I’ve been touched multiple times this week with messages around judgment. I am very aware that I have been receiving them – and I am very aware that while I like to think of myself as open-minded and accepting, I am still judgmental.
A week ago today, I had a discussion with my husband about a variety of things that cause me pause in our relationship. One of which is his propensity to pass judgment on others because they don’t do things the way he would like them. Another was his quick assumption that just because something was not working exactly the way he would like, someone else did something to cause it to happen. Another was his unwillingness to recognize that people were growing and changing right before his eyes – but he still looked at them with fifteen year old awareness and judged them as if they had not changed at all. The conversation made me very unhappy – until the next morning as I was writing my morning pages I realized that I was being just as judgmental. I was looking in the mirror.
Throughout the week, many conversations have been held around me about the imperfections of people we love. They ranged from mild irritation to outright anger. Some of the anger and disappointment were due to the unwillingness on each person’s part to set boundaries for the people they love, and standards for themselves. Some of it was because there was an unwillingness to understand the thought processes of others enough to speak their language and prepare information in a manner that made it easy for them to understand. Some of it was because one party didn’t get their way and wanted the other party to be just as unhappy (a form of self-sabotage). Some of it was just because…
Yesterday, my friend began sending me quotes as a gentle nudge around a conversation we had several weeks ago. Yes, I got the message.
Last night, in the church leaders open circle, we held a discussion around homogenous relationships – hanging with “our people” because they comforted us and avoiding those who were not “our people” because they made us uncomfortable. It was an interesting discussion ranging from “this is why our government is so polarized no action can be taken” to “it is all about the individual connection and our willingness to be open-minded and accepting”.
Late last night, I received a message from a group client who is stepping away from a year long commitment to a group because he was looking for more “personal growth” – and was extremely irritated with two people in the group who could not get past their differences and continued to have conversations around boundaries. I was saddened because he was steeped in judgment – but then I realized I was making a judgment, and let him know that it was his choice, we would miss him, and if he chose to come back we would welcome him.
Finally, this morning – a pointed message from Alan Cohen: “If you scout for imperfections, you will find them. If you scout for perfections, you will find them. A friend of mine noted, “I used to think I was a perfectionist because I noticed little flaws in everyone and everything. Then I realized I was really an imperfectionist. If I was a perfectionist I would have noticed what was perfect.”
Are you more aware of the faults in others than the gifts they bring you?
Considering a significant relationship, how might you
shift your vision from criticism to appreciation?
I create positive relationships by focusing on the good in myself and others.
What would the world be like if we all moved in the direction of creating positive relationships? Would antagonism over a mosque in NYC go away? Would DOMA become a thing of the past? Would people become happier in their jobs, and the economy straighten itself out? What could we accomplish if we looked for the strength and perfection in those we interact with on a daily basis? These are all questions of growth – and recognizing the perfection of the situation that allows for us to grow by making the choice to become less judgmental and more open to the thoughts of others. Who knows, we might have an AH-HA moment!
Today, I am focused on recognizing the perfection in myself and all those around me. I know that I am far more perfect than I am willing to give myself credit for, and that those around me are as well. I open myself to new experiences, creating a sense of connectedness with everyone I meet. I’m gathering the evidence to support my conclusion that “Choosing perfection, appreciation and gratitude is a way of life. It will lead to happiness, joy and profound abundance in my life”. How about you?