Judging someone, can you pass the Empathy Test?
I need to do a disclaimer when it relates to judgment because this is truly one of my main life lessons and while I have gotten better, I still battle with it daily. We live in an age where our emotions and the emotions of others are on full display via social media, the news and pretty much anywhere we look. I know I have even allowed a friend’s posting on my Facebook timeline to cause me to hit the “un-follow” button a few times, which then causes me to miss other postings by them that would probably have been uplifting or informative to me in the long run.
So what’s the answer about judging someone else? Yes, it feeds something within us that makes us feel better or more superior, at least initially, but did it really solve the issue we were reacting too, or is it shining a light on something we don’t want to acknowledge or may not even be aware of? I find myself in these situations, even with the knowledge that everyone is a mirror reflecting back on me an aspect within myself that I haven’t reconciled or come to terms with, that the emotions always seem to win and frankly that is not only a bummer, but it just prolongs my pain and the imbalance within my being.
As I’ve written before, there are two sides to every coin. One positive aspect is that the person or situation that I’m reacting too, allowed me to release some energy within myself that had come to the surface. We can discuss how constructively I directed that energy and the ramifications of not dealing with the real situation in another newsletter. Maitreya would often say, “better out than in”, in discussing my emotional outbursts.
So how do I try and not allow emotions to rule the day as I continuously fall into this trap of judging someone’s statements or actions? I try to quiet myself somewhat after my self has had its’ little emotional fix and contemplate or meditate on why I had the reaction that I did. I also fully acknowledge that the individual is actually just playing a part in my drama to assist me to learn something and is also enabling me to release trapped energy from the past. I find this extremely helpful because it allows me to try and find the root cause of my emotional turmoil so that I can start the process of truly comprehending what is at the core of my issue. Yes, if I am truthful to myself, it is my issue, not the person that caused the reaction in me and I need to always try and remember this as I easily get swept away by my emotional reactions.
Another critical tool and aspect to understanding and learning to not judge another is to try and put yourself in their shoes or in their skin. Try to see and comprehend things from their perspective. This is what I call the “Empathy Test”. The way you see and experience the world may be so different from their experiences or upbringing. You are not them and they are not you. In fact, you are just dance partners in each other’s play or drama. On an even deeper level, if you get below the surface and into the past life energy that is playing out within you, you would understand that the deep fears and insecurities that you both are experiencing are vastly different and this trapped energy within you is the true source of what is powering this emotional train you’re traveling on. This understanding helped me to reconcile how powerful the energy trapped within me was. Maitreya would often say that 85% of out actions are driven by the past life energy within us. What I have realized is that it is keeping me trapped in a victim or grievance mentality, rather than taking responsibility of what really is out of balance in my life. I force myself to constantly ask the question, what is the Universe trying to show me, because wherever emotions drive my actions or inactions, there is a personal lesson just waiting to be learned.
I know for me, sometimes trying to get to the root cause of my reactions is hard and it is so easy to allow emotions to flip the switch to judging another individual. So I have been trying to pass my own “Empathy Test” and redirect the energy into constructively putting myself in their shoes and trying to look at things from their perspective rather than waste it, usually in a form of anger. Of course I need to be asking myself during the process, “What on earth could they be trying to show me?” Which by the way is probably a lot more than I want to admit!
Jean and I are off to China this month for two months of teaching, and yes learning. Since I don’t know the language, it hopefully will allow me to practice not being so judgmental.
Have a great month – Alan