I love this quote, and I’ve probably used it in this space before, but I’ll throw it out there for you again. “The measure of our compassion always resides in our ability to stand in awe at what folks have to carry rather than in judgement at how they carry it.”
Having judgments is one of our most primary forms of life. It is next to breathing in how fundamental it becomes in everything we do.
Every thought carries some modicum of judgement. Our cognition begins in the first minutes of waking up. We set out on the journey out of bed, making sure we don’t step on anything on our way to the kitchen. We are somewhat binary in the first minutes of the day, kind of a “yes/no” process of asking a few questions early on: “Should I get out of bed? Should I look down to see if the cat is standing between me and the bathroom?”
More complex judgements come shortly thereafter. We gauge how much time we have in the morning and judge the amount minutes it will take us to get from shower to the car to work every day. Again, basic stuff that we’ve developed a routine around, but it is the foundation of our waking thought. Objective, data driven decisions. Good/bad judgements in a very fundamental, operational sense.
But when we start moving through the day, adding the emotional component of “good” and “bad,” to the things we see and feel, the judgmental process begins to separate ourselves from one another. And this is where things get a little tricky.
Judgement starts to widen as the coffee hits and the car begins to run. We’re past the early morning alteration in our steps. Our judgements now kick in to identify us as a singular being. All of our perceptions, choices, and “good/bad” preferences engage with our environment. Our selection process makes us who we are and who we take into the day.
Since the beginning of our life, judgements create our identity. It started way back when we were babies, with flavors, textures, light, temperatures, tastes and sounds. As we age our perspectives widened to music, art, nature, and work. And along the way, our judgements included people.
And at this point, how we assess what we see, feel, and experience began to create our most profound separations from things, from events, and ultimately, from one another.
Our assessments of life place us into a divided reality define by “I Am”-an individual surrounded by an environment I create to insulate myself against the world and its effects, as opposed to “We Are”-one who is in the midst of an interactive, sharing community of ideas, thoughts and feelings creating a world that holds more similarities than differences, bound by love and fueled by faith, hope, and friendship.
We will always be judgmental in ways that help us survive. Ours is not to tune out the judgmental voice that will keep us surviving, it is to direct it to the knowing that we are all one person, we all have a voice. We must make judgments daily on how we continue exercise our assessments within the context of “We Are” as opposed to “I Am.”
We are brothers and sisters on the walk through this life, standing in “awe” of one another’s efforts to make it through another day. We are one people, doing the best we can.
Let that be your primary judgment to guide you through this year.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
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