Last week we began our “judgement detox” based on the book of the same name and my trusty astrological sight who suggested that we can come into “right relations with all of our relationships” once we turn the focus inward. Recognizing where we’ve become out of balance is a huge step toward our ability to heal despite how horrifying it may seem to lift a rug that you know has years of dust, dirt, cobwebs and food crumbs underneath.

If you’ve ever taken sugar or caffeine out of your diet you probably experienced some discomfort, a low grade headache or even full blown flu-like symptoms. It can be so intense we often reason the cleanse is simply not worth the side effects. I prefaced my classes this week by saying “this is our sugar-flu, expect to feel uncomfortable because you are peeking into areas your ego doesn’t want to go”. No one got up and left but the looks on the faces back to me were saying “why? If I don’t have to lift that rug why would I?” I recently heard Dan Harris say “It’s having an affect on you whether you chose to look at it or not”. You can’t see the dirt but it’s seeping into your home. I can ignore it and let it compound or I can grab a swiffer. If we sweep through our judgment and are willing to see where we’ve misaligned there’s a chance we can clear the air.

I don’t believe that in order to begin I need to contemplate how the dirt got under the rug. But understanding the problem can save us from what Gabby calls the “judgment cycle”. If I lift the rug the fact it’s messy is embarrassing. We are ashamed of our misalignment so we beat ourselves up for not being more skillful. Unraveling the past isn’t necessary for finding alignment but this information lessons my tendency to shame my judgment.

This is for sure the most challenging part of the detox but it’s ironically what will keep me committed. I’ve summarized what I’ve found so helpful. “My definition of judgment is pretty straightforward: separation from love. The moment we see ourselves separate from anyone else, or not good enough in some way, we detour into a false belief system that is out of alignment with our true nature, which is love. Our life’s hang-ups stem from this moment of separation. This can be the result of a deeply traumatic experience or a seemingly insignificant event. While we all have different stories that caused us to separate from love, we all have the same response to feeling alone in the world: fear. Separating from love is a traumatic event, and when we’re traumatized, we feel unsafe. One way we respond to feeling fear is to fight back through attacking and judging others. At our core we are loving, kind, whole, healthy, compassionate people but we’ve become fragmented pieces with dark, scary parts. We shut down the power of our love in an attempt to protect ourselves from feeling our deepest most shameful wounds. We’ve done the best we can do to survive. We fear if we let our guard down and act compassionately and lovingly toward one another we will be taken advantage of and will no longer be safe. This is totally understandable given the traumas of this world. To release our judgements of one another would be to take our armour off and end the fight. Traumatized people we cannot let their guard down. But what would happen if everyone raging on every side took a moment to witness their judgement? They’d realize that at its core, their judgement is no different from anyone else’s. Their fear is the same. Their wound is the same.”

It’s the universal #metoo moment and judgement, criticism and blame don’t know what to do with it. They slowly melt to the warmth that can be felt in your heart. This is truly a radical act. To look in the mirror at our own sweet self with compassion.