A Crumby Lesson on Judgment

I visited someone’s house and upon entering the kitchen I noticed food crumbs on the counter. I made a judgment. “I don’t like it,” I thought. “I like it that I clean my counters.” This seemingly unimportant moment happened years ago, yet the memory has come to mind many times. I often wondered why. Today, I understood the lesson.

As I went into my kitchen this morning, I was greeted by a counter strewn with bread crumbs from my breakfast toast. Again, I was taken to the instant when I made the judgment about another’s housekeeping habits, and with the sweetness of an unexpected epiphany, I understood.

When we judge, the judgment stays with us. It follows us around pointing to an untruth we tell ourselves. It keeps popping up reminding us not of another’s supposed shortcomings, but of our own misalignment with truth; the false belief in separation.

This morning, my counter was no different to the one which I perceived as off-putting. Truth be told, there have been many times when it has been less than pristine. And while on the big issues I didn’t see myself as a judgmental individual, I must admit (to myself) that I can be more mindful of the small ways in which my mind filters and translates my experiences. Regardless of the scale, in judging the other (or anything for that matter), we judge ourselves.

A judgment is a statement of separation. It says, “I over here. You over there.” This is an untruth. I over here. I over there. You over there. You over here.

When we judge, we bring forth to light a perception about division. It is not a statement of truth, but rather a reflection of how we perceive ourselves as separate from the other. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, wherever you go, there you are. The judgment speaks to what we believe. Through the loving nature of the universe, it will continue to “pursue” us until through clarity and choice we are able to dissolve it.

Living a conscious life means we live with the open intention to be aware and mindfully responsible of our energy, including our inner thoughts. I encourage you to pay attention even to the slightest of reminders. It is a passageway to find the wholeness of you.

Finally, thank you bread crumbs for showing me the nooks and crannies still needing my attention. Now I’m off to see what lunch has in store.