One of the Inner Bonding members asked the following question:
Please could you explain how judging or criticizing others is self-abandoning?
My answer was:
Judging indicates that you have already abandoned yourself. Once you abandon yourself and make others responsible for your worth and safety, then you need to control others, and judgment is a major form of control. The loving Adult never judges oneself or others. It is always the wounded self who judges as a form of control - a way to protect against something you fear. When you are judging, you are in your head rather than your heart, and being in your head is also a form of self-abandonment. Judgment is coming from the intent to protect/control rather than from the intent to learn about loving yourself and others, and the inner child always feels alone and abandoned when this is the intent. You might want to tune in to your feelings when you judge. You will likely find some stress inside, which is coming from having abandoned yourself, and now being focused externally, trying to control through judgment as a result of the self-abandonment.
The member responded with another important question:
Thanks, Margaret - your answer is really helpful. However, is it fair to say that you need to make some judgments in order to discern whether a person would make a good match?
Another member responded:
I think the difference between judgment and discernment is your focus - kind of like Margaret is saying in her answer. In discernment, I am listening to my inner child (my feelings), trusting them and choosing my actions accordingly. In judgment, all my attention is directed outwards on the other person and there is a heavy, blaming quality to my attention. I find this tricky ground to navigate myself. I often use judgment to justify my reactions to someone.
Then I responded again, and this is when I decided that an article on the difference between judgment and discernment might be helpful.
Thanks - well said. Judgment comes from the wounded self with an intent to control, while discernment is from the loving Adult tuning into feelings and guidance, and wanting to learn what is in your highest good. We all need to discern, but judging people gets in the way of discernment, as you can't discern from your head, only from your heart.
When I answer questions, I don’t think with my left brain. I allow my Guidance to answer them and sometimes I'm surprised by the answer. This was the case here, as I had never thought of this statement before: "Judging people gets in the way of discernment, as you can't discern from your head, only from your heart."
When we judge, we are evaluating the person regarding standards that our wounded self has decided upon. These are programmed beliefs regarding who is okay and who isn't. When we discern, we are accessing information regarding whether this person is open or closed, loving or unloving, and are 'feeling' in our heart whether or not a relationship with this person is in our highest good.
Unfortunately, because most people operate most of the time in their wounded self, they judge a good match for them by externals or chemistry/infatuation, rather than by their heart.
The heart 'knows.' When you consciously move out of your head and into your heart, you move out of judgment and into discernment. Only from your heart can you discern who is right or wrong for you, because only your heart is connected with your feelings and your Guidance.