What if I said everything we do, feel, or say stems from judgment? Do you judge others? Do you judge yourself? Even if you didn’t answer yes for one or both of those last two questions, you could be judging yourself as guilty or innocent, good or bad, right or wrong.
What if I said all judgment comes from the same source? It comes from our programmed mind, also known as our ego-mind.
In every moment we are either observing or judging. As Day 3 “Born Innocent, Programmed Guilty” explains, we are born to observe and to judge.
Right now your programmed mind is judging what I am saying is right or wrong, true or false, or your mind is totally distracted and squirming to change your focus to something else. Perhaps your mind is beginning to wander onto any topic other than this one. I will give you a fair warning. I am about to poke the sleeping bear.
Fear of judgment from themselves and from others is a huge block for most people. It will keep some playing small, afraid to shine brightly in this world. For others, their fear of judgment will be their driving motivation to prove to others they can do it, they are worthy, or that they can overcome all obstacles.
I have done a lot of work around releasing judgment and consciously shifting my mindset around how I look upon the world. When I am with a client, I have no judgment. I have no judging thoughts because I am in alignment with my heart. I am deeply observing the energy, emotions, images, visions, and sensations while tuning into my client. Judgment does not exist. I hold sacred space as I am shown their root blocks.
I am an intuitive healer. As you read those words, chances are you are passing judgment in your mind. Passing judgment is a habit of our programmed mind that I am about to challenge. I can see dis-ease in another person’s body and feel others’ emotions and physical pain in my body as if they were my own. I can sense the layers beneath and behind everything they are saying and feeling. Some would call me a modern-day witch. Back in the day, I would have been burned at the stake for my gift, because others couldn’t understand it; but more accurately, they were terrified because they judged it as unsafe, wrong, evil, or unnatural.
I can sense others’ judgments of me and of the world when I tune in and I can see what is behind the judging thoughts. On some level, we believe judging others keeps us feeling safe and protected, but the truth is judging others keeps us imprisoned by fear. This often paralyzes us.
I lived in fear most of my life. It was terrifying to be myself and to let others see or know my real self. I had a power inside that kept me running and hiding. Because I judged it myself, I ran from my gift, denied it, hid it for most of my life. I thought I was being punished because I have an understanding. First, I didn’t understand it, I believed I was cursed. And second, because I was terrified about what others would think, say, or do if they found out.
How many times have you let your fear of judgment stop you? I bet you can’t even begin to count. How many times has the fear of judgment motivated you? “I’ll show them.”
The good news is we can’t feel judged if we don’t fear judgment. Judgment is at the root of all our fears. Without judgment, we would not be afraid of anything. We would simply be present, observing the world in front of us.
We are born naturally observant. Then our minds are programmed to judge and so we judge everything. Our mind fears judgment because it has been programmed to. So how do we stop judgment? We begin within our own minds.
Most people focus energy on their fear of judgment instead of on their own thoughts of judgment. If everyone in the world focused on stopping their own thoughts of judgment, the world would no longer be judgmental. If we each changed our own mind’s programming instead of worrying about what others are judging, we would make the most progress in the shortest amount of time.
Let me break it down a bit. Judgment without a pre-conceived story or personal opinion is simply an observation. In order to observe the world without judgment, we need to look at everything as if we know nothing. The problem is that we think we know what we don’t know. Even though our mind thinks it knows. We only know what we were taught to know. The mind gathers knowledge and that knowledge can be true or false. How do we know if the knowledge we hold is true? We can’t really. It is all based on our opinions and beliefs. Where did our opinions and beliefs come from? We were taught how to perceive and what to believe through our programming.
Our mind thinks it knows, but our heart knows. Our heart has no judgment because our heart has no thoughts, beliefs, or stories about anything. It allows us to be deeply present without history. When we filter everything we see through the lens of our heart, we can observe, be fully present, and be mindful. With quiet stillness in our minds, our hearts can observe the world without judgment.
One of my mentors and motivational speaker Les Brown says, “When your desires and your beliefs are not in alignment, you will always manifest what you believe.”
The world programs u to live and lead with our logical mind, to think things through, to weigh the pros and cons, and to analyze every decision. That is the challenge. If we simply let our mind take the passenger seat and allow our heart to drive and lead, our experience of life would instantly change. If we choose to see the world through our heart’s eye—our insight—we are able to observe without judgment.
Try it for a few minutes. Look around the room and find something to look at that you feel somewhat neutral about. At first, you will still have some level of judgment occurring in your mind because it is such a habit. Do your best to simply observe an object (a chair, for example) and invite the mind to be quiet. It might help to say, “I have placed the meaning I have on this chair. I think I know about this chair but what if I don’t really know anything about this chair?”
Now imagine bringing your awareness down into your heart and looking through the lens of observation. Allow curiosity to soften and open your mind. You may begin to notice other details about the chair that you hadn’t noticed before. You may still find some judgments coming in. Place those thoughts aside and see if you can observe the object as if you were looking at it for the first time. This is an easier practice when your focus is on something you feel neutral about. Once you practice, you can start to change your point of focus to other things you are more attached to or that you have some opinions about. It will take some practice to re-program your mind but the peace of mind it will create will be well worth the effort. It will also foster more open, vulnerable, and authentic connections with others.
Remember that we think we know what we don’t know. This thinking closes our minds and our hearts. If we try on and embrace the idea that we have no flippin’ clue about anything, we can open our minds and be willing to see the world differently. That also includes being able to see ourselves differently. When we observe without judgment, we can see others and observe life through a lens of love and compassion. When we make a conscious choice to stop judging ourselves and stop judging others, we stop judgment right at the source—our own minds. Imagine if we all did that all together, all at once; all judgment would cease instantly.
Stay tuned next week for chapter 5 ~ What We Can’t See, We Can’t Change
***This is an excerpt from Sue Dumais’ book “Stand UP Stand OUT Stand STRONG ~ A 30 Day Guide to Navigate Life When the SHIFT Hits the Fan”
Published on atfortyfive.com with permission from © Sue Dumais
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