90-Day A Better Me Series
Part I: A Journey of Awareness
What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation
Day 20: Judgment in Our Intimate Relationships
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
As I wrote about earlier in the 90-DAY A BETTER ME SERIES in the section about fear, there is often confusion around what is considered love. Some of us are taught that to love is to fear. Others are taught fearful actions are projections of love. We make it okay to name-call, belittle, condemn, degrade, intimidate, manipulate, and violate (all fear-based living). Some of us will live in internal hells while we are in relationships because we are so caught up in our toxic stories in our heads that lead to jealousy, rage, betrayal, distance, separation, depression, anxiety, and isolation.
Sometimes we come into relationships with our ideas of a happily ever after story playing in our heads. We have this ideal image of what happily ever after looks like and we judge everything in the relationship against that criteria. We don’t even SEE the person standing in front of us. We are in a fantasy world that isn’t our reality in that moment. In the moment we could be ignoring red flags flying or ignoring a great person who is looking to get to know us better. All those judgments about how love should be could actually be stealing the focus from where our attention needs to be—Making sure we are loving and honoring ourselves, so that we can give and receive love from our partners. This is how we keep ourselves out of the toxic muck that judgment creates in relationships.
In intimate relationships we are building trust with our partners. If a partner is being judgmental, that creates holes in the trust. We want to feel safe with our partners and judgment is not safe. In order to not let judgment get in the way of love, both partners have to come to the table with love for each other and themselves, self-respect, respect for each other, awareness, presence, and curiosity. We aren’t all going to think the same way. We aren’t all going to do things the same way. Some of us like the toilet paper to come off the top and others like it to come off the bottom. Some of us like our glass to be bottoms up and the shelf, and others like them to be bottoms down. There is no right vs. wrong. IT’S JUST PREFERENCES! In a healthy relationship we can discuss preferences without things getting ugly with judgment.
When we get stuck on little ideas of right vs. wrong, the big ones can really get us. We have to remain in a calm place and communicate with curiosity about each other instead of judgment. When we don’t agree there is an opportunity to learn. How much do you really care about your partner? If it’s A LOT, then being willing to open the door to try to understand where he/she is coming from. How did they get to the beliefs they have about relationships, life, religion, positions of power, family, strangers, etc.? What we don’t see eye to eye on is an opportunity, not an obstacle. Once we know where their and our perceptions of truth come from, if we communicate from a loving place instead of a fearful one, the relationship will grow. We get to understand our own belief systems by communicating this way. We also get to decide if old beliefs are still working for us towards the version of ourselves. If they’re not, we can choose to let them go.
In a healthy partnership, we support each other’s growth. A healthy partner doesn’t try to keep the other partner down with their judgments. Curiosity fuels relationships and judgment creates toxicity.
If one partner takes the journey down fear’s road, and the other follows, the toxic energy just brews and festers. I used to think of it as when I went down, he went with me and when he went down, I felt like he was dragging me down to be where he was. It wasn’t a healthy way to look at it. It was only when I had enough self-love and self-respect that I could have solid boundaries to the point I could actively choose not to go down with him.
“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.”
Now, in the relationship I’m currently in, we know when each other need a little space to figure out what is going on in our heads and we take it. We do our best not to communicate if we are heated and triggered because we might mistakenly judge each other instead of figuring out what inside us is being triggered. What we find is it is usually not what is happening in the moment. It is something from the past that has crept in to our perception of truth. It could be a trigger from an old relationship or judgments we felt from childhood. Either way, we choose to process first before we communicate. This has kept our relationship a very loving one. This doesn’t mean we don’t have our stressful moments, but we actively work to communicate in a way where each of us are heard and understood, even if we don’t agree with each other. We use laughter as our favorite tool when we know the other person isn’t reacting to what is happening in the moment. For us, it reminds us that we aren’t making the judgment that the other one thinks we’re making.
When we do our best to seek understanding instead of insisting on our own way, we reveal who the person is in front of us. Then we get to decide if this is a person who we want with us on our journey based on who they are not who we want them to be, or who they feel they need to pretend to be to get us to want them. If we feel safe in our relationships, communication isn’t either party feeling like they have to walk on egg shells. That is a sign that something is wrong. It could be our self-judgments, projected judgments, or their projected judgments or self-judgments. It could be that there isn’t a mutual respect. Whatever it is that is keeping the relationship in a toxic cycle, it is important for us to see our part in the chaos. If we are staying, when in our hearts we know its not healthy for us to stay: what are our self-judgments that keep us there? If we know the person we are with is a good person, but we feel disconnected: What are the inner judgments going on that are making the relationship feel off?
In order to be healthy we have to stop trying to change someone else’s behavior and start looking to the one person we can change. OURSELVES! We need to be responsible for our own feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions. We can’t hold another person responsible for our health and happiness. If we are pointing the finger in blame, we are hiding from the truth (A reminder from Day 17)!
Just for Today
If you are currently in a relationship, think about how your judgments in the relationship have affected the relationship. Don’t focus on what the other person is doing or not doing. Just focus on your own judgments.
If you aren’t in a relationship, think about a past relationship with the same focuses. If you’ve been keeping up with the series, you might remember my story about how I avoided looking at my own stuff and it kept me in the toxic muck. I went out and repeated toxic and unhealthy patterns with my next partner. The experience blew my life wide open and it is what set me on the path to develop the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP. I did the work to get me out of my own way, and it all started from seeing how I really felt about myself and what I was projecting into my relationships. I saw first hand how my pretending to be healthy couldn’t fool the Law of Attraction. Your life and relationships will change for the better by doing the work. If we focus on the one person we can change, instead of trying to make others conform to us, we win in the biggest way possible, because we get to live and love authentically! It’s the best feeling EVER! Keep with the series and if you’re not there already, you will have plenty of opportunity to get there.
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2019
Part of the work is writing your own letters of inspiration. Go to http://lettersfromabetterme.blogspot.comto see today’s letter of inspiration.
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