I feel I need to begin with 'my' definition of
judgment, as there seems to be a lot of confusion about
that. To me, judgment means that you are placing a value on
something or someone - making it/them 'bad' or 'good',
'right' or 'wrong' to varying degrees. You can call this a
This is quite different than discernment, which
is whereby we 'evaluate' a person's actions, healing mode,
food, etc. and 'decide' whether or not we 'choose' to
participate with that person or partake of that food/healing
mode, etc., and to what degree.
Here are a few stories that exemplify how
suspending judgment and practicing discernment with love can
positively change an outcome.
Some years ago, In the beginning stages of a
possible relationship, Bill was late for our second date.
After about a half hour, I wrote him a note, taped it to the
door and left. "Bill, I waited awhile and then decided to go
and do something else."
I later explained to him that I could see he was not
necessarily a prompt person, which was fine with me. I gave
him these guidelines for future dates. "When we make a date,
I will expect you to be on time, within about 10 to 15
minutes. If you're late, then I may or may not be there when
you arrive. We can consider that a 'casual date' where we
both have choices. If however, we 'agree' upon a specific
time, I will expect you to honor that agreement as will I.
Well, needless to say, Bill stepped to the plate,
NOT because I was trying to control him, but because I gave
him choice, which is always empowering. On our very next
date, Bill was flying his plane towards our local airport.
Thinking he might be about 5 minutes late for our dinner
with friends, he called me to let me know he might be just a
bit late, which he actually was not. This engendered mutual
respect and trust, which created a great foundation for the
relationship, which quickly became a live-in one, lasting
three glorious years.
In that case, I didn't judge him as a person who's
always late, which he had been until then. Instead, I
decided to give him a chance. Knowing full well that Bill's
lateness didn't work for me, I stated clearly what I needed
from him letting him know that I was willing to never see
him again if he couldn't agree, and he shifted accordingly.
Now that I had his respect, I could set a more
important parameter in our relationship. I learned that Bill
had never been monogamous a day in his life - having been a
true hippy of the 60's. Knowing this would never work for
me, I told him, "Although I have no reason to believe you'll
ever be faithful to me, if I ever even get wind of a this
sort of transgression, our relationship will immediately
end." For other complex reasons, we parted three years
later. However, from that time forward, Bill was completely
faithful in his relationships. Through a past life
regression I learned this apparently also completed a karmic
contract we had made many lifetimes before.
In other relationships, I discern what I do and
don't like about a person, and if there is enough to keep
the relationship going, I participate on a limited basis.
The Victim's Triangle
Because this next example includes the concept
of victimhood, I'd like to first explain about the Victim
Triangle. Visualize a triangle. At one apex is the Victim,
at another, the Persecutor and at the third, the Rescuer.
When involved in the Victim Triangle, we can and will be any
one of these, at any point in time, as the roles are
undeniably interchangeable. Here again, I am not placing any
Judgment on the word Victim, but I feel it's important for
me to identify Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer aspects in a
person so that you can make a conscious choice if or how you
may want to be in relationship with them.
I had a friend who was a perpetual victim.
'Coincidentally', on the same day that I learned about the
'Victim Triangle', I was to meet Maria to see a movie
preview at one of the Hollywood studios. At the end of the
movie, we stayed awhile to fill out the questionnaires and
mingle with friends. Later on, when we entered the parking
lot we were shocked at what we saw. In a huge, almost
empty lot that holds thousands of cars, Maria's
borrowed van was parked less than a foot away from another
car. Here's the thing - the only working door on the van
was unable to be opened as it was too close to the other
car! Sooooo, we had to locate the owner of that car in
order to be able to leave, which took quite a while. For me,
this was such a clear example of how Maria was yet again
victimized and how I had ALSO become a potential victim!
The reason I had to stay is because I promised her I
would follow her in my car so that she could return the van
to her friend, after which I would take her home.
Fortunately for me, I was not in a time crunch, so I was
only potentially but not actually victimized in that
situation. However, it did open my eyes to seeing how a
limited relationship would work best for me regarding Maria.
