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Judge Tenderly

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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Judge Tenderly

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

So I'm just going to start out by

sharing a quote by Traci Lea LaRussa.

So just seeing how this lands

with you when you hear it.

She says, "Judge tenderly, if you must.

There's usually a side, you have

not heard, a story you know nothing

about, and a battle being waged

that you're not having to fight."

So, you know, we all, every

single one of us has a tendency

to be judgmental sometimes.

It's pretty normal.

But the storylines that we often hold on

to are the ones where we're critical of

others or being critical of ourselves.

So we kind of end up feeding ourselves a

story that somehow the other or ourselves

is not good enough, maybe even bad, or

we reduce them to a particular label.

Yeah, he's a weirdo.

She's selfish.

They're all hypocrites or horrible people.

And of course, as you might know, from

firsthand experience, these storylines

can drum up a lot of negativity and

hostility both within and without.

So when we're commenting on

another person, whether it's just

in here or it's out loud, it's

important to recognize two things.

First of all, our stories, our

assumptions about others, they're very

subjective, meaning it might say more

about how we see the world than it

actually does about the other person.

For instance, every single one of us

will see a certain person or a certain

thing or place in our own unique way.

And even if some people around

us agree about our opinion, it

doesn't make it ultimately true.

And the way that we view people is

influenced by our mood, our beliefs,

our unconscious biases and our history.

So a simple example, some

people see the best in everyone,

others often see the worst.

So our judgments maybe more

reflections of ourselves than we think.

They can be warped in that way.

So they might not be as

accurate as we think.

And that's important to know.

So secondly, as Traci points to in her

quote, there's usually so much more to

any given story than we could possibly

know, and we could be altogether wrong

in our assumptions about somebody.

Now, I remember having pretty hard,

harsh judgment, rather of a man who was

rude to me at a train station one day.

And then not too long later when

grieving the death of a loved one,

I was really cold and unfriendly

to someone in a very similar way

when I was walking on the beach.

I was just in so much pain.

I didn't have anything left to give.

I don't know if you've ever

experienced something similar.

So that made me question my view

on what happened with that man.

I was wondering what

his story was that day.

As Traci says, right?

There's usually a side you've not

heard, a story you know nothing

about, and a battle being waged

that you're not having to fight.

And it's helpful to remember that this

is the case and to judge tenderly, or

better yet we can maybe learn to let

go of those storylines altogether.

And when we're willing to do that,

we begin to experience a new sense of

freedom and peace, not only in our own

mind, but also in our relationships

with others and our whole life.

So as always thank you for your

practice and your presence here.

And just inviting you to settle

in now for today's meditation.

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