My Judgement Triggered Shame

After watching Brene Brown’s TED talk on Vulnerability, it got me thinking about shame and my experiences with it. As I was about to write-it all off thinking - “I’m just not the type of person whose experienced shame”, an interaction I had been involved in blew up. Instantly I was infuriated, all parts of my body were triggered and I could feel myself jump towards self defense. Luckily, before acting on any of those protective mechanisms, I recognized what was happening immediately and was able to calm myself down and dissect the situation at hand. What hit me hard was the realization that I was swimming in a pool of judgement, both for myself and externally.

Judgement shows up in many various forms, and often when our conscious minds choose judgement as an initial thought, we might not even recognize the sensation as judgement. It got me thinking, as these types of self-help analysis moments do, and I realized that no matter what type of judgement is being experienced, all types can be connected back to self insecurities. Maybe that’s a mind blower, or maybe you’ve learned this a long time ago, either way, stay with me for a moment…

We experience judgement in a number of ways, these three came top of mine for me: 1) because of actions someone else is doing/has done that you don’t like, 2) experiencing judgement because of external circumstances that have nothing to do with you, or 3) feeling judgement sparked because of jealousy. Every single one of these judgement experiences are correlated directly with secondary emotions. Judgement itself is a secondary emotion. As a result, all can be tied back to something you judge, something you don’t like or something you’re insecure about, within yourself.

I consider myself a fairly awake individual. I can feel when my body or mind is not grounded, I have a great set of tools to use that help be get grounded, or reconnect with my body when I’m off kilter, I even teach Meditation in many different forms, and yet I find myself still in a battle with judgement. And yet even consciously knowing this and subconsciously being aware of what sits behind judgement, I still find it extremely difficult to have an awareness of the judgement as it comes up, so that I can recognize what insecurity it may be triggering.

In my Breathwork Meditation sessions, we work to release negative emotions, to release stories that we’ve given permission to to define us so we can choose to come from love, from our  connected, authentic selves. Because judgement sits behind so many other primary emotions, I find it hard to connect with judgement, so that I may release it, in my own practice. Judgement for me is typically triggered at unexpected times throughout life and although I know that my own practice continues to help me create an awareness around when it’s being triggered, I have yet to master the tools that allow me to practice a ‘feel it and release meditation’ in each moment.

Even the most enlightened individuals must feel judgement at some point in their lives, right? Is judgement something that everyone feels, or experiences at some point? I’m not even sure this should matter, but the self-judgement that comes up when my judgement of others comes up, hits me hard. I don’t like that piece of me, and I feel a deep sense shame when it does surface. I’m a teacher, I’m a guide, I’m a facilitator or truth, of light, how can I feel judgement? It’s even terrifying imagining putting this piece out in the world, like I’m exposing something of myself that once it’s known, people will think I’m a fraud. Maybe that’s just it, work on my own self-judgement and I’ll more deeply understand the judgement that comes up for me with others. As my teacher David Elliott says… “A judgement I have about you that’s really about me is….”

I vow to continue bringing awareness to judgement when she rears her ugly, (or sometimes pretty in a self-righteous kind of way) head. In the moment, let judgement fill me up, fully recognize that it is a secondary emotion and allow the true emotion behind the judgement to surface. Feel that completely circulating throughout my body, and then move on.

Awareness is everything.