As I opened the email, & read the first line, a kaleidoscope of feelings began to rise within me.
The message I receive equated to…
“I don’t agree with what you have to say
Or the way you’re saying it
You’re a ‘turn off’ “
Receiving someone’s judgment, whether it’s about the clothes you wear, the decisions you make, or the world views you hold, hurts.
If you’re sensitive to judgment or in a position of receiving more-than-the-usual-dose of judgment this episode is for you.
Lately, I’ve been a magnet for people’s judgment (or at least it seems that way!).
Just a few days earlier in my GP surgery opinions differed & my GP told me in very clear terms what she thought of my choices (she did not agree based on a whole heap of personal judgment).
Judgment from someone in (an assumed) position of power is doubly debilitating.
Suffice to say, my heart is a little bruised.
No matter how enlightened we are, judgment stings. It sucks.
And I believe that’s the point of judgment.
Judgment is nothing more than a penetrating inquiry into our heart.
It reveals any doubts, fears or worries that are secretly lurking there.
It’s an invitation to solidify our own views & truths.
If we embrace judgment then we can penetrate our heart & find the truth at her core.
But most of us are not willing to embrace judgment, because it’s uncomfortable & the uncomfortable hurts.
As I received my “you’re a turn off email” my first reaction was FIRE.
This is typical. Remember the last time you received a judgment. How did your body very first respond? What was the initial rise of emotion that you felt?
Any time our heart is touched by something tender we’ll generally DEFEND ourselves by getting all hot & bothered.
Fire emotions and feelings are one of our hearts defense.
Indignation, outrage, retaliation, heat might arise – and this is healthy!
It is healthy for your heart to defend itself.
But that doesn’t mean we have to retaliate to our judgers from fire.
Sometimes we should & it’s appropriate.
Other times (most of the time) it’s reactionary & not the whole truth
My fire was reactionary & not the whole truth…
I could have shot back an email. But I would later have regretted it. And that email would have been full of defense, instead of my clean & clear truth.
As I took a moment to sit with my FIRE response to the “you’re a turn off email” part of me realized deep down this judgment had hit a nerve & a few core fears…
- Am I doing business wrong?
- Am I a turn-off?
- Am I a bad person?
- Am I a failure?
- Is this judgment true?
We all carry wounds & fears that, deep down, we’re not good enough.
Judgment is the penetrating inquiry that can tickle that deep, lingering fear that lives deep in our TENDER heart.
If we are unwilling to embrace that TENDER challenge, we’ll stay stuck in the FIRE layer. Feeling outraged and the need to retaliate.
Yet if we are willing to enter into the TENDER fears of our heart, we’re free to find the TRUTH at the heart of this challenge.
In this situation, I let myself feel the FIRE and enter into the TENDER fears at its root. This is a practice of emotional embodiment, feeling and sensing all the flavors and emotions of the body and letting them unravel through vulnerability.
As I felt into the fears of Am I a turn off? & Am I doing this wrong? My chest tightened, my voice disappeared, my jaw locked down, my neck constricted.
These ‘not good enough’ fears – that the judgment had probed at – keep me silent. I could feel it in my body.
But I also felt a rising truth:
- I am not available for silence.
- I am not available for people’s opinion to dictate how I do business.
- This is my work & if you don’t like it, don’t try to censor me. Just leave.
As I let myself enter the fire & tender layers of my heart, I let myself enter my heart period. And this is where our truth lives.
I typed an email response. It was full of my truth:
Thank you so much for expressing your opinion.
If you don’t like what we have to say or the way we say it – please feel free to leave
Not defense. But also clear on what I am (and am not) holding as truth. And the truth is that if you don’t have what I like to say or the way I say it – then go listen to someone else. I’m not forcing you to be here.
Sometimes deepening from the indignation (& defense) of FIRE into the truth (& discomfort) of TENDER means we don’t have to respond at all.
In the case of my GP judgment situation, I found the interaction to be deeply unacceptable.
I didn’t feel the need to mount a defense or express my truth.
Beyond the fact that I won’t be going back to her, ever.
If we never move through the FIRE layer of our judgment-response, we’ll never be free to find the truth. And we’ll continue to carry the deep fears & wounds that our FIRE is protecting us from.
This is exhausting.
When our mind circles back to judgments again & again…
When we just can’t seem to let it go.…
I believe it’s because there’s a slither of your deep TENDER TRUTH that hasn’t yet been discovered.
When the cycle of judgment…
Judgement > Fire/Defense > Tender/Truth > Expression/Completion
hasn’t been completed. When we’ve paused, numbed or dissociated from our body at some point we get stuck.
So our body keeps reminding us of this judgment. Not to torture you. But to challenge you to go face the uncomfortable fears that you’re holding, deep down, and to welcome them.
Embracing judgment is the only way to realize the TRUTH – You are more than enough.
Then make sure you express & let the world know it
Curious to hear your thoughts on this approach to embracing judgment.
Consider these questions:
- Which judgment are you having trouble moving past?
- What uncomfortable fear might you have to feel & consider if you move into the heart of this judgment?
Let me know in the comments section below (I’d love to share some judgment-battle-scars with you, babe).
Thank you for being here & for embracing my expression as it is. Usually, a decent % of the feedback I get is from the people who want to pass judgment (which is likely based on some deep fear of theirs – so we’re all in this game working our shit out on other people).
PS. With that said if you enjoyed this blog let me know in the comments below – even if it’s just a ❤️. It’s really lovely to hear from the people who actually DO enjoy these kinds of discussions (yet I don’t hear from them/you often enough!!!).