Reasons to Stop Judging People.

Despite our best efforts, we all judge others. It might be over small things, like a co-worker who took too long during a lunch break. Or it might be other issues, such as a person who behaves selfishly or hurts our feelings.

Imagine you are waking through the woods and you see a small dog. It looks cute and friendly. You approach and move to pet the dog. Suddenly it snarls and tries to bite you. The dog no longer seems cute and you feel fear and possibly anger. Then, as the wind blows, the leaves on the ground are carried away and you see the dog has one of its legs caught in a trap. Now, you feel compassion for the dog. You know it became aggressive because it is in pain and is suffering.

What can we learn from this story? How can we be on less judgmental?

Don’t blame yourself. We are all hard-wired for survival. When we see a dog (or a person) that might bite us ( literally or metaphorically), or course we feel threatened. We go into fight-flight freeze mode, and are unable to see the countless reasons for another’s behavior. We get tight or defensive. This is a normal first reaction. The key is to pause before we act out of this mode.

Be mindful. Although judgment is a natural instinct, try to catch yourself before you speak, or send that nasty email and do any potential harm. You can’t take your words back. Pause. See if you can understand where the person may be coming from. Try to rephrase your critical internal thought into a positive one. After all. Like that dog in the trap, we really don’t know the reasons for someone’s behavior.

Don’t Judge me because you don’t know half of what I survived.

Depersonalize. When someone disagrees with us or somehow makes our life difficult, remember that it’s typically not about us. It may be about their pain and struggle. Why not give others the benefit of the doubt? Never underestimate the pain of a person. Will Smith said “because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people, are better than hiding it than others.

Look for the goodness. This takes practice, as our mind scan for the negative, but if we try, we can almost always find something good about another person.

Repeat the just like me phrase. Remember, we are most alike than different. When I feel critical of someone, I remind myself that the other person loves their family just like I do, and wants to be happy and free of suffering m just like I do. Most important, that person makes mistakes, just like me.

Reframe. When someone does something you don’t like, perhaps think of it as they are simply trying to solve a problem in a different way than you would. Or maybe they have a different timetable as you. This may help you to be more open-minded and accepting of their behavior p. People take different roads seeking fulfillment. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.

Look at your own behavior. Sometimes we may be judging someone for something that we do ourselves, or have done. For example, the next time you find yourself yelling at someone while your driving ask yourself. Have I ever driven poorly? Of course we all have.

Educate yourself. When people do things that are annoying, they may have a hidden disability. For example, some people have poor social skills like me (because of my childhood). So if someone’s invading my personal space I tend to get upset. But if you take the time to get to know me, I’m very kind and treat people with respect. Just sometime I get it out in words but actions. Remember everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing that it’s stupid.

Give the person the benefit of the doubt. Someone once told me. No one wakes up in the morning and says “I think I’m going to be a jerk this today.” Most of us do the best we can with the resources we have at the moment.

Feel good about you. If You feel good about your parenting, you have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If you feel good about your body, you shouldn’t go around making fun or other people’s weight or appearances. We are hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived deficiency.

And finally remember that judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are.

Give the

What to do When You just Don’t Feel like You Fit In.

I don’t fit in and I’m not supposed to. I’m not hereto fit in, and that’s okay. I’m here to be my unique and amazing self, and you are, too.

I’ve always felt different, like I was born in the wrong time period, or maybe even on the wrong planet. I just don’t “fit” anywhere or with anyone. You’d likely never realize this if you spent any amount of time with me, but it’s true.

When I was younger, I got good at pretending to fit in. Talking about things I didn’t care about, doing things I didn’t necessarily enjoy, and making myself appear “normal” when I’m so clearly anything but. As I got older, I learned to embrace more of what made me unique and different, and learned how to be more myself and exist in a space of truth and authenticity alongside everyone else.

Yet, despite all the work I’ve done,there are still moments where the feeling of not belonging anywhere or with anyone is all consuming. It happens randomly , usually when Im in a group of people, whether friends or family, who are having a good time. There will be a conversation or laughter, and I may even be enjoying myself… until all of the sudden Im not because I’m actually aware of the truth: I don’t fit in here.

Sometimes it’s that I don’t really care about the topic at hand. Sometimes it’s that I don’t really fit with the people around me. Sometimes it’s that I feel like the oddball of the group.

Mostly, though, it’s that I realize I’m not living in a life in full alignment with my truth. Because, if I was, I would be somewhere else having a different conversation, with a different set of people, and showing up more fully and completely as me.

