Make Sure To Taste Your Words, Before You Say Them Out Loud

_Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there_Rumi

Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are.  It is almost impossible to truly understand what another person has experienced in their life.  Even if you have experienced a similar trauma, you don’t have the same fears, doubts, sorrows or pain that they have, each of which colors their experience of the trauma.

It’s easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their past, but you’d be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides.  What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight.  And more often than not, it’s lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of the soul.

  –  Sherrilyn Kenyon

That is why the very act of judgment is so harmful.  Most of us have the mean inner critic that creates a lot of havoc in our life.  We really don’t need the additional bench of outsiders judging us too.  Judging doesn’t bring anything positive to the table. 

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt.  Doubt separates people.  It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations.  It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

  – Buddha

What doubt and judgment reflects of us is actually small prejudices.  These small personal judgments or beliefs we make are deceptive because the are like the thorns – tiny, but dangerous.  It works its way into the body and festers,  creating an infection than can imperil your life.  This is what leads to extremist thinking and actions.  It is these thorns that lead to bombings, to being a sniper in a tower shooting innocent people, to so many of the mass murders and terrorist actions we see today.

Allow judgments, expectations, and illusions to fade into the darkness. And in the light, all that remains is love. 

  – Greig Grippen

True empathy for one another means that we step out of the initial judgment or thought that we have about ourselves or another person.  It requires that we look beneath the surface to see what the storms of life have dumped into us.  When you peer into the water of a lake, you see the things hidden from view. There is dirt, mud, rocks, sand, sticks, leaves, things that you expect to find.  But what else might be there?  What has the  rain, wind, flooding dumped into the water over the years? 

There will always be a reason why you meet people.  Either you need them to change your life or you are the one that will change theirs.

  – Unknown

I remember that some divers went into a small lake just a few miles from Seattle-Tacoma Airport after a bad storm.  The lake is surrounded by office buildings and homes.  What they found were lawn chairs, outside tables, and various things that had been blown into the water over the years from the homes around the lake.  They also found a very, very, old hand hewn canoe from a tree, thought to be over 150 yrs old.  Just like this lake had been hiding many things beneath the surface, so do we.  Empathy  is what allows us to dive deep and begin to truly understand what might be going on.

We also have to look at the reason we are making the judgments, from a self improvement perspective.  There is a saying that every judgment we make about others, is about something that we don’t want to admit seeing in ourselves.  So when we make that judgment about somebody’s body being covered by tattoo’s or that they have bright green or purple hair, or that outfit is too young for them and so on and so on.  What is that judgment reflecting about us? 

“Go to the edge.” the voice said.  “No, I’ll fall.” I replied.  “Go to the edge.” the voice said.  “You’ll push me.” I replied.  “Go to the edge.” the voice said.  So I went and I was pushed and I flew.

  – Zen Proverb

I know that in the past for myself, I noticed that I made judgments about people who dressed differently than I did – in ways that drew attention to themselves, it was because I was jealous.  I was too afraid to call that much attention to myself.  Now that I know what was underneath of that judgment, it has shifted into being inspired by their courage.  What judgments do you habitually make that could be shifted into something positive?  Instead of judging others by the results of actions, what if we looked at the initial intentions, exercised empathy and went on from there? 

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.

  – Rumi

The rush to judgment is the exact opposite of this.  It is a rush to hate on someone, when the true story isn’t even known.  The whole concept of bad news traveling fast is because no one has yet gotten all of the facts.  When my nephew was murdered, the headline in the paper was about one gang member killing someone in a rival gang.  My nephew wasn’t a gang member and had never associated with anyone who was.  He was simply walking through the park late at night taking a short cut to a friends house to get his bike and ride home.  He was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  Two days later, the paper corrected itself, on a back page.  We see this happen all of the time on the internet.  Instead, wouldn’t it be nice to see some comments on lets not make judgments until we hear all of the facts of an investigation?

The secret in life is enjoying the passage of time.  Instead of clutching onto the past or fearing the future, experiment with letting go into the mystery of life.  Float on the river of time, curious about its direction, open to its changing nature.  You don’t really know where it’s going, so why not relax and experience the ride?

  – Elizabeth Lesser

Instead lets meet in the field, with the idea of laying aside the blame and judgments.  Lets allow ourselves to live life without the judgment of wrong doing or right doing.  Where instead, we can simply live a more loved filled life.  I know that this sounds like an unrealistic impossible place.  But even if we could come close to the edges of such a field, think about how much our own lives would improve.  About how much the world around us would be improved, just by us trying to live in this space.

In silence there is eloquence.  Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.

  – Rumi

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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