“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Have you ever wondered how much effort goes into judging someone? It probably covers a split second reaction which takes longer to verbalise than conceptualise, unless, of course, the judging is by a judge ensconced in judicial proceedings.

Now consider how much time and energy goes into trying to understand someone’s behaviour – a far more substantial exercise than a judgement that is blurted out, right? And even then we will never fully comprehend and appreciate the underlying feelings and thoughts as we have not lived that person’s life.

A tendency to judge others reflects a detachment from focussing on our own life and instead projecting on to others. Generally, the more we judge others the more insecure we feel within ourselves.

There’s a simple way to reverse this pattern and with commitment it works. The exercise can be tackled in baby steps. Begin with one hour in which every time a judgemental thought arises in your mind, stop it right there and replace it with a genuinely complimentary one. This may feel like a tall order in the beginning but given enough time, you are bound to find something. For example, if you were about to mention how irresponsible someone is, how about bringing his wonderful sense of humour or compassion or whatever to the fore.

It is important to include the self in this exercise because as the judge or critic we will seldom exclude the self from an internal adverse commentary on personal performance, ability, appearance and so on, based on self-limiting beliefs.

After successfully completing an hour, reward yourself with watching your favourite comedian on YouTube or playing with your child or dog.

Extend the hour to two hours, and gradually to a day, to a week, to a month, until the controlling judge within you has been dethroned. If you have a slip up or a brief relapse into the old ways, don’t beat yourself up. Accept that old patterns take time and practice to change and forgive yourself.

Slowly but surely your mind’s projector will begin screening a whole new perception of life – a brighter and pleasing one.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them” ~ Mother Teresa

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