Judgment or Discernment; How to Tell the Difference

“The practice of discernment is a part of higher consciousness. Discernment is not just a step up from judgment, in life’s curriculum, it is the opposite of judgment. Through judgment a man reveals what he needs to confront and learn. Through discernment one reveals what he has mastered.” ~ Glenda Green

At first glance, the emotions of judgment and discernment may feel similar internally. Both emotions occur as a reaction or a response to some thing – a person, place or situation, but the motivating force behind each one is how we tell which is which.

Unfortunately, many don’t dare to dig that deep and as a consequence are either blaming themselves or others based on what they believed was a “judgment” on their end, or staying involved in situations that life is trying to move us away from under the guise of, “I shouldn’t be so judgmental and even though this situation is bringing me stress, I’ll stay because I need to learn how to accept things.”

Looking at it from this perspective, we can see why many people, especially those well versed in spirituality or self-awareness topics, are often the very ones to put up with dysfunction more aptly than those who don’t know about such topics.

It’s almost as if as soon as we come to know that judgment is “wrong,” from a spiritual (ego-less) standpoint, we begin subconsciously trying to put up with everything that is happening to us (no matter how stressful it feels) as a means to help ourselves heal and unravel these alleged judgments.

At deeper investigation, we come to realize that many of our perceived judgments are actually insights that are guiding us into the situations that are either healthier, more transformative, or more fulfilling if only we would listen to these nudges and stop judging them as “judgments!”

By cultivating a personal communication system with your higher self and/or the universe that helps you to better be able to recognize a moment of clarity over a critical or judgmental thought, you begin to attune better to your internal GPS system. So what are some of the ways that we can recognize a discerning thought over a judgmental one?

Judgment or Discernment: which is which?

“True sincerity reveals a powerful form of clarity and discernment that is necessary in order to perceive yourself honestly without flinching or being held captive by your conditioned mind’s judgments or defensiveness.” ~ Adayashanti

In order to get attuned to decoding our thoughts and being able to tell whether we are being given a discernment or a judgment, we must go one or two steps further than just hearing the initial thought.

Often our ego mind acts as a filtering mechanism for higher guidance and turns what was meant as a gentle suggestion from our higher self into a judgmental thought, merely because the ego has been designed to thrive on judgments.

For instance, let’s say your higher self tells you that it is time to start eating healthier or adopt an exercise routine, the ego may turn this guidance into a thought that says, “you’ve gained too much weight, none of your clothes fit anymore!”

At first reaction this may feel defeating to our inner child or have it feeling unworthy, but if we decode the suggestion behind the thought we see that the solution to this perceived “problem” is a actually a healthy suggestion.

So by taking each perceived “judgment” and asking yourself within or out loud, “what is the solution to this judgment/thought?”- we find that this thought is not in fact trying to demean us, but rather point us in the direction of health. It was only the ego filtering clarity and turning it into a perceived criticism.

By simply investigating deeper and defining whether a particular thought is pointing us in the direction of health, love or peace or away from it, we very easily can begin to recognize judgment over discernment.

On the opposite end, let’s say for instance we have the thought of “this idiot doesn’t know how to drive, they just cut me off!” we see how there is no solution to a thought like this.. it’s not as though you can find the person and force them to take driving lessons, so here we see a judgmental thought over a discerning one.

A discernment has a solution that points towards fulfillment or evolving in a healthier manner, whereas judgment has no solution but rather is based in pure comparison, (“they are an idiot, I am not), or criticism.

By simply sitting with each thought of judgment we can easily find that deep within judgments often bring up some sort of “trigger,” or negative emotional reaction, whereas discernment will bring up an affirmative response in our heart, “yeah I probably should start exercising more and change my diet, that could only help my life not hurt it.”

All judgments provide some type of clarity

As consciousness expands even further into realizing that all things happen for a reason, we come to realize that actually every noticeable judgmental thought, (whether we have determined it a judgmental one or one based in discernment) is there to help us.

In the example of the driver getting angry used above, if we use this prompting of the emotion of anger and ask ourselves “how is this here to help me?” we find that often these emotions are pointing us to either love our heart/inner child more at this moment, (because what we need during times such as this is more love and compassion not less which in turn becomes a healing opportunity for some unhealed anger still existing within our energy field), or is reminding us to anchor the opposite emotion as a means of filtering this emotion out of the collective consciousness.

Many who know themselves to be empathic, or light-workers, know that they are acting as an energetic filtering system for humanity by turning judgment into acceptance and fear into love. When we know this we can use each reactionary feeling as a sort of alarm reminder to bless or anchor the world with the opposite.

In the example above, if for instance anger prompts us to say, “may all souls be blessed with forgiveness and acceptance” (which is the exact opposite of saying, “this idiot doesn’t know how to drive”) we actually participate in the healing of not only ourselves but all of humanity.

Image Sources:

woman looking to universe for guidance
head full of the cosmic skies
man looking into space

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