I’ve had an interesting journey with this subject over the past few days. Firstly, witnessing unfair judgement and criticism of others - intensely and at close proximity; and secondly, receiving judgement of my own deeds.
Let’s say a close member of my family likes to judge and criticise. Sometimes it is playful, sometimes not. After being immersed in this relentless damning commentary for a sustainable period, whilst I worked my way up to saying something (nicely), I found myself completely crushed by it. It’s the kind of toxic chatter I don’t wish to listen to. I can accept it, but that doesn’t mean I want it in my space.
Because it was coming from someone I love, and want to spend time with in the future, I felt I must express how uninspiring I found it, and that it would be the kind of thing I would give a wide berth in future. Indeed I felt that for our relationship to continue healthily, I needed to make my position clear.
Raising awareness was the key, rather than deeming this behaviour to be right or wrong and demanding change, so I made that apparent. I actually don’t want him to change, just wind it down a bit. The feedback was taken onboard, peace was reinstated, and I was invited to point out anything that offended again in the future. All good.
No sooner had this challenge passed, than I began to receive judgement and criticism from others towards things that I had said and done. It wasn’t clear whether my words or actions had offended these people, but I was clearly being told I was ‘wrong’ or in some way unacceptable to them. Too much this, not enough that, not cool for doing such and such.
Constructive criticism - offered with kindness, respect, compassion, and good nature - is very welcome. Simply claiming that I am wrong because I think, feel and act differently to another - ie. making me wrong so that they can feel right - just pisses me off. Especially when that person is tooting the horn of accepting everything as it is.
Today I received a newsletter on the subject of being courageous to stand up and be seen. This message was bang on in terms of where I am currently at - having taken some bold steps, sharing my insights and experiences in the public domain, yet still in some respects ‘in hiding’. The essence of the piece was that in order to stand up and be seen, one has to be prepared for judgement and criticism, and it is often fear of these things that keeps one hidden.
So… perhaps my close encounters with the judging kind in this last week is a taster of that, since it is also in this time-frame that I have set a date to come out of hiding - fully and permanently. This experience of judgement - and acceptance - is up for acceptance and release. In other words, just get on with it and accept that there is judgement in the world.
The whole subject of judgement and acceptance is one of total paradox. It is so easy to be in judgement of something, to judge someone for judging another, and judge someone for not accepting something you’ve said or done. To to practice in the New Paradigm way, one must ACCEPT EVERYTHING - including Judgement. It is an interesting and confusing journey indeed.
And of course, everything is but a reflection. Which means… if I wasn’t judging myself none of this would be happening…
Well, I guess I can accept that…