I'll never forget standing in the queue in the supermarket with my aunt one day. There was a lady a few queues down who's little girl was throwing a mother of a tantrum to which was responded to with a backlash that got me feeling really sorry for the little girl, putting myself in her shoes.
My aunt whispered to me, "Never judge a mother or make her feel bad for her outburst. You don't know what she's going through or what she's experienced today". At the time I found that a little one sided since she was the adult and I was the child.
Until, of course, I became a mom and found myself in a queue at the supermarket with a screaming child and just wanting to shut him up so that everyone didn't stare and judge me.
When other children did this to their parents in shopping centres, I would get so angry with the child, feeling the mother's frustration and embarrassment. I remembered what my aunt said, every single time, I started apologising to the universe and pleading to please stop with the lesson. It doesn't quite work like that, does it?
Over time and after a few more kids, I learned to detach from judging neither mother nor child and since learning how, like trees, we are all connected, I detach from the effect that this and similar displays of e-motion have on me.
I realised that when I judge someone, there's a trigger / triggers in me that this person's actions are invoking. A good way to identify which trigger it is, is to recognise the e-motion that is being brought up to the surface and try to remember a time in your life that this e-motion caused you distress. By locating the memory attached to the e-motion, you will be able to work through the attachment to the memory. Here is where you will find that you are less judgemental and more curious.
When I first started using these tools, a few of which I share with you in my blog, I thought, "What a crock of shit. Are you telling me that I have to over analyse every emotion that comes up, ever, for the rest of my life?" I say to my younger self now, "No, not over analyse, just start with becoming aware of the feeling that it stirs up in you and become more conscious and curious about someone's behaviour rather than taking it personally." Myself in 10 years may have something to add but for now, this is what works for me.
Every time you find yourself in a judgement space, reheart (not remind) yourself that you have not necessarily been in that person's shoes and even if you have, you may not have had it the same. Be kind, always.
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