“Love is the absence of judgment.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
A post on self-judgment may be a little heavy for the younger reader, but I wish I had read this when I was growing up. So feel free to share with your son or daughter.
6:45am, Wednesday morning…
… I woke up this morning and wasted 5-minutes erasing stupid emails (Judgment #1).
… Making my lemon and water in the morning, I dropped a piece of the bottle cap in the lemon juice bottle… “Jesus LeBlanc!!” (#2)
… The Daily Show was pretty good, so I watched an extra 5-minutes. That was a waste of time (#3).
… I started working at 6:45am but multitasked most of the morning. I know better. I probably lost a half hour in productivity. Stupid (#4).
… I was dreading the gym. My scheduled time of 10:45pm had already passed, so I got stressed and down on myself because I couldn’t suck it up to go on time (#5).
… I forgot to call someone back on time because I got distracted. Damn! It will seem disrespectful (#6).
Indulge me for just a little while longer…
… I tried to scrape paint off my windows but failed to check the internet first. Upon learning that I didn’t do it right, I glared at that glass from every angle to see if I scratched it. Genius (#7)
… I shouldn’t have gotten that haircut at 4pm. I had too much work to do. I should have waited until the evening (#8).
… I really screwed up that spaghetti sauce. What the heck was I thinking when I added 3 heaping tablespoons of turmeric…. and ashwagandha. If you don’t know what ashwagandha is, that’s my point (#9).
… “Maybe next time you should learn how to re-pot a plant LeBlanc!”. Something about the plant coming out of the soil without the soil seems to not be too good. Another screw-up (#10).
Between the afternoon and the evening, there were about 17 spills, trips, and breakages to take us to #27. On top of that, throughout the day there were ‘interpersonal challenges’ that came up. In those situations, there is always something I could have done better. So that accounts for at least 6 more judgments. Almost there…
… It’s “Jack Wednesday’s” (my weekly early evening movie with my buddy Jack) and I didn’t get enough done today. I should have focused more (#34).
… Totally screwed up styling my hair after getting a fresh haircut. Smooth move Edward Scissorhands (#35)
… I’ve been questioning writing this blog this entire time that I’m writing it. Including right this moment (#36).
I didn’t list all 49 judgments because it would have made this post even sadder (or maybe pathetic is the word). Reading this, I am reminded how every single one of those judgments sapped my energy, some more than others.
So, soon-to-be adults (if you’re reading this), my point is… never judge yourself or entertain being judged. Hold yourself accountable (a form of self-respect) but don’t judge. Don’t get into the habit of expecting everything you do to be perfect.
Judging yourself serves no purpose. It implies that you should have been better, done better, worked harder. When in reality, what we’re doing is what we’re meant to be doing. There can’t be any judgment. What you should be focused on is aligning with your purpose because when you are aligned with your deepest self, all your actions support your passion. No judgment. No need for judgment.
The reality is that few of us feel that we’re aligned with our purpose. It’s this lack of alignment that allows judgment to enter. In a state of optimal experience (i.e. flow), we are literally living our best life. When you match your passion with this flow state, you know, actually even better, you FEEL that you’re living your purpose. In this reality, there is no judgment. Only acceptance of what is happening.
Instead of using misalignment as a justification for self-judgment, recognize that this is part of your journey. And this journey takes time. This journey isn’t predictable. You need to give yourself a break. You really do.
Sure you should have hit the gym earlier but you were in a groove working. Or maybe you broke a plate because you weren’t being mindful. Big deal. Eventually, instead of self-judgment, you’ll manifest the willpower to truly hold yourself accountable. From this, you’ll learn. You’ll drive harder. And you won’t be damaged by the constant negative self-talk. The unfortunate thing is that for many of us it takes a significant level of loss or pain to manifest the willpower to change. We continue with the day-in-day-out cycle of self-judgment, without knowing how destructive it is.
If judgment is a motivation to work harder or be stronger, then by all means. Judge away. But it doesn’t. It’s negative energy. Negative energy isn’t the path to a positive outcome.
Most components of judgment represent pure negativity. The tenets of judgment that ARE constructive lie within the realm of accountability. Meaning, if you hold yourself accountable you will reap the benefits of self-judgment, without the negative baggage.
So do yourself a favor. Give yourself a break. There are plenty of people who will want you to fail. There are plenty of people who will question your abilities. They don’t need YOU helping THEM push you down. Your focus should be on building the resilience to ignore their judgments, not on manifesting your own.
We Are All Equal, We All make Mistakes
One thing I am sure of is that each of us is a result of a confluence of trillions of events in our lives, making us unique. Being unique by definition implies that we are all equally valuable. There may be flawed societal constructs that value people based on monetary success, but they are exactly that, flawed. Money is simply a means to meet our most basic needs, and support our passion. Money not a unit of intrinsic value.
So yes, despite how we feel about ourselves or how others judge us, we deserve to be happy. Once we accept this, we start resisting the fear of failure, we start to flow. Our actions start to feel more natural and innate. We start to judge less, accept more. Fear remains an actor in our play but our hope and belief have finally tipped the scales in our favor.
I’m not speaking from a pedestal of enlightenment. If there were a Judgment Anonymous group I would definitely be in the 12-step program. Because when it comes to me, I’m still working out my kinks. I suspect you may be as well.
“Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.” ― Miguel Ruiz