I’ve done a lot of work over the years to align my life, relationships, and work with my passions and purpose. I’ve made major shifts, had hard conversations, and have pushed myself in ways that stretched me to tears. I’ve aligned , shed,grown, shifted, created, released, healed and cultivated. I’ve done a lot of work.

So when these moments happen, despite the fact that I momentarily stop breath and the world feels suffocating, isolating, and overwhelming foreign… I feelgratitude. Gratitude for the never ending nudges that bring me closer to my whole truth and my whole self. Nudges that say, hey love, this isn’t right for you. This isn’t where you belong. This isn’t really who you are. Nudges that prompt me to make changes so that, albeit slowly but surely, I start to show up more fully and completely in my life.

What ever makes you different, that’s exact who you’re here to be, not someone that fits with everyone else.

What do you do when you don’t fit in:

Be kind to yourself

You’re not alone in this feeling, regardless of how intense, frequent or unique to you it may feel.i remember attending a conference a few years ago where the speaker asked “who here feels like they don’t fit in?” Over half the people in the room raised their hands. You are not the only one who feels like they don’t belong there are tons of us. So first and foremost, be kind to yourself. Because even if you’re the one person in the world who really truly has no place, you’re still going to be stuck with you. Love and accept yourself fully, even when it feels like no one else could possibly.

Stop trying and instead, notice what makes you different.

One of the most common mistakes we make when we don’t belong is to try and fit in. If you feel like you don’t fit in, there’s a very good chance you don’t, and this isn’t a bad thing! Pay attention to what’s Specifically triggered that feeling for you. Is it that you don’t care about the things others do? Is it that you’re spending more time with people who are opposite? Is it that you don’t enjoy the activity at hand? Not fitting in doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you or the people around you, it just means you’re different. Use this as an opportunity to explore what would need to change for you to feel like you fit. This isn’t about changing yourself or forcing yourself to be anything you’re not, it’s about changing yourself or forcing yourself to be anything your not, it’s about taking an honest look at the situation.

Maybe you need a new set of friends or to spend less time with your family. Maybe you’d rather be at a cultural event than be out drinking. Whatever it is, just make note of it and create better alignment in your life, work, and relationships going forward.

Embrace the truth of who you are.

To be in this world, but not of it.

Billy Graham

Here’s the truth I’ve learned that’s changed my world. I don’t fit in and Im not supposed to. I’m not here to fit in, it would be boring to fit in. What ever makes you different is actually who you are supposed to be. Not someone that “fits” with everyone else. We are not created to be the same but different that’s the spice of life. You may not be the person who stays out late with friends, instead you may be at home studying something that lights you up. You may not be there person who can bond over sports or celebrity gossip. Instead oh may be the person discussing what you believe in. Embrace i! That’s who you’re heartless be and it’s perfect, beautiful and needed in this world. The sooner you embrace the truth of who you are, the sooner you’ll find where you fit and start feeling more joyful and fulfilled by your life and relationships.

So tell me…

Where are you trying to “fit in” when you should be embracing what makes you unique and different? Where are you softening your edges, doing or talking about things you don’t really enjoy, or shrinking yourself to fly under the radar? Where do you need to change or shift to create more alignment in your life and relationships?

That Little Voice in your Head.

Did you ever notice the little voice inside your head that’s constantly running the play-by-play of your life-to you, The Who’s actually living it? Did you ever Listen in to your inner navigator, the ones who’s unceasingly packaging your life, verbally preparing your experience for transmission to another unidentified listener? I just went on a mini retreat, but apparently the inner narrator didn’t get the memo that is was to remain silent. For the first couple hours the voice in my head didn’t stop talking, not even to catch an imaginary breath. With obsessive precision p, it explained to me what I was doing, how I had transformed, and what spiritual lessons I had learned. Over and over my inner narrator repeated my experiences to me.

It’s a odd thing, really: As we’re having an experience, the little voice in our head is simultaneously describing, explaining, and commentating on it, providing a summary before, during, and after its unfolding.

The narration is so interval to our experience itself, so uninterrupted and merged with it, as to make us wonder if there could be an experience without the report. If an experience happens with the little voices inner acknowledgment, thinking,and commentary, does it actually happen.

It’s interesting to notice that the little voice is not without its own characteristics. It has a certain language, style, and tone, it does it’s story telling and commentary with a thematic constituency. Like a Hollywood screenwriter, the voice tends to write in a particular genre- tragedy, comedy, drama, film. Our commentator is a character with an identity of its own.

