One of my 15-Week Miracle Coaching Program students asked me a good question in session this morning. I was walking him through the process of slowing down his thoughts so that he can “recreate” a bad experience that he’s been having over and over again (what I fondly call a “karmic loop”). Part of what I wanted to help him see is that his judgments of other people (such as that they are “arrogant,” “lonely,” “pathetic,” and “losers”) are actually what is creating his unhappy reality. Such judgments always go along with negative feelings and anger, and they tend to turn into self-fulfilling prophecies as we look for “evidence” to support the negative beliefs.

My student asked me “Do you ever still judge people?” And I’m going to answer that question publicly because it’s important to me that my audience know that I live the process I teach. Every insight and process that I recommend to you is something I recommend because I use it myself. This doesn’t mean that I am “perfect” yet or “enlightened” — in fact, I find such concepts to be debilitating for most people because they foster a sense of “never good enough.”

Rather, I consider myself to be in an intrinsically rewarding and fascinating process of becoming increasingly consciously aware of the patterns in my life. As each negative pattern becomes clear in conscious awareness, it begins to lose its power over me. And then space gets opened up for me to create new patterns that feel better.

But do I still ever judge people? Sure. This old conditioning doesn’t disappear overnight. In areas that I haven’t yet applied my HBR system, judgments still “involuntarily” pop up in to my mind. The difference between me and a lot of other people is that I don’t let my judgments continue to run my life unquestioned. I notice myself judging, and I engage in an inner process that breaks down the judgments.

So, let’s take the Mr. Quixote episode as an example.

When I saw Mr. Quixote publicly attacking me and a lot of other people when he doesn’t have any facts or personal experience to back it up, my knee-jerk reaction was judgment, and here are some of the thoughts that popped out of my subconscious mind into my conscious mind:

“He’s an asshole. He’s a misogynist. He actually hates women. He probably has unresolved ‘mommy’ issues and ought to be in years of therapy himself. He’s one of the most unpleasant, judgmental, unattractive, impossible people I’ve ever seen, and he has no business teaching anybody anything about relating to people because he doesn’t know the first thing about conscious relating. He’s not interested in learning anything new or having a real conversation about anything. He’s probably just having a hard time making his business thrive, and he’s obviously jealous and wants to lash out at people who are succeeding. Does he have any idea how destructive he’s being for an entire generation of men?”

And guess what emotions go along with thoughts like those? Yep, anger, fear, revenge, shock, disbelief, and deep disconnection. Believe it or not, “Quixote” was actually a softer place for me to go next … because at least Quixote was a recognition within myself not to take his rantings personally … let me show you how I got to Quixote as an intermediate step in letting judgment go …

All right, so when I found the judgmental thoughts above popping into my mind, the first thing I did was get present with the feelings. I felt the fury in my body. It was very intense rage, and it made the judgmental thoughts seem “true.” So while being present with my feelings, I went through the process of reminding myself:

“This belief that he is an ‘asshole’ is an attack upon myself. If I believe anyone is an asshole, I will probably turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t want that belief, so I choose to let it go.”

At first my ego wanted to argue with me, and say, “but he is an asshole.” He’s done this to lots of people. This is HIS pattern.

And then I reminded myself that “making it about the other person” only gives my power away. It took a bit of presence and back and forth dialogue with my ego, but eventually the rage began to subside and the belief in him being an “asshole,” a “misogynist,” etc., no longer seemed so true.

Next I engaged in a process of asking myself, “What does this experience remind me of?”

This is how I got to “Quixote.” Because he was acting in a way that reminded me of very unsafe, abusive people from my childhood who acted unconsciously out of their own unresolved traumas and could explode without warning or any apparent provocation. As a child, the experience really was both terrifying and like watching someone fight windmills, because “adults” would get furiously angry and yet nothing that was happening in the present moment warranted the amount of rage they vented at me. Eventually I realized they were actually acting from their own unresolved traumas, which made it easier not to take personally but still did not foster connection.

So I began to apply my HBR method to the childhood memories of which Quixote was reminding me.

Next I engaged in a Shadow process. Sometimes I call these tough love turnarounds, and they are frequently the most challenging step of the process for people to engage in consistently due to our cultural conditioning not to take responsibility. I reminded myself that life is always a mirror, and I asked myself this provocative question:

“Where in my life have I done exactly what Quixote is doing here?”

And then memories surfaced about how there had been times when I yelled at my cats when they were not really the cause of my anger. I remembered how I had felt insecure a year ago seeing Brad P. be so comfortable selling from the stage, and how I had criticized him rather than owning the fact that I actually wished I felt as comfortable as he did. I remembered how I had “gone after” Entropy publicly rather than really getting present with the unconscious patterns that I had been recreating in my own life. I remembered seeming “bullies” from various phases of my life, and reminded myself that when I changed my energy, those people had changed. I remembered times in my life that I said things I later regretted out of jealousy, fear, or pain. So perhaps I was seeing my own Shadow Self in these unjustified outbursts by Quixote.

When we are in pain, it’s so tempting to “blame” and “judge” someone else, yet that is the sure-fire way to stay stuck.

As I engaged in this internal process, my emotions calmed down, and Quixote started to seem less dangerous and more sad. Not sad in a condescending way. Rather, sad in a compassionate way, an “I’ve been there and done what he’s doing” kind of way, and it sure never got me what I wanted in life. I felt a lot softer. I no longer felt a need to defend myself because seeing the falsity of my judgments I simultaneously realized that his judgments also have no power.

This is the path to peace.

Over and over again, I have applied this internal process to situations that seemed “impossible” and have seen them transform before my very eyes. I invite everyone to question your judgments today. Notice that all of them are false. All of them are projections of our judgments upon ourselves. And only by letting them go completely will we ever be emotionally free …

“Today I will judge nothing that occurs.” – A Course in Miracles

Now I’m off to the mountain to Play in the Powder for the afternoon. Life was meant to be fun. :)

Are you letting judgments steal your joy?

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