Few enjoy receiving negative personal criticism. The criticism of others is something we have no control over. The only way to avoid the judgement of others is to behave in compliance with what is acceptable to them. It is impossible to be all things to all people without ‘betraying our self’. If our behaviour is judged favourably by one but unacceptable by another we are always judged unfavourably by at least one. Why look for the acceptance or approval of others? Why is the approval of others so important to so many?
To be as we have decided to be requires us to consciously control what we are. Why do we consciously decide that we must be ‘this’ or ‘that’? What is wrong or lacking? It is only the judgement of ourselves or others that questions what we are. The limitations that others perceive in us is a reflection of their limitations not ours. We can be intolerant of another if they do not behave in a way that we consider to be acceptable. We have developed a vast vocabulary to articulate our judgement which when projected reveals nothing more than the justification for our intolerance.
It is compassionate to change or adapt our behaviour to avoid causing unnecessary suffering or injury. But to deny our own feelings so that we conform to the judgement and expectations of others is a betrayal of our own true self. If the price for the acceptance of others is to deny our own feelings, or the feelings of others, is it worth it? To change our self in order to satisfy our critics is to be contaminated with the disease of intolerance. The only truth that can be found in any criticism is the limitations that exist within the mind of the critic.
We cannot transcend the effect of our own judgement by justifying it. The effect of our judgement is how we feel. A critic can project the cause of what they feel to be those who are judged responsible. It is insane to hold someone else responsible for the effects of ‘our own judgement’. When we become intolerant of others we can get angry at the mere thought of them. To avoid accepting responsibility for our part in this insane ‘complex’ we may project qualities to justify why we hold others to be responsible for what we think and feel.
A ship that drops its anchor is held in the same position and unless the anchor is lifted it cannot move. The ship can only be held until its anchor is lifted. So when a ship is ready to move on to a new position it must lift its anchor. The anchor is deliberately dropped to prevent the ship from moving. The Captain cannot forget his part in dropping the anchor if he is to move on later to explore new horizons. When we hold someone responsible for what we feel we forget that we cannot feel bad without judgement. Our judgement anchors our feelings to the object of our criticism.
Many have not yet realised that, to be released from the effect of their own judgement, they need only remove their judgement from their mind. Like an anchor will hold a ship our judgement incarcerates our thoughts and feelings to a life of spiritual and emotional servitude to that judgement. Our feelings are conscripted into an army that wears a uniform of anger and resentment. Our internal army ensures that we compliantly ‘feel bad’ each time we think of what we have judged to be ‘bad’. The ship represents each one of us and the anchor represents our judgement.
It is only by letting go of judgemental beliefs that our feelings can return to enjoy the bliss of more peaceful endeavours. When we accept what is we no longer criticise others. When the target of our criticism becomes the victim of our anger we may be holding an innocent victim responsible for a crime they never committed. Criticism cannot exist without judgement. When we judge another they become the victim of our judgement and held to be the ‘cause’ of our criticism. The victim of our criticism is not the cause of our feelings. Our judgement is the cause of our feelings.
Our beliefs trick us into believing that the content of our belief is true. The evidence of the truth of our judgement is held to be our victim’s behaviour or existence. Why do we define our victim to be the cause of our judgement? We are the cause of our judgement! The effect of our judgement is how we feel. The exclusive cause of our feelings is our own judgement. If enemies did not judge each other responsible for what they felt they would live in peace. Blaming others for what we feel is to make our peace of mind conditional upon their behaviour.
Until we remove our judgement of others we are like a ship that is held by its moorings. We cannot escape our moorings until we lift the anchor. The anchor is our own judgement. Unless attacked, injured or the victim of crime, the alleged cause of any discontent is always our own judgement. Our feelings and our peace of mind are always the first victims of our own judgement.
Judge that you be not judged.
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