Sometimes I’m judgey. I’ve been hurt by people (insecure people, wounded people, people hungry for power, position and sometimes profit, and yes, even good people). Nevertheless, that harm has left me slightly suspicious. So, I judge.
Beyond a mechanism to self-protect, how does my judging serve me? If I close my eyes and scan my body, I find it taut, ready to spring. Tension, tightness, lacing my shoulders, neck. Lips pursed. Jaw clenched. Elbows locked. Fingers balled into fists. Breath short. Eyes laser-focused, assessing, calculating. This is my defensive battle stance, my posture of resistance.
I inhale and listen to what my body wants to tell me…
Gurl, I am tired. I am exhausted. Who has hurt us so deeply that we always have to live coiled, ready to attack? Remind me again, who are we afraid of? What are we afraid of? I am soul weary, tired of being leery. Surely there is another way for us to live, cause this judging thing, calculating, assessing, always counting and measuring; this is going to lead to our demise.
The intensity of our battle stance is manifesting in me. Inflammation. Skin irritation. Insomnia. Indigestion. We are fighting against ourselves in ways that are not healthy.
What if instead of imagining the worst and creating stories of possible torment that keep us in a heightened state of resistance, we start to tell ourselves a different narrative? What if we yield to the mystery of Love?
What would acceptance feel like in our body? Trust? Surrender?
What if our eyes became portals of non-judgmental awareness? What if we used our brains for something other than forming opinions that deepen suspicion and mistrust?
I wanna live. I wanna love. And this, this always be weary of the other stance, this is not living. We are breaking down.
I touch my body gently, my jiggly thighs, my round belly, soft breasts. Lingering over the area of my heart, I breathe in receiving this insight from my body. What would it be like to lay aside judgment after a history of injured expectations and wounded assumptions? I’m uncertain. But I realize I can’t freely go forward until I understand where I’ve been.
So, I take a physical step back. A symbolic somatic gesture into my past. Closing my eyes once more, I turn to my body.
“Body, there are experiences, responses to words and actions of others you’ve held in order for me to live, and I trust you know when we’re ready to deal with what we’ve repressed. Is now the time for you to share those things with me? I want to ask when did this all begin, why did this all begin?
Instead, I’ll surrender and ask. Body, what do you want me to know?”
How many times were we blamed for things we didn’t do? How many times have we been wronged or felt misunderstood? How long have we carried the burden of false responsibility? If “all your fault” was a poster child, we would be America’s next Top Model. And so we learned to read people and situations, to calculate, observe, assess.
But what happens when we turn our observations into narratives? Our assessments into judgments?
When the mind spins creating stories we tell ourselves, we tend to wrest control of the narrative, turning people into fictive characters forcing them into outcomes we’ve already imagined. Blanks filled in, certainties assured, this leaves no room for the mystery of Love. No room for compassion…or growth. No room for change or the possibility that we might be wrong about the opinions we’ve formed.
Could we possibly be creating people in the image of our judgments and not as they truly are? Are we doing the very thing we didn’t want done to us?
“The mystery of Love? What are you really saying, body? Are you saying we’re turning people into villains to resist them, to justify our defensive posture?”
I am your body. We are one. My job is to support us. To be the hug that keeps us upright. To store in our cells the memory of our days. And… to turn our hearts back to the mystery of Love. To ideas and ancient practices that support our wholeness. To ways of being that lead to freedom and invite us to live in the fullness of our humanity. There is a way out of exhaustion, suspicion and judgment.
“And what way is that, body?”
Let our story begin and end with Love. Let Love be the pause, the period, the high watermark and the exclamation point that dot the narratives we tell ourselves. Offer the benefit of the doubt.
Allow the mystery of Love to fill in the blanks instead of suspicion and judgment.
Let us listen to the unsaid with our heart and not our suspicions. How do we find our way out of exhaustion and judgment? Grace.