How Judgment Separates Us from Others

This post was originally published as an edition of the Morsels of Change newsletter. If you like it, you may wish to sign up here!

Morsels of Change question to ponder:

How Does Judgment Separate Me from Myself and Others?

Once, during an appointment with a therapist, I was describing the judgment I felt toward someone close to me, and how I didn’t want to feel that judgment.

“And what is judgment?” she asked.

I pondered a moment and then realized what it was for me: “An excuse not to love.”

Judgment is a tool we use to create separation, to divide ourselves from each other, to disconnect. As soon as I judge you, I create a barrier between us: “You are like this, but I am like that.” This separation shuts down our hearts, closing us off from each other. The judgment gives us an excuse not to love.

And it’s not just in our relationships with each other; it’s in our relationships with ourselves too. I judge the “productive” part of me as the “real me”, and I judge the “lazy and undisciplined part” as the bad me, the me I don’t want to be. I build up walls that separate the different parts of me from each other, and create excuses to be hard on myself, to not love myself.

Perhaps you judge your body. You create a separation between “you” (i.e. your mind) and your body. Suddenly you aren’t one mind-body, you’re disconnected, separate, judging yourself, with the excuse not to love parts of yourself.

In No Boundary, the spiritual philosopher Ken Wilber writes about human growth as the continual dissolution of false boundaries.

We grow to dissolve the boundary we’ve set up between our persona (the part of ourselves we show to the world) and our shadow (the part we keep hidden), and eventually accept that all of it is part of all of us.

We grow to dissolve the boundary we’ve set up between our mind and our body, and eventually reach a level of mind-body consciousness.

We dissolve the boundaries we’ve set up between “I” and “you” and “us” and “them” by leaning into the human experience that connects us all.

If this topic captures your interest, here are some things you might like to do next:

Read a story about my coaching work with a client struggling with self-judgment

-Keep a record for a week of the judgments that run through your head. What patterns do you notice?

Send me a quick note to set up a coaching call to explore how judgment shows up in your life, the effect it has on you, and how you can start to release it.

Morsels of Change question to ponder:

How does judgment separate me from myself and others?

Laura McGrath, CPCC, is a Toronto-based co-active life coach who helps smart people to live from their hearts. Let's talk! You can subscribe to Ready for Change news to receive thoughtful notes on personal growth, and you can contact Laura to find out if coaching is right for you.