10 Ways to Escape the Painful World of Self-Judgment

selfdoubt 10 Ways to Escape the Painful World of Self-Judgment

It would seem – given the speed and ease with which most of us judge others (including ourselves) ­– that there’s something natural, even good about it. After all, just about every time our eyes alight on someone or something, we judge it as good or bad, all based on how it stacks up against some inner ideal we have of how things should be.

Why is she wearing that? He’s so clueless. OMG: I look terrible today. The inner comments never stop, and often come out in complaints we express to others. But we don’t see them as complaints. To us they are nothing less than our intelligent observations of life around us.

We also don’t see how this endless stream of judgments hurts us. When we impose a negative view on things and people based on the past conditioning we bring to the moment, we can’t experience life directly, or see the good it may be offering. We can’t see the beauty in what we’ve summarily cast away.

Of course, the most painful form of judgment is self-judgment, when the critical eye is turned back on ourselves. Within our inner courtroom, we are defendant, prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and “executioner.” We hate ourselves for not living up to some image of how we should be, and then, to dampen this pain we turn it onto others by judging them.

End this cycle now! Here are 10 ways to see through the self-inflicted pain of judging.

Please note: our intention here must not be to escape or otherwise control this unconscious nature. Resisting our own dark thoughts and feelings does nothing to release us from the pain they produce in us. Spiritually speaking, the task is much simpler, and far more effective: we need only become aware of how we feel when we judge. Waking up in this way to what has been going on in the dark of us allows us to actually "taste" what judgmental thoughts do to us and others; and the more we can taste these negative states, the greater grows our natural distaste of them! Like unhealthy foods we finally see as such, so too do we lose the appetite for weighing and measuring others on our “scale.”

5 Liberating Truths About Judging Others 

When we judge others, we don’t realize we’re really judging our own unconscious image of them. But when we become aware of others, we can’t judge them. We know their hidden inner state, can see its similarity to our own, and would not do anything to add to their pain. So, consider the following:

  1. Our judgment of others is inseparable from the false belief that our nature is somehow different, superior to those we see through the eyes of our disdain. But, it is not our so-called “character” that differentiates us from those we judge as being inferior; rather, it is only a temporary difference in passing time and circumstance that creates our pervasive, punishing delusion of who is greater, and who is not.


  1. We judge others in the vain attempt to separate ourselves from our own negative reaction to them. This is like believing that turning our back on something we don’t want to see in a mirror changes whatever it is we’d rather not see in it.


  1. Avoid useless pain by seeing the truth of the following: judging others doesn't change how much they disturb you; it serves only to distract you from seeing just how little it actually takes to set you off.


  1. Sitting in silent judgment of others is the coward’s way of picking a fight and winning it...all without having to do a single thing other than just be the instrument of some unseen negativity.


  1. Our relationships with others, whatever their choices in the past that caused us pain, ought never blindly determine how we treat them in the present. After all, if the Divine decided to judge us “once and for all” – for even a small portion of our poorly made, self-centered decisions – surely It would have given up on us a long time ago. 

5 Liberating Truths About Judging Yourself

One of the great invisible impediments to realizing true self-perfection lies hidden in our tendency to judge ourselves any time an unwanted moment challenges some flattering self-image. This self-judgment is the dark effect of a divided mind that acts against itself as it first “creates” an inferior self through an imagined comparison to some ideal, and then sits in harsh judgment of that imagined self. Consider the following when caught in self-loathing:


  1. There is no “worst person” in the world; it's not you, nor is it another we judge. What is the worst in all of us is a lower level of consciousness that will not – actually, cannot – see itself as it is. Instead of mindless self-judgment, choose consciously to stand in the light of Truth that comes to reveal, and heal that divided state.


  1. Judging yourself for coming up “short” is like believing you increase your height each time you feel compelled to measure it.


  1. Criticizing ourselves is one of the chief ways our lower nature keeps itself hidden within us...even as it perfects the way it punishes us. We believe the judgment of any character weakness in us must be coming from a nature superior to – and therefore better than – the character it judges. This is the lie. Seeing the lying self in action frees us from it...along with its painful deception.


  1. Harsh self-judgment feels like a necessary part of perfecting yourself, when in truth, it's only the mechanical action of an unconscious mind punishing itself for not being as it's imagined it ought to be.


  1. No one can continue to mistreat without you having granted them the license to do so. This includes any form of suffering born of judging yourself.


See Through the Lie of Judgment

Judging yourself or another seems to prove the presence of an innocent  “you” – someone who is superior to the inferior character now being condemned. But both the superior and inferior parts of the equation are really opposite aspects of the same lower level of consciousness – and neither is who you really are.


To discover, and then see through how you’ve been identified with these opposites is the same as freeing yourself from the painful world of ceaselessly comparing yourself to others, and vice-versa. Inviting the light of this kind of self-revelation is the same as rising above the world of painful self-judgment.


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