Passing Judgment

I’m trying to learn not to pass judgment. Some of you may find that hilarious, but I’m serious. In my yoga practices, we learn not to judge others in the practice (whether they’re doing much better or much worse than we are) and not to judge ourselves (whether we’re doing better or worse than in our last practice). We learn to be in the moment, and not let other thoughts get in our way. When they do, we breathe.

You’re thinking, “But didn’t he say he’d judge our social media interactions and maybe not be friends with us?” I suppose I did. But if you have a dirty car or messy house or poorly behaved dog, are often unkempt or poorly dressed, like bad (in my opinion; I know what I like and don’t like) television, movies, books or internet memes, I can probably get past that, because it won’t be a basis of our friendship. And some of those are things that I do too, but there may be a limit.

I realized this morning—which was helpful, because I didn’t know where I was going with this post—that I’m a bit of a swinging pendulum. What I rage against today, I may do tomorrow (or did yesterday). I may make a decision today only to reverse it tomorrow. Most of that is just my mind running too much, and I’m trying to learn to quiet it. I’m trying to stick to my decisions, make them work for me, and not second-guess myself. But another thing I realized is that the second-guessing is helpful—especially with a decision that I feel was made to please someone else, or otherwise didn’t leave me satisfied. That leftover doubt makes me think about the next time something similar occurs and what I want to have happen.

Regardless of what you want to call it, we attach value to objects, friendships, feelings, experiences and we determine whether the value is enough to keep those things in our lives or our minds. There are always going to be things in our lives we don’t want and I think that’s where non-judgment comes in. Passing judgment on external things isn’t helpful, getting angry about things you can’t change isn’t helpful. And I don’t profess to be winning, but I’m still in the race.