There are four spiritual principles I believe we are to understand, live and master during our life time(s) on Earth. They are unconditional love, gratitude, forgiveness and non-judgment. To me the most important, the most impactful, and perhaps the most difficult, is non-judgment. Now it could be argued that unconditional love, our innate state of being, is the most important. Unfortunately this isn’t the state in which most of us live. It is through the mastery of the other three, which arise from non-judgment, that we get back to unconditional love. When we are non-judgmental we love unconditionally, we express gratitude for all we have, and we are forgiving (forgiven) because we accept, honor and respect all for the journey they have chosen.

To begin this discussion let’s take a quick look at judgment. Judgment is an opinion we form based on our perspective of what we have observed. And our perspective is based on the beliefs we hold at the moment the judgment is being made. Keep in mind that neither our beliefs nor our judgments are necessarily true, but what we hold to be true based on the information we have to that moment. Therefore, our judgments come from a perspective which is based on information we hold as true, but which in fact might not be true. To judge someone or something says more about who we are and where we are in our evolutionary process than it does about that which we are judging. It is a reflection of one’s beliefs and perspective in that moment.

Take notice of how you judge yourself and how often you judge yourself. What do you consistently say to, and about yourself through thoughts and words that reinforce specific behaviors and beliefs that are limiting or disempowering? Do you speak or think of yourself in self deprecating ways? Are you holding yourself back from truly expressing or experiencing who you desire to be because of your judgment of who you think you are?

As was pointed out to me when I asked a friend to review this article before submitting it for publication,” We all judge whether we realize it or not. Judgments come from who we are, how we were raised, where we were raised, our life experiences, who and what we have been exposed to and so on. I think there are many levels of judgment and it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to accept what others do or think. Our beliefs/opinions make us who we are and with that will come some level of "judgment."

I agree with what my friend said however will expand on the comments further. Our judgment comes from where we are or who we believed ourselves to be at the time of the judgment. And judgment is something we all do, but that doesn’t make it right or beneficial. This is why I believe it to be a critical principle to understand, and master. It is when we become aware of our judgment, acknowledge it and see it for what it is, a reflection of who we are in that moment, that we move towards mastery of who we desire to be and are in the process of becoming.

Whenever I find myself being judgmental, whether about myself or another, I ask a very simple, yet revealing question. What is it in me that this is so? In other words, what is it I believe or hold to be true that would cause me to form this opinion? What is it it that I need to look at about myself that is being shown to me through my judgment. Where did these beliefs originate? Are they beliefs formed because of what someone else has said or are they actual experiences I have had? Any beliefs (judgment) we hold about ourselves that are disempowering are not the truth of who we are, and therefore are to be released and replaced with the truth of who we desire to be and are in the process of becoming.

The point is that we must first be non-judgmental towards ourselves before we can be non-judgmental towards others. In essence, when we judge others we judge our selves. It is a reflection of what we believe and feel about ourselves,more often than not subconsciously. It is only when we become fully accepting and loving towards our selves that we are capable of loving, accepting and honoring others for who they are in the process of becoming in accordance with the life path they have chosen.

Being judgmental doesn’t make us bad or wrong. It is nothing for which we should feel any guilt. It is simply who and where we believe ourselves to be at that moment in our evolutionary process. Being non-judgmental does not mean we accept or condone what someone else is doing or has done. It doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to things that are or could be harmful or detrimental to others. On the contrary, we do what we can to prevent or alter the event or circumstances without judgment of the person or persons. This is very difficult at times; however it is when we rise above our judgmental tendencies that we are in greater alignment with our true Divine nature.

“The degree to which we judge reflects where we are on the evolutionary scale”

Imagine how different the world might be if we didn't judge. There would be no war, no prejudice, no discrimination, no hatred and no religious intolerance and so on. Out of non-judgment comes unconditional love. With unconditional love we are accepting of all others and all things. We honor and respect one another for the journey we have chosen. We support one another as we make our way along our respective life’s path. We accept full responsibility for our own life experiences while allowing others to take responsibility for theirs.

Please note there is a difference between judgment and observation. When we make an observation we are stating and accepting something as it is. For example, if I see someone who is obese, my observation would simply be that he or she is obese. If I see someone who is obese and say they are lazy or don’t know how to eat properly then I am making a judgment, not based on what I know about this individual but on what I might believe about someone who is obese.

Practicing non-judgment is difficult. Take care not to judge yourself as you become aware of your judgmental tendencies. Be gentle, kind and loving towards yourself as you go through this process. And as you do you will be amazed at how things about you and around you change from this new perspective.

I invite you to pay close attention to the principal of non-judgment. To lessen the degree to which you judge or to eliminate it all together I suggest two things. One, whenever you find yourself judging another simply send them love, respect and blessings for their chosen journey, and express gratitude for what you have gained from this experience. Secondly, bring your awareness to bear on your judgments and you will see them begin to dissipate. As they dissolve you gain greater acceptance, respect and love for yourself and all others. And as you gain greater acceptance, respect and love for all others (all things) you will find yourself living more from a place of unconditional love.

Author's Bio: 

JIM has been a highly respected business leader and entrepreneur for the better part of 30 years. His passion for inspiring others to higher levels of achievement has resulted in the presentation of numerous workshops and seminars on business development and success principles throughout the United States and parts of Europe. Most recently his passion has been the exploration and application of spiritual law as it applies to prosperity and overall quality of life. He has the gift of turning complex spiritual ideas and laws into easily understood and applied practices.

Jim is co-creator of “The Path of Enrichment”, a way of thinking and living that allows for peace, love, joy and abundance regardless of what lies on one’s life path. It is about examining where you are, who you desire to be and recognizing and accepting that the power for change truly lies within.