Mini-Post: 32 Flavors of Judgement

I was a bit proud of a post on my blog’s Facebook page a few days ago. It went a little like this:

If I judge myself based on the eyes of society, I fail because there are too many opinions.
If I judge myself based on my own criteria, I still fail because my mind changes moment to moment.
But if I learn to identify and recognize the particularly sour flavor of ‘judgement’ as it arises, I can spit it out and take a sip of water, savoring the complicated colorful glorious mess of perfection that takes judgement’s place. And then maybe I can do something from the heart.

If we learn to smell judgement, no matter how cozy it looks, we can put the cup down!

If we learn to smell judgement, no matter how cozy it looks, we can put the cup down!

This idea was rolling around in my head for a few sleepless hours during the night, and I was excited to wake up and explore it. It was inspired by the most recent blog post in some ways.

 

The Lose-Lose Situation of Judging Yourself Lovingly

I feel like a lot of times in self-helpy circles or new-age ones, there’s this idea of “The only person’s whose judgement matters about you is your own.” But see, that doesn’t work for me.

Because if I judge myself, I’m still judging, and judging is kind of a lose-lose situation. I’m either better-than or worse-than something or someone else, and neither of those feels good. When I feel worse-than, it seems like I should feel “happy” once I’m better-than, but if such a thing does happen through some quantifiable event, it still doesn’t feel good, because then something or someone is in the worse-than slot.

Maybe I’m a hippie and December 21st 2012 is coming, but I really am feeling like duality is falling away from me like an old skin. It’s still always going to be there, but there seems to be a light beyond it. There seems to be a choice now.

There is a line in a song I recently made that says “Duality only goes so far, and it always seems to stop just shy of right where you are.” That pretty much sums it up. We are never in an either/or better/than situation, so those words and judgements are never going to fully feel real and present. Reality just isn’t that way. Or as Greg Brown says, “This life is a thump-ripe melon. So sweet and such a mess.”

But What if I’m Only Thinking Happy Judgy Thoughts?

If we want to see ourselves as lovable and worthy, that’s great. I don’t think that’s the same as “judgement” if we are really feeling that sense of love, because feelings are not felt in words. Does that make sense? Thinking “I must be lovable!” creates a natural void where “not-lovable” lives, and we can fall into it at any moment as long as Judgement is our shaky wildly unpredictable ground.

But feeling lovable, even for a moment, is not creating an opposite, it just is. Maybe making the choice to feel the things we want (or try to) is better than thinking them with our all-positive-yet-forced judgement.

Those are the thoughts for this mini-post!

Your Turn!

Do you have feelings about judgement? Do you think that you are your own best critic, as they say, or do you think that something else is?

Do you like feeling “better than” other stuff, even if it’s just your previous selves that you are “better than”?

Do you think it’s possible to live outside of duality for more than a few seconds at a time? Do you think those seconds are valuable anyway?

Does the whole concept of duality just confuse you and make you want to go find a cozy blanket and watch the Alien anthology?

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18 thoughts on “Mini-Post: 32 Flavors of Judgement

  1. See that nerve? You just hit it.

    Duality is a search for oneself by trial and error. I am so very guilty of this, my mind often sounds like an optometrist, “better or worse, better or worse.” I’m taking great pains of late to limit this kind of thinking, sometimes I even succeed. I do offer one of the questions that has been of great service during my rebuild.

    “Is this me or not me.”

    The things in my world, or my past, that I accepted based off flawed questioning, those that went against my core, blossomed into my grandest mistakes and missteps.

    Now, were’s my binky and Segourney Weaver. :)

    • Don’t we love Miss Weaver? I love her. She is such a badass.

      That is a good question to ask – is this me or not me. It is so interesting!
      That question alone for me spirals off into a few other questions..but perhaps they are best left for another day.

      I guess there is sometimes value in those grand mistakes in some sense, it’s like they have their time and place in each life (or not) and perhaps it’s all part of the process of just getting older, wiser, and all that good stuff. Because that flawed questioning is so common! But does it always melt away so seemingly easily? Hmm..maybe the favorite activity of questions is to lead to more questions..

  2. Each person’s journey is just that, personal, and unique to everyone. There is no wrong or right answer.

    With that being said, I have been watching alien, aliens, and alien 3 for like the past month on showtime or cinamax, one of the two I can’t remember.

    • Haha my boyfriend bought the Alien anthology..and we just watched those and then the star wars trilogy. I cried during both, they are so intense!
      And I agree about people’s journeys, that is a great way to put it. They are all unique, and that is a beautiful sort of beauty!

  3. Another thoughtful post Jennifer, I very much like your initial ‘FB’ thought.
    For me we might think of ourselves as we think of music. Enjoy your own tune by all means, However, if you wish to join the choir, you will need to harmonise. Your solo singing is not wrong, it is only a different pitch to the choir. The choir is not right, merely singing in their pitch.
    We are not obliged to join any choir, but most of us are lonely alone. There are many choirs we might join, so we can find one we sing comfortably in.
    Too much time doggedly ‘being yourself’ will mean you become unable to harmonise with anyone. So be aware of what is ‘being yourself’ (a stupid, empty expression anyway – we are always ourselves – even impersonation is a way of being we have chosen) and what is being stubbornly individualist and may leave you very lonely.
    I tire of hearing people declare “I’m determined to be myself.” They are often the same people who moan that “nobody ‘gets’ me”. Be determinedly ‘you’ if you must – but if you insist on speaking only your own made up language, don’t complain when nobody understands you. Understanding is harmony – a two-way thing.