Did you ever wonder why our mind is telling us what we’re doing while we’re still doing it, as if we didn’t already know? Or why our mind is so adamant about getting the story of our life figured out, written, and packaged? And finally, why we need to rehearse the tales of our life before we actually need or want to convey it to another person.

The mind believes we are made up of mind and mind alone, and that without its felt presence, we would cease to be. If the narration were to stop, and the mind was not experiencing itself through the act of thinking there would be nothing-oblivion. A mind off duty, experience without thinking, is tantamount to nonexistence. The mind creates a story of an/; it creates an / as an object in our consciousness. In doing so, it maintains both experience of a self and the experience of a self, which it believes are needed to ensure survival.

In relentlessly narrating the story of ourselves to ourselves, the mind is attempting to make life, and us, into something solid, knowable, and constant. By creating a main character called me (played by mind) who’s living something called my life, the mind attempts to transform a short groundless ever-changing nature of being into something that can be understood, managed, and in theory, controlled. it takes what is really one unified process, life, from which we are inseparable, and spilts it into two different things-

First is there a downside to living with this inner narrator, and second, do we have to live this way- is it part and parcel to the human condition? Is there no alternative to a second-hand version of life, knowing experience only through the mind’s description and commentary?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, there is a downside, and no, we are not condemned to live this way.

The small downside to living with the play-by-play of your life ceaselessly running in your ear is that it can be intensely agitating and distracting. There exists constant noise in the background and foreground of your life, like having a mosquito buzzing in your ear, one that you cannot silence or ignore.

But on a more profound level, the downside to the inner narrator is that it stands in the way of your actually getting to experience love firsthand, in all its richness. You’re regulated to living through your narrator’s description which is really just a mental representation of the real thing, like a postcard of the a beach or a description of chocolate. The little voice goes on then to offer commentary on the narration- a representation of a representation- and you are now two layers away from the direct experience of living.

You also might notice that the voice in your head presents it’s version of your life as a truth. It reports your life story as it were the actual reality existing in the objective world. It’s liberating, however , to realize that the narrator’s account of what is happening is all going on inside your own mind and only in your mind. It’s not real in any sense, but another story about a story which begins and ends inside your consciousness.

The good news is that you don’t have to live this way. If you’ve ever been deeply involved In a activity, you might have experienced what’s known as a flow state. In flow, we’re so engaged in what we’re doing that we cease to be aware of ourself. We’re no longer the one longer the one doing the activity- we’re literally absorbed into the experience itself. We become the experience, we become life, rather than the one who is living it, and all notion of time and a separate / disappears. And while the mind has convinced us otherwise, what we discover is that when the mind is not there self-referencing and reminding us of our self, we still exist. We do not disappear, which suggests we are more than our mind. Awareness remains, even when we lose the felt sense of our self as the one doing our life. Such experiences- the-one in which awareness of our self disappears, when there is experience but no / doing it- are the ones that we later describe as wholly satisfying, blissful, and even divine.

The experiences in which we are gone are the ones that we most crave.

The remedy for the little voice in Our head is three-fold. First, we have to get exhausted by it and become so fed up as we decide that we’re not willing to listen anymore. Once that’s happened, we must start noticing our narrator and become conscious of its voice as an object appearing in our awareness. Finally. We set a clear and fierce intention and desire to experience life directly, through our senses, now and not just received reports on it. We commit to diving deeply and directly into the ocean of life.

Listening to the that little voice in your head is a habit- one with deep roots, survival instincts, and lots of practice, but still a habit. With desire, willingness, and intention any habit can be changed. Each time you catch the voice in your head describing or commentating your life, practice a new habit: directly experiencing your actual experience. Each time you hear your little voice, pause and celebrate a moment of awareness- the fact that your hearing it means that there’s another Parton you awakening that you whom the narrator is narrating to. Next, Intentionally shift your attention fro your head ( which is where our energy is focused) into your body. Invite your body to consciously relax. Take and feel a deep breath. From there, run a sense loop: See what seeing , hear what your hearing, feel what your feeling, smell what you’re smelling, and taste what you’re tasting. Experience each, one at a time. Finally, sense your own presence, the feeling of aliveness in your body (but not your mind). With this practice, the little voice will grow quieter and less relentless, and the living will become more vivid, satisfying, immediate, and ultimately real.

