I would say one of the most difficult obstacles to peace and contentment is judgment. It is human nature to see someone or something and instantly judge. We all do it. When we meet someone we make assumptions on how much they make, what kind of person they are, and even if we like them or not. Some of this is instinct. We are following the instincts ingrained in us from our distant past when how accurately we judged a stranger or situation could mean life or death.
Many spiritualists believe to attain enlightenment we need to give up judgment. This can seem almost impossible, almost against your nature. Thoughts jump unbidden in our minds even when we see a perfect stranger walking down the street. if their clothing is dirty and torn we assume “They must be homeless or a drug addict.” If they are wearing workout clothes “They must be out getting exercise,” is naturally what we guess. Of course we could be completely wrong when we use outside appearance alone to judge someone.
What’s even more difficult is not judging people we are close to on their actions. We all have our opinions and when our friends or loved ones tell us something we don’t support or agree with we naturally want to give our opinions, no matter if they will be headed or not. And when these same friends go against our opinion and it fails, it is also hard not to think, “I told you so.”
Does this mean we all need to turn into saints and give up all judgments to be happy? I am not sure there are very many people in this world capable of that level of perfection. What I am saying is taking a step back and realizing every person on this planet is following their own path may create more peace in your life. If someone you love follows a path you feel may cause them pain, realize this may be the universe’s plan for them. Difficulties shape our character and without any hardships a person’s character would suffer.
I would not beat yourself up if you find yourself making judgments; just allow your judging thoughts to drift away like a spider web in a summer breeze. Don’t hold onto them and allow them to shape your beliefs and actions. Don’t treat the person in shabby clothing any differently than the person in workout clothes. Both are souls with as much right to exist in this universe as you and I. Every creature deserves compassion.