I often find myself reflecting on the nature of the judgments which my mind harbours. They are as an incessant stream, and years of trying to either stop or control them has yielded little in result for me.
In daily life, when I would do something or encounter someone, I judge. I judge the people around me for being either likeable or not. I judge the things around me for their inherent perfection or lack thereof. I judge myself for all the things I might or might not do wrong.
For years, I felt guilty at judging everything and everyone — a mind overly activated by the desire for a more perfect world. I would judge myself for being judgmental, so to say. But as I’ve grown to study meditation, spirituality, and psychology, I’ve learned one fundamental and very crucial lesson…
My judgments of others are merely a reflection of my own self-judgment.
I’ve learned that if I desire for a perfect external world, it is only because I desire for a more perfect me. That if I dislike anyone for how they look, behave, or simply are — it is only because I dislike these same traits in me, whether hypothetically or realistically.
Simply put, the external world is merely a trigger and reflection for my own internal being.
The more I see myself enthralled in my own judgments, the more I am merely witnessing my own struggles with self-worth and determination. The more I witness any sort of dislike or even hate for the outside world, the more I am to realize how much acceptance and love is missing for my own self.
These realizations I am now capable of bringing to light, thanks to my practice of meditation and mindfulness. I have acquired the tools for stopping my judgments in their track and tracing their origins back to the very foundations of my own self.
As I have been learning to channel and understand my judgments, a fundamental realization has come to me....
The fundamental judgments of life are not conscious.
We beat ourselves down for judging, missing the point that these judgments are not us — they are the voices we inherited.
They are the voices of ancestors, parents, teachers, and society. They have been given to us, rather forcibly and without consent — at an age or in a state where we could simply not say no.
If, deep within, we harbour the voices of judgment against people who look, behave, or simply eat differently — it is simply because we are the latest links on the chain of inherited social conditioning.
We are not responsible for that which we inherit.
We are, however, responsible for that which we pass on.
We do not choose that which we are conditioned with.
Our parents, our teachers, and the social system all nurture us to the best of their abilities. They are not perfect. They came to this world with their own share of inherited conditioning.
We are no different. We are not perfect.
I am no different. I am not perfect.
I came into this world with all the imperfections passed onto me by the nurturing social fabric. I did not choose those imperfections. I can, however, choose what I do with those imperfections.
If I choose to judge myself for being so imperfect, if I beat myself down for all these flaws I have, then I am merely surrendering to the program — placing another link on the chain of generational judgment. This perfection I expect of me is the same perfection my parents and their parents expected of themselves. It is the root of what I now see as imperfections in them.
My desire for personal perfection is my one and greatest imperfection. It drives me to judge me. I causes me to demand and to expect… of me, and of everyone. I leads me to hate me for this unforgivable failure at being perfect, and what follows from this self-hatred is inevitably generalized hatred for a world in which I do not see myself belonging — a world so imperfect it can but highlight my own terrible imperfections.
If I should so expect perfection of me, then how could I expect anything less from all those around me? I can pretend that is not so, but that will only lead me to hate me more: others have the right to be as they are, but not me — I need to be perfect. What a strange and twisted form of reverse ego-trip.
If I put everyone on equal grounds, however, then I will demand perfection of everyone. For this, I must judge them, I must expect of them, and this leads me to hate them for their obvious failing at the standards of perfection I’ve projected onto them — those same standards that have been projected onto me. A strange and twisted form of egalitarianism.
How I judge others is merely a reflection of how I judge myself.
My way out is that of breaking the circle of judgment, these higher demands of perfectionism. I choose to look at things differently. I choose to act differently. Consciousness is the ally I need in moving beyond the patterns that form the foundation of my deepest sufferings.
I choose to embrace my imperfections, and in doing so come to embrace others’ imperfections as well. I give myself the right to be, and so grant all the right to also be.
Because I am not a mere machine obeying a program. I have consciousness on my side.
Consciousness is the key to ending judgment.
I cannot will myself out of judgment. I cannot choose to stop the judgmental voices within me — simply because they are not mine. They are pirate programs inserted into me when I still stood unconscious, naive and fragile.
Yet now… now I have consciousness on my side. I have the power to choose my actions, to break my patterns, and to decide who I am to be. These voices of judgment within are not me. They are part of who I am, they assist me in understanding the world as just another piece of information — however they are not me.
When these voices would come to life, then, I can choose to listen to them without engaging in them.
I come unattached to those voices within me, those facets of personality which I inherited rather than constructed.
And slowly, the voices grow fainter. With time — weeks, months, years — I become more of who I choose to be and less of whom the voices of judgment tell me to be. My consciousness grows, my individuality strengthens, my power over my own destiny intensifies. The judgments fade.
I grow, I change, and I evolve — yet I do so naturally and without effort. I become “better”, yet this is a version of “better” which I could never have fathomed until I became it. It is a version of me far more perfect than any judgments or ideas could have ever conceived.
It is a version of me grown out of love.
In loving my parents, my teachers, and all those around — I accept their imperfections. In loving myself, I do the same.
My judgments are, ultimately, an expression of love. It is a love which would protect me from danger, threats of failure, and the imperfections of life. I can love my judgments for these noble intentions, but still choose to detach and leave on their way — they have done their work, they are not needed anymore.
Loving, consciously — that is the power which now drives me. Change then happens. Meaningful change. Unforced, undirected.
Uncoerced by judgment. Unfiltered by ego.
This is me being me, consciously.