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Shifting Our Focus

The foundation of who we are lies in seeking the perspective of our creator, rather than the false gods we can make others into. But it takes a deliberate shifting on our focus.

When I feel tempted to rely on a person’s opinion of me, I try to put that energy toward drawing out what God is saying to me in that very moment. I may ask, Lord how do you want me to see myself right now?

Now, many of us feel it’s easier to trust in another person’s opinion than In God’s. It may be the same kind of thing children face when their mom say how wonderful they are and they say “You have to say that, you’re my mom.” Let’s keep this in mind though. As we said earlier, God knows us even better than our own parents. He is also unable to lie. Unlike human beings, He can’t stretch the truth. When he says we are inherently valuable and He rejoices over us. (Zephaniah 3: 17), it’s true.

And there’s more.

Once discovering what God says about us, we then have to turn it toward ourselves. It’s actually not enough to say “God accepts us full and says we’re important.” We have to agree with him-and tell ourselves the same thing.

We won’t appreciate the freedom of His truthful words until we believe them, take them in and say to ourselves, God values me, and therefore I value myself as well.” We have to start paying attention to how we talk to ourselves. Rather than just being pulled along by a flow of negative thoughts, we need to stand up to them. We need to say what God would say to us in those moments. If He has accepted us and thinks highly of us, if He loves us and hopes in us unconditionally, perhaps it’s time we did the same.

Seeking Validation from Others May Be Ruining Your Life

Let’s face it Everyone wants to be liked. It feels good when someone pays you a compliment or likes a photo we post to Facebook.

But do you ever feel preoccupied with wanting attention from someone? Have you ever found yourself obsessing over what that person could be thinking about you, or stuck on that time your friend made a negative comment? Most of us can say we’ve experienced- or continue to experience on so e level that annoying anxious feeling.

When we are focused on people’s responses to us (good or bad), what we’re really doing is looking for their approval. We want to know that we’re liked and what we do is good, and if all that lines up, then we really feel accepted. We measure up. While this experience is entirely common for us as humans, it brings huge problems.

We are only making assumptions.

Despite our most well thought-out theories, we often can’t be sure why someone does what they do. Sure, if a person doesn’t respond to you text message as quickly as usual, they could be mad at you for something you did. They could also be facing a mini emergency at work that is taking tons of time to fix. It could be that after that moment of chaos they even forget to respond all together. Of course you don’t have all this information. And if you blame yourself it’s just wasted energy or a false assumption.

How others act is a reflection of them.

The Bible says, “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” What a person says, or what they do matter, come from within them. It all flows from their life experiences, along with their own potential insecurities and past wounds. It has nothing todo with us. We shouldn’t take responsibility for something that comes from another person. And we certainly shouldn’t label ourselves by biased messages.

Others don’t have the knowledge of God.

When we are grasping for feedback from other people, we give them authority in our own life’s. In essence, we’re asking them to tell us who we are. Not only does this dishonor God, who alone is our creator, but it also just isn’t accurate. Even the closest presto us doesn’t know us as well as God does. They haven’t been around our whole lives, seen us through our journeys, known our inner world or potential as God does, and they also don’t know what the future holds for us.

Another person can’t determine your status if they don’t know you from the inside out.

The Issue Comes From Us.

One of the main problems with looking for validation from other people, is that if can’t actually fix the restless feeling you feel. And here’s why:

You see, that nagging desire to get responses from others is not actually about those other people. What it’s really about , is how you feel about yourself. If you are on a quest for another person’s approval- it’s because there’s a part of you that doesn’t completely approve of yourself.

It could feel like a tinge of dissatisfaction, a concern that we aren’t where we “should be” or a large gaping hole of inadequacy. We might not even be aware that we feel that way until someone actually hits a nerve. We feel suddenly injured or restless to fix their opinion. We then know we’re lacking the inner security we maybe thought we had.

Truth be told, if we accepted ourselves completely, we wouldn’t need to look for validation.

The problem is, the more we look for approval outside of ourselves, the more we reinforce the feeling that we need it. It perpetuates the cycle. And it doesn’t help us. The positive attention we receive feels good temporarily, but it cannot fix the source of our discomfort. Of course the (even perceived) disapproval just fuels anxious feelings, sadness or resentment. Peace can only be found as we address what’s going on inside us, because that’s where the problem lies.

And this is actually good news. While we have no control over others’ behavior or thoughts, we do have control over our own. If the problem is ours to fix, we can indeed fix it.