For redefinition, I was thrown back to myself, to my inner knowing… Marilyn Sewell, Cries of the Spirit
The Authentic Voice Project: Week 11 (Full Moon)
J is for Judgment and K is for Know
Ugh, judgment. Other-judgment, self-judgment. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
OK, so now you know how I feel about judgment.
Coming into this post I have some self-judgment going on and that is the worst judgment of all. You’ll notice this is a double letter post. I kinda didn’t ever get to write this J post two weeks ago. And now I’m a day late on K as well. And I’ve been judging myself all over the place for that. I do have two great excuses: grad school and children. But in reality I have had enough moments where I could have sat down and gotten this post written. I just didn’t. I resisted it. Why? I can’t quite say. OK, yes I can. The whole concept of Judgment is just too icky. (I’m not talking about Eternal Judgment here. I’m soooo over that!)
I saw a video recently of a talk by Amanda Gore (can’t recall which one, I watched a whole bunch – she’s great!) where she said essentially:
Quit worrying about what others are thinking about you; they’re too busy worrying about what you are thinking about them to be thinking about you!
Self-judgment under the guise of Other-judgment is probably our worst enemy. We project all over each other all the time, seeing ourselves mirrored in another and then despising them for it. It is so true that what we dislike in another is – guaranteed – something we dislike in ourselves, and of which (most of the time) we are simply unaware is our own truth.
Which brings me to K is for Know.
In the coffee shop where I am writing this, there is a blackboard on which the owner has chalked a quote by Descartes (you know, that “I think, therefore I am” guy):
I will converse with myself and scrutinize myself more deeply; and in this way I will attempt to achieve little by little, a more intimate knowledge of myself.
Although I think “I feel, therefore I am” might be a more accurate description of the human condition, Monsieur Descartes makes a great point. We have to “converse” with ourselves through writing, singing, painting, or any other form of self-expression/-reflection in order to really know who we are. By discovering this we are less likely to project our shadowed (unknown) issues onto others which causes us to judge them. When we recognize and accept our own foibles and weaknesses and biases, we become more compassionate to ourselves. This in turn allows us to become more understanding of others’ character flaws.