Transforming Judgments into 'Helpments': A Journey Towards Understanding and Forgiveness
Contemplating judgment has been on my mind lately, particularly my own judgments. Let me share some insights with you.
For this discussion, let's focus on the idea that judgments are typically negative, though it's possible to judge positively.
There was a time when I didn't even realize I was judging others. Then, I became aware of it, and I was doing it a lot. I found myself constantly critiquing others, believing it was about fixing their behaviors or healing my own wounds by pointing out their faults. But in reality, both perspectives were flawed.
I would judge people on their fitness, intelligence, or how I compared to them. I'd oscillate between feeling inferior or superior. This was just a glimpse into my long list of judgments.
Eventually, I realized that my judgments didn't really change anything. Worse, they made people feel bad when they sensed my judgment. And when I directed that judgment towards myself, it only made me feel worse.
I wanted to stop judging, but it seemed impossible. Could I ever be free from judgment, both of myself and others? It felt disheartening to think that I would always be judging.
I've heard people argue, "Oh, you're just making an observation, not a judgment." But deep down, I knew it was just a way to sugarcoat the judgment. The truth is, whether it's called an observation or an assessment, it's still judgment in disguise.
Then, I stumbled upon an interesting idea during a coach training session: when we judge others, we're actually judging ourselves too. This concept made sense from a quantum physics perspective, and it got me thinking.
Over the past few years, I've been fortunate to connect with incredible communities of people who embody love rather than judgment. Being around them made me realize that being judgment-free was possible. I started believing that I could change, that I could significantly reduce my judgments. It was a hopeful realization.
Someone I respect once said, "It's impossible to truly love or help someone when you're judging them." That hit home for me. I began to see how my judgments were affecting not just others, but also myself. How could I support anyone if I was constantly judging them?
And then it clicked: the judgments I was making were often reflections of my own insecurities projected onto others.
In a recent coaching session, a client had a breakthrough moment when he realized he couldn't truly help a team member if he was judging them. It was a powerful realization for both of us.
But becoming judgment-free isn't just about stopping judgments; it's also about forgiveness. If I've judged myself, I must forgive myself to grow and transform. Recognizing the impact of a judgment and cleaning it up, if necessary, is all part of the forgiveness process.
I like structure and systems, so I came up with a new concept: "helpment." Whenever I catch myself judging, I use it as a prompt to shift from judging to helping. It's about being self-aware and actively working to replace judgment with support.
So, where am I today? I'm learning to:
  • Recognize my judgments.
  • Forgive myself for judging.
  • Find ways to help those I've judged.
  • And to love those I've judged.
I've noticed that I'm judging less and helping more. It feels like progress.
I'm sharing this not to tell you what to do, but to offer something I've learned. If there's any suggestion here, it's to encourage you to do your own introspection and process your thoughts on judgment.
An acknowledgement: I express deep gratitude for the numerous teachers who have been a part of my life's journey. From the educators I actively engaged with to those who silently imparted invaluable lessons, I am truly indebted to all of you for shaping the course of my life. Your impact is immeasurable, and I owe a significant portion of my life's journey to each one of you.


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