In every street there is a Mrs. Judgement and a Mrs. Honesty. One day Mrs. Honesty decided to visit Mrs. Judgement. As soon as Mrs. Honesty arrived, Mrs. Judgement began to complain about her new neighbours, a family of foreigners.
“She is a terrible housekeeper”, said Mrs. Judgement, “you should see how dirty her children are… and as for her house! It is almost a disgrace to be living in the same neighbourhood. Just take a look at the clothes she has hung on the line, see the black streaks on the sheets and towels.
Mrs. Honesty walked up to the window to look, “Actually the clothes are quite clean, my dear. The streaks are on your window!”
Like Mrs. Judgement, how often am I deceived by my own dirty windows into projecting my own ‘misjudgements’ externally, fully convinced that I am seeing the truth? The original seed of misjudgement colours everything I see, so each interaction with my neighbours reinforces my attitude. Until a Mrs. Honesty arrives. Only then do I look closely at my eye-windows. As I begin the process of cleaning the dirt from the outside of my windows I notice something interesting. There is also dirt on the inside. The dirt outside is the product of external influences, atmospheres, opinions and attitudes. The inside dirt is of past experiences, perceptions and assumptions unconsciously colouring my vision.
Just stop for a minute, and reflect on the feelings of judgement and self-righteousness that arise in you, as in all of us. We are aware that these feelings leave us more separate, more isolated, more frightened. And yet within all of us we have the great voice of the critic or the judge. Everyone is on trial. Whether we verbalise our judgmental thoughts or keep them for our own private consumption, others do feel their effect. Reflect again on their opposite. Remember the feelings of forgiveness or understanding. Remember how you wish to be treated when you have made a mistake. Remember how you felt when you let go of someone’s past and offered them a fresh start. Just imagine the healing in relationships if I have the humility to let go of judgement.
Extracted from an article by Charlie Hogg from Australia