One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year, was not to judge others, for anything. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a judgmental person in the slightest. I like to think of myself as kind and compassionate. I wouldn’t have chosen my line of work if I wasn’t. I am talking about judgement that can be formed about those you don’t know, the grumpy woman in the supermarket, the rude angry driver on the road, the person who just looks miserable or the views of people you disagree with. Often judgments can be formed against the people you do know; the friend who’s actions you find strange, the people whose habits irritate you and ones who let you down . I am not perfect and six months on, yes I have lapsed. There has been the odd spot of gossip I have been drawn into, and people’s actions have perplexed me, however when they start to bother me, I then start to question why that might be.
I like to put myself into the shoes of that other person, they may be acting that way because of a number of reasons; they may be running late, they may be dealing with a lot of stress in their life, they may be scarred from past traumas. The truth is we don’t know the story that people carry around with them. We all have a story.
In my workshops and in personal consultations with clients I often hear these stories. I feel humbled and privileged to hear their stories because often these stories have never been shared with another person. Sometimes these stories are tragically sad, they are often stories with deep trauma attached to them. Our stories can define who we become. On the surface you cannot see this story, however traits can come out in other people’s personalities that can give us cause to judge or form an opinion on that person.
I went to see Maleficent at the cinema recently, and aside from being a fantastic film, the overriding message for me was a reminder of my new year’s resolution. Maleficent is the perfect character to form judgement on – the wicked fairy who put the curse on Sleeping Beauty, the classic Disney villain, how can you not possibly judge her? How on earth could we find compassion for her? Then we hear her story. Our feelings towards her change. Understanding her story changes our feelings towards her, judgements…gone. I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen the movie, but if you do get the chance to see it then you will understand what I mean.
I am reminded of a quote by one of my favourite authors, Dr Wayne Dyer ” When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself”
So how does this benefit my life? I am a calmer person, I think before I speak and I think before I react. I put myself in the shoes of others, I remember that they have a story and I send them love and compassion and I hope that on an energetic level, it reaches them. Imagine what the world would be like if we all did this?
Image Credit Disney