  4. If it’s because you’re a hippie, may we all be blessed with a wee bit of what you’ve been drinking. I would call it a healthy maturity. “It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless.” Yep, even the Good Book chimes in its agreement. Sitting before the mirror trying to convince yourself that you are good enough, smart enough, etc. is as pointless as sitting in front of anyone else’s face seeking such affirmation. I love that the essential name of God in my tradition is “I am that I am” or “I will be what I will be.” Being made in that divine image, could it really be so simple after all? :)

  5. I really enjoy your posts because you are continuously analyzing and critiquing ideals and behaviors within human civilization that I personally never actually think about, and the way you word such aspects is articulated in a very intelligent and thought provoking manner.
    Often I am in full agreement with much of your opinions – this time, not so much I am afraid. Your arguments are valid and cannot be faulted, however, why can’t you just be yourself? Why do you, or anyone else for that matter have to judge yourselves? Why must you be better than or worse than anyone else?
    This argument reminds me a lot of something a shrink I once knew a number of years back made reference to. He said that if you wish to become, for instance, a writer, then in turn you obviously want to become the best writer in all the world, because you don’t want to just write – you want to be the best. The shrink implied the ideology that there was this constant competition, and in whatever occupation you choose to commit yourself to, you simply have to be the best. I wondered, why can’t I just be a writer? Why was there this huge expectation that I should become magnificent in a chosen field? Why was there this weight upon my shoulders? Why was successful professionalism so important? Why couldn’t I just be me?
    So, I ask again, why must we be better than or worse than someone else? If we think we are worse, then that is just negative, but if we think we are better, then isn’t that pretentious? Of course, in regards to your question and ‘feeling better than previous selves’, this I can agree with, because the art of bettering oneself is always advantageous and necessary in furthering one’s endeavors.
    In regards to judgement, I know that I just made a huge argument against it, however I will answer your first question by saying that I believe that you are always your best critic. You live inside your skin; you live your life; you know what you can do; how you feel. You can analyze yourself better than anyone else, right?
    Also, in regards to duality…totally makes me want to go see the Alien anthology. I’ll take chest bursters over this scary stuff any day.
    Sorry for the rant/comment/thing. Please feel free to defend your honor! Cheers!?

    • Cheers! Haha, I don’t disagree with you, I want to see things the way you do, it sounds like you see them in that way of less comparison and better/less than stuff that plagues my brain. It is that specific thought processes that I would very much like to get rid of. If that super-powered-self-criticalness didn’t arise as often, then it wouldn’t be such a nuisance I suppose.

      I think that on a moment-to-moment basis, it feels better to not be judging, even if one comes out on top, because then it feels icky and pretentious like you said. Feeling present really doesn’t feel the same as better than/less than thinking. But at the same time, there is no escaping that duality for good- it will always be there and, like stats, it does have a purpose when used wisely.
      Maybe all of this is just about how to use things wisely- the wise musician Ani Difranco said “Every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right.” and in that way, stats and judgment and all types of things can be tools or weapons against ourselves and others, and when a moment may call for one or the other, then it is good to at least know both ways :)

  6. The older I get, the less I judge because I have a theory that I have developed over the years…. it is all about our inner child. I am on a journey to judge “me” less and go back and rescue the “child” within me, to go back and bring her home. I have spoken a lot about that in my earlier posts when I first started this blog.

    I feel that it also is so with others… if we only knew where they came from, we might understand them better. Take it from a total past “judger” I cringe at my intolerance in all subjects. If we could only stand in the shoes, no, the souls of other we might be less to pick up those stones and look at our own glass walls. I guess what I do judge are the judgers and as you said… isn’t that a bit of an oxy moron?
    Great Post! Very thought provoking! Love some of the perspectives as well!

    • That is so cool, and a very refreshing way for me to see it. The inner child is such a versatile and inspiring concept/phenomenon and thing to think about, it can go in so many directions and they always illuminate something! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the perspectives :)

  7. I love you Jennifer! You mentioned Sam Elliot in your Christmas post and now the fact you ended with the Alien anthology and a cozy blanket… you are my soul sister. I absolutely love this post and it is because judgement is what ails me. Judgement I have of myself and judgement I perceive from others. It is my biggest challenge to overcome and the only way I have been able to understand it is exactly how you present it here. Understanding that my desire for “good” judgement opens up for “bad” judgement. I cannot have one without the other. Therefore, each day I strive to recognize any judgement, “good” or “bad” as what it is, simply, and not fuel it. It is quite difficult for me because of insecurities, but this is my lesson to learn. I must dispel the strength I give to judgement, both “good” and “bad”, and only I can do that for myself. Again, I love your post and perspective because it helps me in my quest to live in that space between thought in the silence, between judgement, between the dualism. Just free to be. Luv ya girl!

    • Aw I love you too! I am so glad you found this post, we are plagued by similar things. I keep trying to do this as well- to realize that good and bad judgement, especially extreme, really lead me nowhere good. It’s not always possible but it’s good to just have that intention sometime! Oh also I am going to email you a song in a second.

  8. I try not to judge others, but I know I do sometimes. I always say I don’t care what others think, but I do sometimes. I think I am my own worse judge and I don’t mind that at all. :)

    • Haha same here, my friend. Same here. I think paying attention to how fast we can let ourselves let judgements go is maybe more productive in the end than trying not to judge at all. That just dawned on me.

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