Updated: Apr 14, 2020
When I reflect back to all the times I have moved house or moved interstate or met new people, I have fond memories, as I am reminded of the joy and expansiveness of having others meet and see me anew, in the moment. No baggage, history or judgments from past interactions getting in the way, but instead an openness to connect afresh.
Going on holidays can be similar because we so often meet new people who have no immediate history with us, but are able to be open with whomever presents in front of them. There is something in these experiences that we can learn from that exposes how much we can bring history and baggage to our interactions and familiar relationships, that puts limitations on others and ourselves.
For most of us, we perceive others based on the last or previous interactions we have had with them. This is quite normal and useful in relationships, as consistent behaviour helps to build trust. However it is also very common for many to hold others in judgment because of past interactions – or worse still, hold judgment towards another because of the issues their friends or family members are having with them.
A poignant example of this is when someone ‘un-friends’ you on Facebook because one of their friends has an issue with you. The problem with this is that if you choose to see people through the eyes of the issues that others have with them, then there is no true understanding and you don't get to truly see them at all.
Imposing judgment on someone is a game of collusion that can only be harming and serves no one.
To allow others to truly evolve it would serve to see them as they are presenting right now, and not based on other people’s subjective experiences.
Are we not all learning and growing within ourselves each and every day? We all make so-called ‘mistakes’ and have an opportunity to learn from them and move on.
Are we allowing others to evolve from their learning or holding them in judgment from their past?
Are we honouring and respecting that all that unfolds between people is a perfect constellation for learning about ourselves and relationships – that there is much more going on that we may be choosing not to see?
If we keep meeting friends, family and work colleagues with a perception of their past baggage and hurts, we are holding them in a picture that they may have already moved on from. Our judgments of the past keep them held in the past and make it more difficult for all concerned to move on. We are essentially capping any opportunity for acceptance, understanding and growth. This way of being and relating is most certainly not a way to build true and loving relationships.
In order to heal judgment we must develop a deep appreciation of ourselves; with this as our foundation we are more able to appreciate others, leaving little space or inclination for judgment to interfere with our developing true and intimate relationships.
We cannot control if another will judge us, and we have a long way to go before this aspect of our humanity is truly healed. However, what we can do is change our relationship with judgment.
What is most interesting to consider, is that holding another in the past can only have a firm grip if the person being judged is saying yes to what they are being held in, as one person plays the perpetrator and the other plays the victim. For judgment to affect us, we must on some level submit to it being cast our way. Some questions to ask ourselves . . . Have I accepted myself for my past choices? Am I still holding myself in the past?
If we are able to bring understanding as to why another would judge us in the first place, there is a very good chance that we will not turn this into a hurt that keeps us held in the past.
We have an opportunity to accept that judgment will most likely come our way, but when our relationship with it has changed, we are able to see things more clearly and not be drawn in or pulled down. Then no longer can the judgment from another leave us paralysed in the past.