Judgement. Taste it. Taste the lingering bitterness upon your lips. If it doesn’t give you a bad taste in your mouth, it is because the ego has sugarcoated the word for you for how ever long you’ve been unaware of the bitterness it brings to your life.
Recently I picked up a book by Gabrielle Bernstein called the judgement detox. I was drawn to this book in my endless flip through of new inspiration simply because of my personal awareness and relationship with my own judgement and criticism. I decided a couple of years ago that I would change my way of thinking about myself and my surroundings. I wanted that vicious and ruthless voice to stop dominating my everyday conversations I have with myself. You know, that voice that throws you thoughts out of nowhere. The voice that tells you all that’s wrong with everything, yourself and others alike. This ego turned my life into a never ending documentary with a cruel and merciless commentator – transforming a beautiful world into a gloomy scene. I guess one is not aware of it until one actually address it. You see, I was tired. I was tired of the negativity I brought to myself. I wanted it to stop. I then decided that I would ask myself how I justified my nasty thoughts about others and why I thought what I thought. Who am I to criticise complete strangers on a bus? Based on what? What does it bring to my life? These where the questions I asked myself once that viscous commentator started going. I had a serious conversation with myself – every single time. Let me tell you, it’s no picnic in the park. But it was necessary. I think it took about two months until I didn’t have to address the Hyde to my Jekyll on a daily basis regarding what my eyes could see. Until it stopped being an everyday battle. The result of doing this was actually massive. Not only is my everyday life more wonderful than ever from stopping criticising and judging others – but in the process I stopped doing this to myself as well. The relief of this cannot be explained. It has to be experienced.
Now, my Hyde is not dead. Far from it. He is not buried either. My Hyde is very much alive and going. I don’t want him dead, not by the least. What I do want is for Hyde to be balanced. For his influence to be of benefit, for him to not gloom my life away. Judgement is necessary, you see, to some degree. It’s a survival mechanism. We need it to assess situations, to make decisions. The challenge occurs when this little monster grows out of its proportions and eat you. And it is easy to detect whom is all consumed by their monster: pointing out others flaws, high self criticism (often also disguised in the critic of others), the urge of assertiveness – to mention some of the symptoms. These symptoms, when not addressed, can build the biggest life-lie and bury you in your self-deception. Nothing good comes from either. You are creating your own personal hell and when it starts to crack, the fall will be much harder. Much harder than facing reality, which is hard in it self.
When I started the book I though “well, this is exactly what I’ve been doing!” and was very content with myself. Maybe a little to content (Hello Mr.Hyde). I decided to make use of Jordan Peterson’s rule 9 from the 12 rules for life An antidote to chaos: Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t. Gabrielle Bernstein definitely knows something I don’t, and the things we do have in common, she puts in to a symphony of very understandable words. She says:
While we all have different stories that caused us to separate from love, we all have the same response to feeling alone in the world: fear. One way we respond to that feeling of fear is to fight back by judging others. It’s our way of trying to build ourselves up. We lean on judgment as our great protector. I cannot overstate this: Judgment is the #1 reason we feel lonely, sad and disconnected. Our popular culture and media place enormous value on social status, looks, racial and religious separation, and material wealth. We are made to feel less than, separate and not good enough, so we use judgment to insulate ourselves from the pain of feeling inadequate, insecure or unworthy. It’s easier to make fun of, write off or judge someone for a perceived weakness of theirs than it is to examine our own sense of lack.
Judgement protects us. It protects us from our innermost deepest feelings of lack, shame and weakness. It also protects us from making deadly mistakes. So however tempting it is to evict judgement all together, judgement is a necessity. What we do not need is judgement to rule our lives. We need to address ourselves, we need to stop glooming down ourselves, our lives and everything that enters and exits. We need to look inward and to be honest with ourselves.
I only started this book, so I’m not in a place where I can give a full review. But the book has already inspired me and given me something of value. It’s message is so important that I wanted to put it out there right away: Don’t let judgement, whom is there to protect you, be your destruction.
I Sincerely wish that this has inspired you as it inspired me, and if you choose to pick up the book: enjoy your read and a good taste in our mouth.
Have a lovely Sunday.