Mindful Mondays: The Judging Mind

Do you find your mind filled with judgmental thoughts of yourself and/or others? How’s that working out for you? Take a moment to reflect.

 Judgment is a habit that becomes a burden the longer you practice it.

While judgment helps us weigh options, protect ourselves, and sometimes even motivate ourselves to do better, it rarely leads us to the truth and security that we so desperately desire.  It is isolating. It often keeps our mind bound rather than free.  We are wed to our opinions.  We are pinned down by limited thinking.  We are deceived into thinking our judgment of someone else renders us righteous.  Aren’t we just a mess like everyone else?  Made mistakes?  Disappointed ourselves and others?  Slipped up and fallen short?  Taken risks? Had successes?  Experienced happiness? Give yourself and others a break.  Life is complicated and messy.  It is impossible for anyone to escapes the paradoxes, the ironies, and the contradictions wrapped up in the experience of life.  Your expectations of others are keeping you bound more than they are manifesting the actions and feelings in others that you so desire.  Accept what is and make your choice. Free yourself from being a victim to your judgmental thoughts and expectations of others. When we are free from this type of thinking we see the whole person and we see the whole picture.

A free mind practices full acceptance.  Isn’t that liberating?  You don’t have to like what you accept, but there is something that releases when we just accept what is.  That is working with the real.  No illusions. No extras.  No opinions.  No fight. Just what is.

And then there is the judgment of self.  Some of us are at war with ourselves in our minds.  How do we release the grips of the judging mind when the judgments are self-inflicted?  Call yourself into the present moment.  Cultivate awareness and presence for a release.  In full disclosure, I’m judging myself as I write this meditation.  My mind is filled with critique and self-doubt with each sentence I type.  How do I navigate this judging mind?  I stop writing.  I notice my thoughts.  Accept that I’m thinking them without judgment. I reflect back to myself…”right now I’m thinking that I’m not good enough.”  Then I rest my head back on the couch, take a breath and invite myself into the present moment.  I hear the birds chirping outside my window.  I feel the sunlight touching and warming my skin.  I notice the fall breeze on the back of my neck.  I let myself take in the sounds of the strings from the African music I have playing in the background.   I take in the gift of this moment. I am alive.  I am here. Then I send some love and compassion to my tender and vulnerable soul with a deep breath.  “It’s ok,” I tell my heart.  “It’s ok.”  Released.  Even if this release lasts for but a moment, I’m a little more free from the weight of that judging mind than I was before.

You can transform the judging mind, breath by breath, moment by moment. Breathe into God’s grace for you are a beautiful soul.

“There is a feeling of inner peace that comes from total relinquishment of judgment.   We don’t feel the need to change others, and we don’t feel the need to be different than we are.  We can see, for whatever reason, the total beauty of another person, and we feel that they can see the beauty in us as well.” –Marianne Williamson