Facing Judgement from Others

Waking up to toxins

Marvel Comics

When experience is normal to us, we tend to not question it. We breathe, we wake up, go to sleep, our hearts beat…. For those of us who make it a practice to pay attention in such places as meditation, or yoga or other body awareness practice, we learn to feel our heart beat, witness our breathing, and even learn to speak to our bodies in such a way that can calm the heart, release hypertension, cool down a hot headed reaction, or smooth into an appropriate life-saving response.

These practices can be used as well with other environmental factors that oftentimes gets lodged into rhetoric, glances, and for some of us, no sensory observations are needed to know the toxins are in the air. Point is, when we are used to it, we do not pay attention to the harm it causes to our being.

Energy body awareness practices reveal these realities like coming to understand the physical realities of cortisol or prolonged depression. We are exposed to energetic toxins every day. They might come in the form of

  • Fear, within our self or in others
  • Judgements, usually a masked form of fear
  • Anger, usually caused by lack of understanding coupled with fear
  • Confusion or numbness when a response is needed
  • Accusations, another common expression of fear

Fear can be good, like sensory pain to warn of immediate danger. That fear that comes up in the moment – because you are existing in the moment – can save a life. The list above, however, are examples of fear that are generated from something remembered in the past, and consequently projected into the future. For example:

  1. Historical Fear Thought: “I am afraid of going into that salon because last time my hair was pulled so hard it hurt.
  2. Momental Fear Thought: “……” [In the moment, there is no time to form a conventional thought – only to respond to the baby who figured out to take the protective plug out of the electrical outlet and now is about to lick it.]

In the momental fear has no thought and can be helpful. Then the moment is over. Momental fear might give rise to lessons to avoid future momental fears. The person who acts this way – responsive to the lessons of momental fear without storing fear – will again be present in the moment for what baby will do next.

My favorite toxin

I am hypersensitive to judgment, especially in its most unkind form, ridicule. When I let my past murk up my present, this memory of painful stabs from others grew in me like a crab weed the fear of being around a lot of people. I Love People, so understand my strange pain to want to be around them while also needing to avoid crowds. Living in the moment promises relief.

Living in the moment is the subject of yoga and meditation and esoteric wisdom. The moment of an afternoon. The moment of a hummingbird that pauses near you. The moment of one heart thump. The smaller and more simple the moment is, the more difficult it seems to be there. Or is it?

Experiment with this micro-moment…..

And now this longer one…..


I flew to Africa for the first time when I was 18 years old, just two weeks out of high school. Alone. I came to understand the 22-hour moment. To be clear, I was in the moment, which, translating into clock time standards, was about 22 hours. Even so, the moment was the space of one heart beat. The cool thing about being in the moment is there is no pain, there is no fatigue, and there is no fear. Not really. The instantaneous momental presence of fear for assessing a situation goes away once the message is heard by the muscle that moves to respond. Having 22 hours to stretch through this observation was a gift.

So how does this help me (or anyone) get over my fear of others’ mass of judgments. I grew up with them, meaning people, got to know well through jabs and public humiliation, and find I cannot be around them without fear of being ostracized? I must ask myself to return to the moment that has no time, therefore no past nor projection of the future where peace exists. And it is here. I can see.

Some might ask me, “Well, why are you around judgemental people anyway?!!” While I have an answer for that, the question gives me yet another opportunity to feel someone’s judgement.

In answer to both queries, I settle into the moment where fear does not exist, and in that space of instantaneous curiosity, I ask, “What fear underlies that question? Does my experience of humiliation remind the questioner of theirs? Are they afraid for me, or afraid of me?

For this exploration, what the questioner might be afraid of is a mystery. What matters is, in this moment, I find compassion for the person I am facing. I can see that their judgment is thinly veiled fear, their fear. Their judgment of me is – and always has been – a plea for me to take this stress from their shoulders and wear it as my own. Their anger is their fear. Their accusation is their fear. In the momental space of heart-centered compassionate sight, I am curious for what wrong can be righted, what fear can be lifted, what confusion can be cleared, what humanity can be restored.

So just as I am eating healthier, looking at the ingredients and sources of my nutrition, I am look deeper into the ingredients of the social and energetic toxins that surround me, and that includes how I prepare them in my heart and mind. I more regularly understand they are formed from basic elements from a historical culture, that works through people, who are also just hoping to detox.

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