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Weekly Message

Freeing Ourselves


Nothing gives us the right to sit in judgment of others. Author Actress Jasmine Guy once said, “Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity.” Wayne Dyer said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”


We only have the need to judge and disparage others when we are insecure about who we are. While putting others down may seem to increase our value and make us feel better about ourselves, in fact it decreases our value in the eyes of others. Judging and condemning others only reveals our own character defects to people, because what we judge and condemn in others are our own disowned traits.


Our insecurities lead us to be unable to own our character defects, so we see them mirrored back to us in others. When we cannot own our own character defects, we then criticize others for having them.


The opposite of judging involves offering others unconditional acceptance. When we find ourselves judging, condemning and disparaging others, we need to stop and take a hard look at ourselves because what we are judging in others is something we ourselves do. We need to get honest with ourselves about our own behavior.


We judge ourselves and others with disparaging, shaming, and hurtful remarks. But we also judge ourselves and others by using the word ‘should.’ Many of us feel we have the right to tell others what they should or should not do. This implies that they are incapable of making (what we consider to be) right decisions for themselves, that we know better how others should live their lives. We also use the word ‘should’ on ourselves to judge and condemn our own behavior.


Removing judgments from our repertoire of behavior is not easy, especially if we grew up hearing our parents and significant adults in our lives judging and condemning people. Accepting others unconditionally takes a bit of effort. We need to catch ourselves judging others each time it happens and substitute non-judgmental behavior.


When we accept people unconditionally we free them to be exactly who they are, character defects and all. When we extend this unconditional acceptance to ourselves, we free ourselves to recognize our own character defects and work to change them.


May the God of love add a blessing to these humble words.
© 2014 Rev. S. Suzanne Fisher