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In Judgment We Find Safety. It’s Where We Get to Keep Hiding.

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ~ Wayne Dyer

In judgement we find safety. If I can condemn that person in some way, I get to continue hiding. By making someone wrong, I get to keep protecting myself in “right”. In condemning life as “unfair”, I don’t have to ever start living.

By judging someone’s artistic expression, I get to continue keeping my inner artist in check. By judging someone’s sorrow, I don’t ever have to feel my own.

In judging, I get to keep scapegoating others for the anger and shame held in my self-judgment. Those around me become my screen, my vision of myself. I don’t see them as they are; I see them as I am.

My judgements continue stopping me from perceiving things as they truly are, narrowed I am to the filters of projection. What I deny within, I deny without. What I’ve come to see wrong within clouds my perception of the world.

Stubborn and seductive, these inner judgments are indeed barriers forbidding me from opening to others, to life… to myself. They do well to prevent me from being hurt again, from feeling the eternally present pain lingering in my rigid, fearful body: the pain from having the wildness of my inner artist denied by my schoolteacher; the pain from my having my once-fluid sorrow made wrong by my parents.

Judgment was the best I could do, though, and continues to be so.

Through the lens of judgment I made sense of the world. I did so many moons ago when life let me down. In painting a negative picture of my mother, my father, my grandparents, my neighbours, teachers and friends, by casting a shadow of contempt over life, I was able to cope, to self-preserve, to survive.

Judgment kept me safe distance from the dangers of those around me, and from the dangers of feeling.

Those days are long over, but the pain still remains, tightly sealed, driving me into my busy, calculating mind, forming judgments, distancing me from truly opening and living. Judgment will remain my safety blanket until I’m ready to feel what lies underneath; until I can let myself be seen and heard and live the life I’ve been deftly circumventing.

Vince Gowmon presents keynotes and playshops and offers somatic Life Coaching in person, on Skype and over the phone. For more of his writing, subscribe to his free e-newsletter.

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Related training:
Leadership from the Inside Out ~ Opportunity to Learn, Safe to be Reflective, Empowered to Take Action

Related reading:
5 Assumptions for Non-Judgmental Living ~ A Personal Challenge
Start With Empathy ~ The Gift of Being With Others in Their World
6 Empowering Gifts of Anger ~ Reclaiming Voice and Choice through Red-Hot Primal Energy
The Disease of Being Right

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