Jul 302012
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Whereas judgement assigns an emotional value on something, discernment is when you assess a situation or a person objectively and decide that you don’t want to participate. For instance, they don’t like apples, and decide not to eat one. There is no emotion attached to the decision. Just a simple “no thank you.”

Maybe an acquaintance keeps making disparaging remarks about Jill’s clothing as a way of teasing her. Jill has the right to decide that this isn’t a person she wants in her circle of friends. It doesn’t mean that she judges this person as “bad.” Just that the person’s actions makes her uncomfortable, and she doesn’t want to be around them.

Jill can accept the person as they are, knowing that they have the right to express themselves as they want. But also knowing that their self-expression isn’t compatible with hers. And if they really hurt her feelings, she can accept the individual, but not the way they act. If what they’re doing is inappropriate, then she can separate it from the person. Suppose a child leaves their bicycle behind her car, she doesn’t see it and runs over it. The child isn’t a bad person. They just did something irresponsible.

Being discerning means detaching from a situation, and letting go of any need to feel superior. It also means not avoiding making a decision for fear of being judgmental. Either of those issues has an emotional charge. Discernment is a spiritual quality, and one which we all need to develop for our spiritual evolution. We need to learn to say “no thank you” to that which is our lesser good, so we can say “yes” to our greater Good.
For if we can’t decide between turning left or right, how can we learn to follow the path of our Highest Good?

Copyright 2001, 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

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