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Tyranny of Judgments

The following excerpt about judgments is from the Thinking chapter of a self-help psychology & therapy book Be Your Own Therapist - Whoever You Hire Is Just Your Assistant. (Graphics differ from book.)


The judgments that usually cause us the most difficulties and distress are those that (1)judge situations/ others as right or wrong, (2)judge situations/ others as good or bad, or (3)judge situations as possible or impossible.

Humans have been making unhappy judgments for centuries. Shakespeare's Hamlet (Hamlet 2.2.255-256) expressed the happier accepting belief, "There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so." If the happier alternative has been known for so long, why hasn't it been followed? The reason is that we have been thoroughly indoctrinated in right/ wrong and good/ bad thinking. It is a natural thinking stage for children to pass through, and for adults to question. Most of us incorporated many such messages in our childhoods. We fail to see their tyrannical nature if we retain them as adults. For right/ wrong and good/ bad judgments about situations and others cause most of us much unhappiness every day.

Another reason for our judgments is our poor self-esteem. Most of us have areas of our lives (our thinking, our emotions, our relationships, our sexuality, our addictions, our hangups, etc.) which we judge as not being OK, areas in which we have poor self-esteem. We then often try to make ourselves feel better at another's expense by judging them inferior in some way, "Look at how good I am in comparison." The macho judgment that women are inferior has its roots in poor male self-esteem; vulnerabilty, humaneness and caring are covered with a facade of strength. Current male-bashing also has similar roots in poor female self-esteem.

I personally strive never to feel or think that another's behavior or action is ever wrong or bad. I can always find some reasoning process to validate and accept what at first glance may seem very wrong or bad. Usually I do this by reaffirming my belief that each of us is perfect (as described later in this chapter) or by reaffirming my belief in Earth School
that requires us to learn in ways that we might not consciously want (as described further in Chapter 11). I can always find a possible reason why such situations are as they should be, instead of judging them to be wrong or bad. By reaffirming my belief that whatever is in our lives is in our best interest (more on this in Chapter 11), I am able to drop the shoulds. You too have the capability for dropping your shoulds by truly accepting the following happier ways of thinking: (1)we are always perfect, (2)we all are students here on Earth School and (3)everything in our lives is in our own best interest. Where the word should is used, there is an unhappy judgment.

Should = Unhappy Judgment

Make sure not to judge yourself as bad or wrong when you find yourself making a judgment. For you and your judgments are, of course, perfect for that moment. The key is to begin changing your path toward the goal of dropping that judgment the next time that identical situation arises. Move to Stage IV making a new choice, rather than remain stuck in Stage II blaming of oneself. (See Chapter 4 for more on stages.)

Some judgments are still sometimes necessary as to right/ wrong or good/ bad for me. They are useful (not tyrannical) in selecting appropriate action. For example, I won't do that now because I learned in the past that it felt wrong, or because that possibility feels wrong for me at the moment. Such judgments do not apply to others. Just because I found something didn't work for me today or yesterday doesn't mean that it won't be exactly what you need to do (or, for that matter, what may wind up being appropriate for me in the future).

There are usually objections to this along the lines of, "If I dropped my judgments, then I wouldn't act appropriately to right the wrong." Not at all. If you put your hand on a hot stove you will take action in response to the pain. Later you can try to find out why you have repeated that behavior four times in the past week and why someone or something keeps making burns "right" for you. You respond to pain and discomfort perfectly, of course, for you now. Similarly, you do not need judgments to take appropriate action in response to situations that are not as you would like.

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Tyrrany of Judgments @1999