Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Self-Judgment Part of Growth


We want to develop more and more inner strength. Yes, we look forward to more clarity, self-respect and self-support along with greater compassion for others.

Some may feel reluctant to delve into thought patterns that feel very uncomfortable—even upsetting. Oh My! For those of us raised in these times those thoughts can sound like a truth about ourselves

But no! Becoming aware of these feelings of shame and self-judgment, so common in our culture, comprise an important aspect of the path to more growth.

Proceeding with guidance from others more experienced, we change the deep habit of a lesser view of self to one with much more kindness and health.

I Evolve, 24 x 30, $595

Maisie’s Experience

Maisie woke up in the night, feeling upset. She thought “Oh I have had a bad dream.” Soon, our star realized she could not return to sleep because she had morphed into reviewing a topic about her life about which she felt awful.

To start, what did she do to comfort herself?

As a first step she got up to go check her email and bring her attention to present time.

This worked for immediate soothing and in about an hour she was able to return to bed and fell asleep.

What of this disturbance? Next morning as she pondered her circumstance, she recognized how the depth of this discomfort was shame and self-judgment.

We can benefit from noticing this pattern within us.

View from Soul Without Shame

Byron Brown, in his work Soul Without Shame explains how we can use this constructively.

“If you choose to pursue inner work, the search for understanding who you are, what your life means and what reality is—you are by necessity setting yourself directly in conflict with your (editor: inner) judge. To explore what you believe, what you experience, why you act and feel the way you do is to question the authority of the judge.”[1]

In other words, by looking into the discomfort we begin to shake up the basis on which the self-judgment operates.

We “use it in the work” or find “Grist for the mill” as we keep going and growing.

Maisie’s Unfolding

Here are some reframing points for Maisie.

  1. She will feel strong emotion as part of life and she is safe will it flows through. Even with that incident described, the charge, the fear involved, was dissipated as she let herself feel it.
  2. Wow all she has to do is allow it and keep going.
  3. This heroine realizes that her inner environment of shame and fear in those distressing moments is NOT at all speaking “the truth” about her.
  4. Instead, she has experienced False Evidence Appearing Real.
  5. She can flow with compassion for herself as she lets herself be human. Everyone has felt this discomfort. Maisie is whole now on this journey of waking up..

This process constitutes a means of becoming clearer. We notice our thoughts, bit by bit, as we can. Accept ourselves the way we are today: a dear human becoming more vital and alive. 

Do you have a story from your growth of a liberating moment? Please share!

1 Brown, Byron, Soul Without Shame, Guide to liberating yourself from the judge within, (Boston, MA; Shambala Publications, Inc, 1999) 81

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

(Mission statement here).