As child, I was told that the opposite of love is hate. As a young adult exploring various religions and beliefs, I came across the theory that the opposite of love is not hate; rather, it is fear. Both seemed sound at the time. Now, however, I believe that neither is correct. If the root of all good things is love, the opposite root is judgment. It is not hate that makes us hate nor fear that makes us fear. It is the judgment of something or someone that causes us to feel hatred or fear.
We’ve all seen the campaigns calling for non-judgment, read the quotes and memes and t-shirts, and they aren’t wrong. But seeing and agreeing with a sentiment is not the same as living it. We may not be consciously choosing to be judgmental, but sometimes this energy can flow from us without us even realizing that a judgment has taken place.
The Ego Doesn’t Limit Itself to Only Judging Other People
Self-love is a common term, advocated by alternative health factions, workout routines, diets, gurus, and more. It is said to be the key to happiness, but when we reflect on what prevents some of us from holding this key, I see that the main thing holding people back from truly practicing self-love is self-judgment.
We may believe that we are too much of something, or not enough of something else, but it seems there is always something we can find to judge as being wrong or needing improvement. These judgments may have been imprinted on us by our families, friends, teachers, the media, or any other source, but what it really comes down to is that we are taking the judgments on-board and allowing them to become reasons not to be happy or love ourselves.
Embracing a Non-Judgmental Life
What if there was a way to live in harmony with ourselves and others, where judgment didn’t reign supreme, and varying beliefs and opinions were simply accepted? It would be so freeing, so…liberating.
Children are born as accepting beings. They don’t make judgments on others. People just are. They don’t make judgments on their bodies, their hair, or the colour of the paint on the walls until they are taught these behaviours. Yet, as we grow older, we take our discovery of ourselves and the world and we turn it into a giant scale of what is good versus what is bad, and what is beautiful versus what is ugly. This isn’t to say that preferences are bad. It’s not meant to erase likes and dislikes. Rather, it is the belief that getting out of judgment will save us a lot of heartache.
Each situation that we can look at clearly, with our judgment goggles removed, is a situation that we can feel our way through, finding truth rather than perception. These are opportunities to look at things from all view-points rather than making snap judgments and having to change our minds later. In a sense, this would stop our control dramas before they run away with us. As James Redfield states in the Fourth Insight “If we are mindful and catch ourselves every time we begin our Control Drama, eventually, our Control Drama falls away completely.”
A Lot of Anger is Hurt Lashing Out.
When we feel hurt by another’s actions, this heart-ache is caused by a judgment we have made regarding their behavior. On the surface, you think you’re upset because your partner didn’t want to run that important errand for you, or didn’t care enough to remember, but if we view the same event with a non-judgmental lens, we might see that our partner is stressed out, overwhelmed with their own activities, and really did just forget with no intention of belittling what is important to us. We drag ourselves and each other through the metaphorical mud when we don’t need to.
We’ve all experienced the blessings in disguise, where we judge that something awful has occurred, but a few days, weeks, or months later we realize that it is the best thing that could have happened to us. We can take out the agonizing wait, cut out the stress, regret, doubt, and jump right to the realization – the “silver lining” – that something is shifting. We can start by framing the event with the thought, “This is interesting. I wonder where this is going to go.”
Often, we get in our own way, blocking out the beauty that surrounds us, the connection with others, and much more importantly, our own intuition. The wisdom of living in alignment with these Celestine Insights allows us to reach higher, do more, be more. There are so many ways we can take the things that life throws at us, and in each of these instances, we have the power to choose how to handle it.
Breaking the habits of judgment is a step towards a happier life. A step towards freedom. We can let love guide us and move into a space of living in harmony with ourselves and all of the beings, in whatever form, around us. We can let love flow.