Judgment and Compassion, Again

October 26, 2020 | Filed Under Devotions, Things I Think About | No Comments

A couple of years ago, I wrote this post about judgment and compassion, because I was engaging in some painful and destructive behaviors around judging other people that had serious negative effects on me and everyone around me. I needed to find ways to channel the time and energy taken by those thoughts into more constructive expression, both for the sake of the person on the receiving end of my negativity, and for my own mental and emotional health.

A little over two years later, I have made progress, although I still have a ways to go. I have fewer experiences where my brain’s first response is to go into judgment, and, when it does, I am more easily able to catch the thought to reshape it, and to shift the energy from negative to positive. Sometimes it’s quite the effort—I still do not deal well with careless drivers, as that triggers very deep things for me, due to my mother’s death in a car accident. That one is going to require a lot more work.

One of the practices I’ve developed that has been most helpful is that, when I find myself judging, I try to step back and see the person through the eyes of one of my Gods.

Sigyn asks me to consider whether this person might be suffering from a family trauma.

Loki asks me to consider whether this person feels alone or alienated, or is struggling with a mental health issue.

Eir asks me to consider whether this person might be dealing with a physical ailment, or be in need of some kind of healing.

Saga reminds me that this person may be unconsciously caught in a story that compels them towards negative behaviors.

Frigg suggests that perhaps this person is just having a bad day, and that they are under pressures which are preventing them from being aware of the effects of their actions.

Angrboda acknowledges that yes, this person may indeed be an entitled, self-centered prat, but their behavior is not under my control, so I need to turn my attention back to managing my own stuff.

All of Them encourage me to a place of compassion and understanding, rather than judgment. This is going to take a lot more practice, but it is easier when I view them through the eyes of one of my Gods.

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