Monday’s Meditation: On Living In Fear Of Judgment
Judgement; we all do it, we all hate the feeling of it being done to us. We hate the realization we’re doing it to others.
For such free-willed, fortunate people, we spend so much of our life worrying about what others will think of our choices.
This can be true to crippling extents–there are so many people who feel as though they have to purposefully conceal their true purpose and their true selves for fear of what others will think.
More basic than that: there are hoards of us who aren’t decorating our homes the way we really want to, spending Sunday afternoons how we’d really like to, dating who we’re attracted to; who aren’t taking risks.
We are people who are either choosing safely, so as to not differentiate ourselves, or who, fearing differentiation, find ourselves stuck, unable to move forward. Paralyzed by the possibility that others will notice our life choices and then draw conclusions about who we are based off of those decisions.
And then the bad thing will happen, the thing we want to avoid more than anything else.
What bad thing again?
Well, people might not like us.
They might see our decisions as not aligning with theirs, they might view us as different from them, or materialistic, or unrealistic, or stupid, or woo-woo or selfish or overly selfless or fill in the blank with any thing a person can reasonably be seen to be.
And then the even worse thing will happen.
What’s that worse thing again?
The people who think bad things about us might tell other people the bad things, and then even more people wouldn’t like us.
Is there a way to avoid this happening?
Yes; do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Are there any choices or courses of action not susceptible to judgement?
So the decisions we make throughout our entire lives–the ones we believe are keeping us on our paths to being our best selves, which in turn allows us to give most effectively of our gifts to others–are inevitably going to be judged by others, no matter which way we choose, which means that there is no way we can choose right and thereby keep open the possibility of relationship with, and favorable standing in the minds of, all people?
Our greatest collective desire is to be seen and heard, yet our greatest fear is what others are seeing and hearing. It’s the ultimate human paradox, if you ask me.
The thing of it is, there is no way we can control others’ perception of us, really. Their perception of us isn’t about us, after all, it’s about them. It doesn’t matter how conscious you are about conveying yourself to the world, you being you is going to win you friends and not win you friends. This is Simply the truth of the matter.
But far from being the biggest bummer we have to swallow, this is, in fact, the greatest gift of all: you being you naturally attracts and repels various people and situations. Any such entities that aren’t right for you or that aren’t kindred spirits self-eliminate from your world.
The fact that there are less options is not a bad thing. It means you have less to sift through in order to find those people and situations that are right for you, that feel you being you is a wonderful thing, that want to applaud and employ your choices.
It means you’ll have to waste less of your precious life clock on people or things that think you aren’t important or well-intentioned or innovative. You will not have lost your universal good standing, but gained the opportunity to locate those people who understand you.
Judgement persists. Though the teachers all implore against it; though we ourselves wish we would all rise above (below?) it.
Freedom lies in the answer to the question: who am I going to live for?
Choose with purpose. Live with purpose. Choose with a soundness, not so that you might avoid judgment or better defend your choices, but so that you might relinquish the need to.
Oh, and a little tip: the best remedy for fearing being judged is to work on judging others less–the two streams of thought are more like one, turns out, which we can make efforts to tune out more and more each day.
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