by giving him an assessment of the situation. He was so taken aback by my calmness and change of attitude, he just looked at me and said, "What workshop did you attend this weekend?" At the end of the week a co-worker sat down in my office and said, "I just want to thank you. I don't know what you are doing, but you turned this stressful week into a joy."

Letting go of judgments is a stepping stone that has a ripple effect. If you are ready for change, give it a try.