Self-judgment is a learned behavior. We learn to judge ourselves when the people we relied on for love and caring in our formative years delivered that love through criticism and judgment.
We learn how to speak to ourselves and to others from what we observed and experienced as children.
Through consistent and persistent judgment, both from others and from ourselves, we lose our connection to the truth of who we are. We lose connection with our innate goodness.
One thing that has helped me when I’m in this place of disconnection is a poem by the Indian master, Bapuji. I first heard it from meditation teacher Tara Brach, who has shared it in her book Radical Acceptance and several of her talks and meditations.
My beloved child, break your heart no longer
Each time you judge yourself,
you break your own heart
You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your own vitality
The time has come,
to live, to celebrate,
And to see
The goodness that you are.
You, my child, are Divine.
You are pure. You are sublimely free.
Let no one, No thing or idea or ideal obstruct you
If one comes, even in the name of “Truth,”
Forgive it for its unknowing
Do not fight
Do not fight the dark. Just turn on the light.
Let go and breathe into the goodness that you are.
Each time you judge yourself you break your own heart.
A powerful reminder that our greatest threat comes from turning on ourselves.
And in this is also our greatest source of healing, because we can turn back toward ourselves and our light.
Not everything is worth the fight. How much energy can we recover when we surrender, release, and forgive?
Your innate goodness lives within you, even if you have buried it deep within to protect it from all who would threaten it. Breathe into it, dig deep, and you will find it.
This is your home, and it is waiting for you to return.