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Vail Valley perspective: Judgment is ego; discernment is soul

Catherine Zeeb
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Webster defines “discernment” as the ability to grasp and comprehend what is obscure. It defines judgment as the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by comparing.

Everyone judges. We judge ourselves and we judge others. We always seem to have an opinion about someone or something. Judgment is the work of the ego; it loves to judge. Judgment is a way of making ourselves feel better about who we are by shifting our own discomfort onto others.

Discernment is a way of knowing what serves our spirit, our soul and our life. It is a way of understanding that feels uncomfortable without beating down or beating up. Discernment is connected to our spirit and judgment is connected to ego.



It is hard to differentiate between judging someone and discerning whether they feel good. To begin with you must be aware of how you feel and how things in your life serve the soul. Being present, breathing, checking in, living in the moment, recognizing what feels right and what doesn’t ” these are all ways to learn what works for the soul.

Here is an example of discernment vs. judgment: You run into an old friend at Starbucks. You haven’t seen this old friend for a long time because of some past issues you had with some unethical things they were doing. They want to sit with you and tell you about more of their dealings.

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Within a few minutes of being with them, you feel nauseated or you get a headache. You pass it off as having eaten something earlier that hasn’t settled well in your stomach or maybe it’s just been a long day and now you have a headache.

If you are paying attention to discernment, the body is trying to tell you that involvement with this person is not working for your soul. Your body is getting your attention to help you realize that it is OK for you to walk away ” that you can excuse yourself from a situation that is uncomfortable for you.

Discernment frees us. It gives us permission to take care of our soul, to spend time with those who serve our soul and to do things that serves our soul.



In judgment, you would stay and listen and judge. As this old friend is telling you about their unethical practices, you may be telling yourself how bad this person is or how wrong what they’re doing. But you stay and listen. Why?

Maybe you are afraid they won’t like you if you excuse yourself. Maybe you are afraid of removing unethical people from your environment because ‘everyone needs friends’ and you don’t want to be the person who steps away from people in your life. And then they call and now you spend more time with someone who drains your soul.

When we listen to our bodies and listen to what serves our soul, we will find that our discernment helps us live in truth. Judgment is gossip and gossip is of the ego. We do not need to judge others for what they do, what they wear or who they are. If we judge, we cannot live in peace.

Discernment will be a feeling of comfort, a feeling of OK, a beautiful way to care for the soul. Choose to keep as much in your life as you can that serves your soul. The benefits are wonderful.

Catherine Zeeb holds a doctorate of philosophy in Metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards. You can visit her Web site at http://www.healing-spirits.net.


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