She and I remained friends, but I was careful from that
point forward, not to not count on her for anything
important or to put myself in any other situations where I
could be victimized.
This next much more dramatic true story was
inspired by my Central Park story, told to a small group of
people some years ago. It tells how in a state of
fearlessness (and remember - fear is the opposite of love)
one can simply stand in ones truth to hugely change the
outcome of the situation to even save one's life. I like to
call Tom Haney's story...
A night in Bulgaria or Close Encounters of the
"In 1968, I took a trip to Europe with a
Russian-speaking group. Traveling down through central
Europe, over to Istanbul, we spent a night in Sofia, the
capitol of Bulgaria.
"Even though it was dangerous to be out at night, I
wanted to see Sofia. It was a time when the communists were
in control and terrorists were kidnapping and killing people
all the time. It was a Police state. In other words, if the
police found you out at night, you just disappeared.
Everyone in the group thought I was crazy and refused to
"There was one brave girl, however, who did join me.
And so we went walking around Sofia on the beautifully clear
night. We were soon approached by three Syria men who, when
they found out we were Americans, started talking with us in
English. They had to be really well-educated Syrians to be
in Europe, speaking English as well as they did.
"We quickly got into a rather heated conversation,
which I was enjoying because I had studied political science
and international business in college. They were saying that
the American people and those from other democracies hated
Arabs, Muslims and Egyptians. My position was that people
are just people and that we're all just the same. They were
holding the view that there really was a kind of segregation
among people, real differences and these differences could
only be solved through violence. And so we were just sort of
on opposite sides, which was okay with me. After all, we
were just talking.
"Then at some point, they decided that they couldn't
handle my position any longer, so they pulled out knives and
started to walk towards us. The girl I was with grabbed my
arm and said, 'We've got to run away.' I looked around and
said, 'Well, there's really nowhere to go.' Since I'd been
kind of talking about how we're really ONE anyway, that
feeling got deeper and deeper in me. I turned to them,
looked at them and thought, 'But we are just ONE.' I felt
there was nowhere to run because I hadn't been fighting with
them. I had been explaining what I believe to be true. So it
felt like I was standing in this place of personal truth and
couldn't turn my back on that.
"I was radiating the essence of what I was saying.
At no time was I calling them a bunch of Syrians or anything
like that. That was not in my energy at all. So I just
looked at them and thought, 'Well, I gotta stay in this
place of knowing, because if I leave this sense of knowng
that I've been in the truth, that's the only way there can
be harm. If I stay in this place and trust in it, we'll see
what happens.' So I stayed in that peaceful energy and just
walked towards them without any threatening intentions. With
my arms outstretched, looking straight in their faces, I
walked towards their knives, thinking all the while, 'They
can put them right through my stomach.' It was a powerful
"They weren't far away to begin with, maybe only
five feet. All of a sudden they got these startled looks on
their faces. They looked at each other and then at me, then
turned and ran away. I guess they had expected me to either
run away or come running at them fighting. They might even
have thought it was a pretty good thing to knock us off. You
could tell by their arguments that they were arguing a line
rather than what they really felt. I had a sense they knew
on some level they were lying to themselves.
"The way I saw it, I spoke and became my truth and
how could they kill the truth? That would be too much. It is
one thing to deny their own truth and speak a hateful line.
It's another thing to literally kill the truth because in
doing so, you would almost have to kill yourself. They
couldn't face the truth. That's why they ran. We are not the
enemy. The lies are the enemy. And that's a loving place.
See, I include them in the loving and that's what I think
made the difference.
"When that unconditional love is based in truth, in
the moment, it just seems that anger can't exist at the same
time and place. It's as if God and the Devil can't exist in
the same space. The ice has to melt in the presence of the
sun. And when you stand in love and truth, you are truly
protected. I think it's the key."
Here again is a perfect example of how love,
through standing in one's truth, can and will transform
situations that might otherwise (in this case) have tragic