We are judgemental creatures. Like it or not, it is part of being human. How long you hold onto judgment though, that is a choice. How many times a day do you find yourself judging your partner? How often do you realize you are judging yourself? Do you even notice when judgmental thoughts run through your mind?
This is nothing to be ashamed of, judging both ourselves and other people is natural. It isn’t your fault. But to have the kind of breathtaking relationship we are talking about within Relationship Calisthenics, natural or not, you want to be finely tuned into these judgmental moments that affect your relationship.
What are we Talking about Exactly?
The word, judgment is flooded with meaning. It really is. Look it up. You will be floored by all the meaning behind this one word. Judgment is a part of the human brain’s function – not something we can easily avoid. With so many definitions, it is clear that without context the word is meaningless. It needs to have some shape, some context for you to understand the fifth habit.
In the context of a breathtaking relationship, we are referring to judgment as in “denouncing, blaming, accusing or condemning.” This kind of judging can happen automatically and seem hard-wired, but actually, it is just a habit.
A Bad Relationship Habit.
The self-talk of this habit sounds something like this:
“If he/she would just…”
“There is no way I can be happy until he/she…”
“It would be better if he/she could…”
There are some judgments that are hard-wired. They are hard-wired into the human survival brain. The various contexts for judgment can get blurred and we might only see the negative or limiting aspects. It is good to understand the differences. The hard-wired ones are what the mind uses for survival. Here are a few examples.
Hard wired (survival) judgments look like this:
Where is the Love?
The simple act of judging someone, for whatever reason, closes off our gateway to experiencing true love. When’s the last time you used your narrow-mind to judge your partner with your heart full of love?
It is impossible to open one’s heart fully to another human being while holding a judgment against them. So then, letting go of denouncing, blaming, accusing, or condemning your partner is the fifth habit. This habit can bring about more peace and happiness, more often, to your relationship.
Today my spouse walked in from doing some shopping. He bought a few things that we needed in the kitchen. Bread, some pecans in dark chocolate, and he also brought home a few other items that he thought we could use.
What he didn’t do is buy anything on our shopping list. We keep an ongoing shopping list on the wall. In all fairness, I am the one who usually does the grocery shopping. But it would have been really great if he would have handled it, given he was shopping anyway. As he went through all the items he brought home – very proud of himself I might add – all I could notice was everything he didn’t bring home.
My mind took off, “I don’t get it. You went to the grocery store and bought stuff that is nice to have, but nothing we actually needed.” I had started judging him internally, but only for a brief couple of seconds. Because you see, this is how he does things. It isn’t deliberate, he actually thinks he did something good. Habit five makes room for how he is, and today, this is how he is. So I put that habit into action and put the things away that he brought home.
Letting go of judgment leaves behind a simple kind of acceptance. An acceptance that is more like including or allowing space for someone to simply be how they are.
That is a space of peace – it is literally what’s left when judgment is gone. Allowing your partner to be as they are is true unconditional love. True Love is the experience that your partner is perfect—precisely the way he/she is—allowing them to be the way they are – as a conscious decision. When you are not judging you will find yourself more curious – curious about who they are.
Allowing one another to “be”, that is how to experience True Love and that is a breathtaking relationship.