Judgment is the lesson I’m supposed to learn about in this life. Judgmental-ness pushes my buttons like no other – it really gets me fired up. That’s how I *know* it’s my lesson to learn.
One of my earliest, deepest feelings about judgment was centered on something I was taught – that the religion I was brought up in, Catholicism, was the only right religion.
As background, I grew up in a very strict Catholic household. I went to Catholic school from kindergarten all the way through high school. I wasn’t allowed to miss mass on Sunday.
I believe my Catholic upbringing was important, and I am grateful for it. It gave me a solid spiritual foundation, it gave me a true relationship with God, and it gave me faith in something bigger than myself. It also gave me a community of friends that I count as one of my life’s biggest blessings. And when things were difficult in our house, it was my parents’ faith that got them through. I’m extremely grateful for all of those things. But I also believe I was raised Catholic so that I could come face to face with this life lesson early in life.
I started to struggle with being Catholic because of the judgment that was placed on those who rejected Jesus as God. I knew that people all over the world were born into religions and were indoctrinated in the beliefs of those religions just as strongly as I had been indoctrinated into mine. Why should they have to reject their beliefs, and accept mine? I believed that only God has the right to judge, but the God I believed in was compassionate and loving, not judgmental. I believed that being a good person was more important.
I will never forget the first time I heard Oprah say, “In a world of six billion people I have to believe that there is more than one way to God.” It was as if I had finally found someone who believed what I believed.
I laugh when I admit now that I’m very judgmental of people who are judgmental. Oh, the irony! And don’t get me wrong – as much as I hate it, I am judgmental, too. It’s something I work on every day.
Part of working through this lesson, I know, is the important step of eliminating my own personal fear of judgment. I’m fearful of judgment because it means rejection.
I brought this up to a spiritual teacher of mine recently, who shared with me something that was so profound I knew I needed to share it here.
She pointed out that ALL humans are judgmental. Take our political opinions for instance. If we pick one side, we judge others who do not agree with us. And likewise, they judge us. And if we don’t take a side, we are judged. There will NEVER be a time when we are not judged. For ANYTHING, in ANY circumstance. So being fearful of it, and running from it is pointless.
What she helped me to realize is that I have to be true to myself, just as everyone has to be true to themselves.
This resonated with me because I understand at a deep level that what is true for me, does not have to be true for anyone else. No one has to believe what I believe, and I don’t have to believe what someone else believes.
When we are true to ourselves, we start to fulfill our life’s purpose, which is to help one another. At the same time, we have to be unattached to the outcome. We are not here to help everyone, but to help those who choose our help. Being our most authentic selves helps them choose.
We build communities when we find other like-minded souls who decide to grow with us, because they recognize us as valuable teachers. I created The Sage Sisters as a community around this idea – a community of positive, like-minded women on a journey of never-ending discovery, learning, and growth.
Since June of 2018, I have been on a spiritual journey. My current spiritual beliefs and understanding reach infinitely farther than my Catholic upbringing was ever able to give me. I know that it is important to share the things I’ve learned that have helped me to grow, that resonate with the core of who I am, and that have brought peace, understanding, and joy into my life. And I have to share it, no matter who agrees or disagrees, so that I can reach those who are searching for the information and path that I am on. In addition, my appetite for learning and growth, my love of reading, my detailed note taking, and my natural ability to organize concepts has me put me in a unique position to be able to learn and then share what I learn.
This all means that I have to stop playing it safe and neutral. So in a very real and intentional way, this is my spiritual “coming out.” Thank you for judging me for it (see that? progress! ), so you can decide if you’d like to walk with me on this journey or if your journey leads you to find another guide/community.
I welcome those who want to join me in discovering and learning together. It doesn’t matter if you practice a religion or have strong religious or spiritual beliefs. It does require an open mind, sometimes beyond the often narrow ways of thinking that we have been taught.
Of course, none of us will know the truth until we have left this life. But I do believe that each one of us needs to live in alignment with our core beliefs, which must feel authentic to your innermost being. Sometimes that has to start with actively examining and discovering what those core beliefs are – what deeply resonates with your soul.
I will continue to share a wide variety of self-development books and workshop topics, but without censoring what resonates with me to avoid feeling vulnerable. I welcome you to join the discussions and workshops that resonate with you, or intrigue you. As with all my events, the only requirement is a positive, open mind, and respect for each person’s experiences and beliefs.
In love and light ~ Janet