Judgment: the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. The formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation.
Opinion: An opinion is a belief or view about matters commonly considered to be objective. An opinion is not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
I don’t know about you, but my life is filled with judgments. Judgments create complications in my life, distracting me from purpose and focus. Some are judgments that remove me from my freedom to live life as I want. Others are judgments that reinforce opinions, ideals and societal beliefs that keep other people trapped.
We live in a world full of judgment that infiltrates our daily lives, with a greater influence than we realize.
We do not have to go much farther than our own minds to discover the bias of our thoughts. Taking time out to listen to our thoughts can generate an awareness of the judgments we have stored in our body. Our body stores this knowledge as memory. We think of this as fact.
Judgments and opinions are influenced by our upbringing and continue to be built throughout life. Our life experiences cause us to form judgments about the world. They mold our opinions about ourselves, other people, animals, plants, life situations, and notions of right and wrong. As these judgments accumulate, we limit our freedom to think and act.
Our freedom becomes controlled by a series of opinions and judgments that come disguised as truth.
Raise your hand if you make judgments
Years ago I attended a conference where we were asked to raise our hand every time we heard ourselves making a judgment. Looking back I am surprised I ever had a chance to put my hand down! I realized we make a judgment about everything from the time we wake in the morning to the time we go to bed. For example, each morning I wake up and turn on the Weather Channel and wait for the local weather. Once I notice the temperature, the humidity and the sun or clouds, I form some kind of judgment about the day. Does the weather of the day really play such an important role in life that I limit what I want to accomplish?
Forming judgments about other people, their life situations and their actions constructs a box designed by us for them to live in. The box is reinforced when we continue to discuss our judgment and opinion with others. As we draft others to come on board with our opinion the image can become so strong that we eliminate the freedom of action for that person to do something new and unexpected. Though this is not our intention, it is the result.
Give it some thought. Are there situations in your life that you continue to reinforce with your judgments?
Clues from our thoughts
Judgments are not limited to our interactions with others. They can involve the food we eat, the way we dress or how we look at ourselves in the mirror. This realization led me to consider how much the quality of my life is interrupted by the judgments I create.
Judgments inform us of our focus, they determine what actions we take, what results we desire and most of all, tell us we matter! To us, our opinions and judgments count.
Towards clarity and freedom
Imagine what clarity would emerge if we began to listen to our thoughts, to know our patterns and to approach life more objectively.
Take some time to listen to your dialogues with yourself and others and consider the actions you take. Listening will allow you to separate out your thoughts, their origins and your focus.
Listen to your judgments and opinions. Question their integrity so that you can take the next step. Let them go. A new clarity and freedom are sure to emerge.