By Aditi Raman Shridhar
We all undergo diet detoxes at some point in our lives in order to enhance our health and well-being. We switch to healthy fruit juices, fresh vegetables and nutritious recipes and incorporate suitable physical exercises to meet the need. But rarely do we peek into the garbage of stupid thoughts piling up in our heads. It is time we detoxified them.
Last week, my husband and I attended a party thrown by a close friend of ours, Amy. Lots of people had gathered and there were interesting conversations taking place in different groups. Some talked about the stock market and how they were planning to make an extra buck. Some discussed food recipes. Some discussed their children and some engaged in light-hearted celebrity gossip.
It didn’t matter what the topic of conversation was because the only thing common was the innocent barrage of judgements people made about themselves and others. Harmless statements, you might think. But not if I showed you how they affect the psyche.
A gentleman in the stock market group remarked – I am not a finance guy so I canlose money in this trade. Another gentleman said – Trading is difficult. But I will help you get insight into it.
A woman in another group said – I am excited with my new job. Salary is not much but I don’t need too much either. My husband is earning well. Another woman added – As it is we women have children as the primary responsibility. We can never make as much money as our husbands.
A mother who was quite perturbed with the growing pressure of studies in her daughter’s school said – I don’t know how my daughter is going to cope with so much studying. She is not so hard working.
At the outset, none of these statements seem threatening. They are pretty normal. But if you feel so then you are without a doubt judgmental yourself and you are sabotaging a lot of good things in your life unknowingly.
Judgement is pretty straight-forward in its definition. It is a separation from Love and from your true nature – which is infinite and divine. What you think occurs in your reality. So when the gentleman said – I am not a finance guy so I can lose money – He is already establishing a relationship of loss in his trade. He is judging himself as ‘not a finance guy’ and therefore not giving himself any chance to do well in trading. Any of his wins will be pure luck for him. When his friend adds – Trading is difficult – he is cementing the fact that trading is not an area of expertise for his non-finance companion. These two statements are enough to adversely affect the individual’s performance in stock trading.
The conversations among the women are equally dangerous. “Salary is not much but I don’t need too much” and “We can never make as much money as our husbands” are two very common statements among women, across all cultures around the world. Women judge themselves as not being high-earners because of their gender and they consider the responsibility towards home as an obstacle in their career. There are countless examples of women such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, International Monetary Fund President Christine Lagarde, and many heads of state who have illustrious careers and a happy family life. And these are women working on an international platform. There are thousands of businesswomen, celebrities, politicians, social activists, artists and others on a more local level too in each country.
The third example is of the mother who established that her daughter is going to have a tough time in school because she is not hard working. A parent’s fear always affects the psyche of the child because kids seek validation of their identity and performance from parents. What do you think will be the environment at their home around studies?
How Judgement Begins
Marisa Peer, voted as Britain’s No. 1 Therapist, says that judgement begins from an early age in our lives when we develop a sense of rejection. As babies, we dance, sing, and talk without fear of judgment. Babies never worry about how chubby they are or that they are having a bad hair day. They love being watched and adored. They put their hands in a dog’s mouth, or put the fingers into an electric socket. They don’t know fear. Do you remember fearing anything as a baby? No. Butwhen we grew up, we started limiting those dance moves, apologizingfor our singing, and worrying if we’ve said the wrong thing.Why does this happen?
Peer says that babies are only born with two fears – of being dropped and loud noise – and neither of them are about what other people think of them.When we grow up, all our fears are of an acquired quality. Children start experiencing comparison by adults and marked on parameters of talent and looks. They start believing that they are not entirely perfect and the fear of being judged starts holding them back from pursuing new activities. Soon you find adults only making ‘safe’ choices in love and career – opportunities which they know they are safe for them and where they are absolutely certain of their performance.
Famous spiritual healer Gabrielle Bernstein says Judgment is the No.1 reason we feel lonely, sad and disconnected. Our culture and media place enormous value on social status, looks, racial and religious separation, and material wealth – all of which are tangible. So the gap is also very visible. 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. In fact the very nature of making fun of others, writing off others or judging others is a way of making ourselves feel better and to hide a lack within ourselves.
How Judgements Affect Us
We all hold on to a set of beliefs that our culture or media has fed us with since we were kids. Judgements of any kind make us feel better or worse than someone else. It is always about comparison. Therefore, to feel better than others is equally a flaw as it is to feel worse than others. To see yourself as unique just as everybody else is the only true escape from fear and judgement. Let’s look at some examples. May be you resonate with some of them.
* I am a woman so I cannot make as much money as a man
* I am a woman so I have to sacrifice my career for my husband and children
* I am a man so I must be rude and authoritative to be taken seriously
* I am a man so I cannot cry in front of anyone
* I am from a poor family so I cannot do much in life
* I am from a wealthy family so I don’t need to work
* All politicians are evil so I don’t want to work with them
* All businessmen are greedy so I don’t want to be one
* Education is pointless when there are no jobs in my country
* I am happy so I don’t need to improve my life
* If I am spiritual I should not run after money
* Snatching from others is fine because they got more than me
Do you find yourself aligning with any of these statements? The easiest way to find your judgements are by checking what you say after ‘so’ or ‘because’. I am a child SO I must do only what my elders allow. I cannot earn much money BECAUSE I am not well qualified.
6 Yummy Detox Recipes
In her book Judgement Detox, Gabrielle Bernstein talks about 6 steps to become judgement-free:
Witness your judgement without judgement – The way out of judgment begins when you witness the judgment without more judgment and accept that you do it. Get intimate with your judgment, identify the triggers underneath it and get honest about how it makes you feel.
Honour the wound – The next step is to honor the shadows and bring them to the light. Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT is a psychological acupressure technique that supports your emotional health. Get it done by an expert or try something simple at home. For example, you came up with a judgement that – I am ugly. You probably feel so because some elder told you so in your childhood or some event occurred in which your mind concluded this statement and made you feel it is the truth. Say aloud – I am ugly. And then bring up every event and memory that is associated with it. Say aloud -My aunt told me so. My friends laughed at me. And then heal it. I still love myself and I let go of this feeling because this is not the truth. Add more positive statements to heal yourself from this wound and soon you will say goodbye to this judgement.
Put love on the altar – Once you’ve witnessed your judgmental thoughts and honored the wounds, pray. Let go of your feelings and wipe your mental slate clean. Choose to see with love and blessing.
See for the first time – After you have cultivated compassion, you’ll be ready to shift how you see the people you’ve judged. We judge others and ourselves by projecting old experiences onto our current circumstances. Release the person from the false projection and enjoy a better relationship with them.
Meditate for oneness – No one is above you and no one is below you. This is the most crucial belief to acquire in order to be completely free of judgement. When you talk to another person – say to yourself – He is me/ She is me. Melting away all separation and restoring oneness is key.
Forgive – This step is the most passive, but also the most powerful. Forgive all old experiences and memories and let go of them.
We all struggle with judgment every day. We judge ourselves and our spouses, our children and family members. We judge our neighbours, country and pretty much anything in our sight. Judgement gives us a quick hit of self-righteousness and we feel better. But in reality the very opposite happens. Judgement weakens us and puts us in discomfort and isolation. Release judgement now and be free. A little effort is all it takes. Until next week.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian journalist, therapist and health instructor.