Evolving from Judgment to Discernment


Dear Laurie,

I used to get irritated at slow drivers and call them names such as idiot or loser. And, I spent years looking down upon my in-laws. But now I see things in a different way. I noticed that when I’m more accepting of others I feel more peaceful.

But there is one relative that really does irritate me. I think they’ve made bad choices and I don’t like them and don’t want to be around them anymore. Can you help me get past this and feel peaceful especially since I may bump into them at a family function? — Cindy


Dear Cindy,

That is so awesome that you are evolving from a place of judgment to acceptance! This means you have grown within your own communication and acceptance of yourself. The way we relate to others begins with how we relate to ourselves.

We all have people in our lives that we clash with and don’t seem to have a strong resonance. Discernment is choosing what feels good to you and respecting that choice without the need to make something or someone bad or wrong. This resistance causes disharmony. To discern something is similar to choosing a favorite note on the piano without judging the other notes, choosing to enjoy country music without making classical wrong or bad.

Try this visualization in your quiet time. Set your intention to release your uncomfortable feelings. Close your eyes, breathe and relax. Place your hands on your heart and think about your relative. Allow all of your authentic feelings to express and be present. Now imagine gathering up all of your negative feelings about your relative and place these uncomfortable feelings outside of you into a big balloon. Say outloud, “I’m ready to release these feelings.” Release the balloon and watch it ascend up to heaven to be transmuted into love.

Place your hand on your heart and say outloud, “I unconditionally accept this relative. I unconditionally forgive them. I am ready to fully accept myself. I choose to see the beauty in him or her. I respect her or him. I choose peace.”

Breathe peace and unconditional love into your heart. Imagine your heart opening and filling with love. Allow this love to spread throughout your entire body and feel this love expanding your heart. Trust that you released and untangled from this energy. Feel your own love for yourself. Now open your eyes.

You don’t have to have a relationship with this relative. The intention is to clear and release the disharmony toward your relative so you can be in peace. And, if you see them in public you won’t have a negative reaction. And, try not to take their behavior personally either.

Practice only using loving, kind and endearing language to yourself. I challenge you not to speak negatively about anyone including yourself. Practice responding with love. Open your heart and imagine being in the vibration of love all day. Allow your language and communication to come from love. Before you speak, ask yourself, what is your intention behind your words? Can you offer appreciation and see the beauty in others? To connect with others, we drop into our heart and focus on seeing something beautiful, unique or interesting about them.

You’re doing a great job! I’m proud of your journey!


Laurie Martin is a leading teacher of self-love and personal empowerment. Laurie is a certified life coach, yoga teacher, writer and author of “Smile Across Your Heart: The Process of Building Self-Love” and her new e-book, “The Conscious Breakup Guide.” Join Laurie for her stress release workshop on April 13. For more information visit smileacrossyourheart.com/shop or email Laurie.