Know your judge to master it
“We never know the quality of someone else’s life, though we seldom resist the temptation to assume and pass judgement.” – Tami Hoag, “Dark Horse”
The verb “to judge” means to form an opinion or conclusion about something or someone. Technically, this means that every time you voice your opinion about someone you are in judgement. For me, I think there is a distinction between being judgemental and sharing concern for someone; it comes down to the motives behind the opinion. I try to ask questions such as; “For whose benefit am I having this opinion?”, “Is my opinion a reflection of any of my shadow aspects?” or “Would I share this opinion with the person I have the opinion about?”.
In Positive Intelligence (https://www.positiveintelligence.com/) they note that we all have a “judge” within us, judging ourselves, others and situations. The first step in dealing with the judge is to recognise that you have one, and trust me, you do. Familiarise yourself with it and pay attention how it talks to you about your experiences, others and yourself. What are the aspects that your judge attaches to? Your judge might be superior, dismissive, vain, pride, or some other character. Once you recognise your judge you can name it and start choosing to diminish its voice.
One of the ways to work with your judge is to stop looking at experiences as good or bad, they are simply just opportunities to learn. When you then notice yourself referring to anyone or anything as good or bad, you know your judge is at it and you can chose to put it in the corner. When it revs up the judging of yourself, and you notice it, you can approach it with a light heart and say “oh there goes the judge again” or something similar. If you see it as a part of you, but from a different perspective then you are able to start diminishing the judges power and start building up a positive relationship with yourself.
The word you use, the thoughts you think and how you act will either feed or starve your judge. However, starving your judge by limiting your negative external sensory engagements is also very effective. It is all about external senses hygiene; listening and watching things that inspire you, eating food that is healthy and delicious, surrounding yourself with lovely scents, etc. News, advertising, gossip, poor diets, etc. all contribute to the judge staying empowered. One trick I’ve used is when I walk around town to notice when I start judging people around me, I then employ what I like to call compassionate questioning. I will start asking myself question about what it was like for that person as a child, what experiences and trauma have they may have gone through in their lives. When I do that, of course without knowing any answers, I understand two things; I don’t know their story and they are just the same as me on the inside. That creates a connection and makes it impossible for the judge to take up any space, it is dismissed to the corner. It comes down to changing your internal and external narrative.
Remember that the judge is a part of you, so this process is not about getting rid of your judge, but to diminish its power over you and to make it lose its voice. It is part of you and has been there to protect you from the time it was formed, so be grateful, but also know that it has done its service. When you have those emotions come up, do not dismiss them as being the judge, they are results of the judge, not it itself, allow and acknowledge them, giving the space to move through you and dissipate out from you. Check out the previous episode diving deeper in to this topic; “Triggers“.
Holding on to judgement perpetuates shame and guilt, so get to know your judge and let it know who is in charge. Move forward with compassion and acceptance and notice the joy that moves into your life.
Also published on Medium.