Do you notice the way other people in your life act or react? I’m not saying “judge,” I’m saying “notice.” In the past I didn’t used to notice much of anything. But, I sure did my share of judging.
I had a couple of things happen the last week when I was on vacation that moved quickly from judgment to noticing. We spent a couple hours each day at the beach. One morning I watched two couples with kids and dogs in tow plopped themselves down right in front of our carefully-picked-out-spot, blocking our direct view of the waves. Within seconds our peaceful, serene morning turned into a scene of yapping, obnoxious dogs and two children screaming, “MOM! Mommie! MOM! Excuse meeeeeeeeeeeeeee! MOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!” You get the picture.
The dogs were annoying, but they just were being dogs. Enough said. But these two moms were unreal. They continued talking to one another as if the children didn’t even exist. They were certainly barking orders to their husbands, but turning to their offspring? Nope.
My mother would have never done that. If she was too busy to give me her full and undivided attention she acknowledged me and asked me to wait patiently. The tone of her voice made it infinitely apparent that I was to respond in the affirmative and occupy myself in some other way until she was ready.
But, instead of fussing and fuming about these two mothers I judged so harshly, that “still small voice” immediately reminded me of how I might be more attentive to those around me. My partner was so into the book he was reading that I doubt he was much aware of the scene before us. He was focused. I was not.
Just as the dogs were being dogs, the kids were being kids. We could spend hours talking about dog whispering and more loving ways to parent, but that’s not the point.
The point is that while we are judging others we are taking the focus off of our own lives to criticize, no matter how justified that judgment might be.
In doing so we get to suspend figuring out how we can be better people. We also put into motion the law of cause and effect that states what we put out returns to us. It’s no surprise that I found myself being judged by someone else shortly after the beach scene.
We can all better our own lives and the lives around us by focusing on our own areas that need work, rather than going about acting as if we have all the answers to the problem of everyone else. How could letting go of judgment in your life free up your time and energy?
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,