I was watching Oprah last night, and she had Nadya Suleman as a guest. She had octuplets a couple of years ago and, as you might imagine, was feeling extremely overwhelmed and worried about how she was going to continue to care for her family.

In this show, Oprah talked about how our society is addicted to judging others.
Nadya has been put through the wringer in the press and judged very harshly by the public.

And while her situation is extreme - we can all relate to her in some way.
We have all had days when we just felt like we couldn't do it anymore.
We have all had moments where we were overwhelmed and stressed and burned out.
If we take a moment to see how similar we are to someone we judge or dislike,
it will help us empathize more with them and their situation. It will help diffuse some of our own anger and create a space where love can replace it.

And doing this doesn't mean that you agree with that person's actions - you are simply acknowledging the humanness in their situation.
You are acknowledging that we are all doing the best we can based on the knowledge and tools that we have available to us at that moment.

I met some people yesterday who were very kind and supportive toward me. And yet they made some comments that weren't kind and supportive toward someone else. After our conversation, I stepped back and thought about why they would make such a comment. And I realized it was because they were working with the knowledge and the tools that they currently had. They certainly weren't bad people - they had good hearts and were simply doing the best they could.

And while this doesn't condone their comments, this did help diffuse my own anger and help me realize that we are all on our own path learning and growing at our own pace.
We are all human - we all make plenty of mistakes along the way.

Judging others only hurts ourselves.
Being able to empathize and put yourself in another person's shoes will
open your heart and soul.
It will help you grow and be able to love even more fully.

Think about someone you have recently judged.
Write about why they may be acting the way they are.
Write about why that upsets you.
Write about your similarities.
Imagine you were in their shoes and had only the tools and the knowledge that they have.
Open your heart to them and realize that they are simply doing the best they can.

We are all human - and we are all on this journey of life together.
We're all learning lessons and trying our hardest to live our best lives.
We all have open hearts and kind souls.
And if we can open them up even to those we judge - just imagine how the love would flow.

Author's Bio: 

Jodi Chapman is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life: How an Unlikely Friend Helped Me Reclaim My True Spirit; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her amazing husband, Dan Teck. www.jodichapman.com