Judgement, the deadly hall of mirrors.
A place where your greatest fears and insecurities are reflected back upon you, in the most devious, illusive way. Our judgements are quiet enough to exist incognito in our minds, hiding there. If we don’t shine a light on them, they can be persistent enough to leave a deadly trail.
I noticed since a young age that the flaws I noticed in others, were typically those I disliked in myself. I remember hating my legs and remarking about other girls things like “her legs are way too big to wear those kind of shorts!”.
As I grew older in years, I witnessed how my judgements became more complex and all consuming. Judging not only on the physical level, although I was still pretty good at that, but also on the more complex level of societal expectations. I was judging people’s relationships, their work, contribution, appearance, and so the list went on.
Judging me, judging you…
A persistent self judgement I uncovered was that of not being good enough. What is ‘enough’? Well, I never really asked myself that. But I was certain that I had not got there yet. I never felt successful enough, beautiful enough, talented enough, balanced enough, just enough at anything. I aggressively compared myself to others. Judging my life based on their external metrics, not my own.
So why all the judging?
Well, it feels good, at first. If I am judging you, I avoid judging myself. However, judging the parts of you I don’t like, or agree with, is simply judging that within me that I don’t like or have not yet accepted. So that doesn’t work out too well for us in the end.
It was only when I began to read Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, Judgement Detox*, that I realised how judgement had been running so much of my life and I began to get serious about making changes.
I began tackling my own self judgement of being ‘enough’ and moved to assessing my life based on my own internal metrics like, ‘Do I love what I do? Do I love the people in my life? Do I love who I am?’ These questions led me to a very different understanding and view of myself. So key lesson, ask yourself a better question and you’ll find a much richer, more truthful answer.
The beautiful phenomena is that once I let go of judgement of others, I did so too about myself. This was extremely liberating and a process I would really encourage you try. This is definitely an on-going process and I promise that you will be challenged on a daily basis.
The best example I have of this is when I was in the audience of Gabrielle Bernstein’s workshop on Judgement Detox. Gabby was sharing her story about how recently she caught herself intensely judging another woman, and this was after she had wrote her book on Judgement Detox. I caught myself judging Gabby for judging that woman. The irony of the whole situation was not lost on me! As I said, it is an on-going process!
I hope you find your own guidance through my story and can begin to acknowledge and release the judgements you hold, so you can begin to move to a more liberated life.
*Gabrielle Bernstein is a spiritual teacher who shares honestly her own personal challenges and lessons as she goes through life. In doing so, she has helped me hold a light up to my own judgements so I can begin to release them. I highly recommend her book, Judgement Detox, for a deep dive into releasing those negative beliefs holding you back, so that you may begin living an even better life.