Happy people don’t judge people. Over the past two months I’ve been doing a judgement detox. Once I learned it was a thing, I knew it was for me, though I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t judge others. Not really.
Quietly polishing my halo, I reflected on how, even as a child, I recognized that judgement was toxic. Following any attempt to fit in by participating in gossip or judging others, I always ended up feeling terrible.
Sure, there was the electrifying high I’d get from taking a hit of self-righteousness, but it would never last. Soon after I’d feel extremely low, depleted of energy and sick with guilt. This is what is known as the judgement cycle.
From an early age we are taught to see ourselves as separate. Like a virus, our ego-driven perceptions take the wheel, judging others in a wild attempt to soothe our own insecurities.
After the high subsides, knowing on some level that this is not our true nature, we feel bad for our judgement, so we judge ourselves. Even more desperate to feel better, we find someone else to judge, and so the cycle continues. It becomes an addiction.
Through the detox process I was able to identify how, in a subconscious attempt to avoid the guilt of finding fault in others, I judged people in a positive light. I made others better and more special than me.
But judgement is judgement, and judging myself harshly in comparison to others became a habit that manifested itself in many self-destructive ways.
During the detox I learned how judgement stems from a disowned part of our own shadow. From the teachings of Gabrielle Bernstein and the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles, I was able to understand how our greatest fear isn’t that we’re not good enough, but that we’re powerful beyond measure.
Since completing the detox I have been able to experience a freedom I have never known. Joy is accessible to me. I laugh easily, often until I’m delirious and my ribs ache. I have forgiven old resentments that once tormented me, in particular those I directed toward myself.
I feel love pouring out of me and know that practicing nonjudgement has become a way of life. Perhaps most importantly, I’m beginning to see myself in a new light, and for the first time, I genuinely feel love pouring in.