I would argue the most recognized judge in the United States is not a member of the Supreme Court, as one might hope, but rather the daytime TV superstar Judith Sheindlin a.k.a Judge Judy.
Truth be told I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a full episode of the Daytime Emmy winning show (seriously, she won an Emmy for outstanding legal/courtroom program) however, as a kid I would try to sneak in some legal drama while my mom was distracted elsewhere in the house (obviously I quickly switched back to PBS when I heard her foot steps coming down the hall). I’m fairly certain this show is where I learned all the legal jargon I know… well that and Legally Blonde… ANYWAYS, the beauty of Judge Judy is that you don’t have to watch it to understand what it is about, the premise of the show is in the title after all; if you can’t figure out that it is a courtroom show by the giant font that says JUDGE, then the tiny justice building inside the ‘D’ of Judy should be a dead giveaway. Regardless, my point is that you don’t really need to watch a whole episode to understand it- people go to court, argue over who knows what, while Judy glowers and shouts at them to ‘be quite’, ‘sit down’, and/or informs them that “Um is not an answer.” before passing her final judgement from the bench. It is fascinating Television I tell you what.
I say all of this because of a conversation I had with a friend the other day, it is also a conversation I have with Drew on a semi-regular basis. You see, I am a recovering judge… not in the ‘robe, gavel, and powdered wig’ sense… more of in the ultra critical ‘dirt star’ sort of a way (if you don’t know what that is DO NOT Google it… blame Ali Wong and Tan France… at least I didn’t say ‘Balloon knot’). Here’s the thing, I was an undercover judge for the majority of my life. I was subtle, tactful, tasteful in my judgements. I wasn’t pulling a Judy and yelling at people or boisterously saying terrible things about them to their faces, I was quietly judging them in my mind. I know! So rude. The-actual-worst.
If I ever judged you I am so terribly sorry and would like to ask your forgiveness right now, on this public forum. Will you please forgive me?
Here’s the deal. I come from a long line of judges. It is how I learned to view the world and find my place in it… how will I ever know where I fit or how I measure up if I’m not judging, critiquing or comparing myself to EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME!?! There are more than a few problems with this way of being, but here are my top 3-
Problem number 1- this is no way to live. It destroys your self esteem and breaks down any sense of self you may have once had. You will be ( as I was) constantly confused about who you are because you are trying to figure out who you ‘should’ be.
Problem number 2- you will find it hard to genuinely connect with people because you are perched up on your judges seat putting a divide between you and the world around you.
Problem number 3- you will develop body dysmorphia, paranoia (from the belief that everyone else is also judging you) and a myriad of other bad habits that are not founded in reality but in the misinformed thoughts swirling inside your head birthed and fostered by fear.
There is a verse in the Bible that says “Do not judge, lest you be judged” I always took this to mean that I would be judged by God when I died and got to the pearly gates… but now I’m not so sure. I actually think there is evidence to prove that when you carry a spirit of judgement towards others it stems from a spirit of judgement for yourself. Imagine the judgemental view of the world as a set of contact lenses; once you put them in you can’t take them out, so when you are looking at yourself in the mirror you see yourself through the same (if not more intense [because you are up close and personal]) judgement filled eyes that you view the rest of the world with… does that make sense? In my case those lenses were shoved on my eyes at birth so I wasn’t really aware I was wearing them until they started to hurt.
Allowing the spirit of judgement to remain in my life was torturing my way of thinking-
”Do I look that ridiculous when I wave?”
”Am I her size or her size? Oh man I hope I’m not her size!”
”Wow… that is a look”
”Do you know how annoying you are? I think you do…”
The list goes on and on… and truth be told, 92% of the time it has nothing to do with the people I am mentally murdering with my drive by judgings… it has to do with me and the fears I have allowed to weasel their way into my mind. Saying no to judgement means saying no to partnering with fear. Saying no the spirit of fear and judgement means saying yes to a greater spirit of love and acceptance for myself and for others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m human, and every now and again, if I’m not careful and I’m not guarding my mind and heart, those familiar lenses will try to float their way back over my eyes. But there is hope in forgiveness. There is power in believing the best over someone, calling them UP into who they were created to be rather than cutting them down.
So, here we are, in recovery, learning to look in the mirror with clear eye (full hearts… can’t loose, ya know?). To look at myself with acceptance for who I AM, where I AM, what I look like, how I feel, my body, my intelligence, my career… All of it IS what it is and that is ok. I can learn, I can grow, I can choose to change, but in this moment I refuse to partner with fear and judge the current status of things. As I practice this grace for self, I find that it filters my thoughts, softening the edges. I once heard it said that mercy covers you when you are down and grace calls you up out of that space. And so today, may I extend you a hand of grace, to call you up, to pull you out, and welcome you in to a journey of acceptance. If you aren’t ready to receive it, may I offer you a super fluffy blanket of mercy to wrap you up and give you comfort while you are down.. take as much time as you need, I’m here to help you up when you are ready.
P.S. I will be holding you all accountable. If you see me reaching for that robe (complete with lace collar) and powdered wig, you slap my hand and tell me to PUT IT DOWN because my name isn’t Judy and I have no right being in the judgement seat.
Here is how to process an emotion, from Karol K. Truman’s book ‘Feelings Buried Alive Never Die…’
(casual title right?) she calls it ‘The Script’ it is a tool you can use for literally ANY emotion. Pick up a copy of her book to learn more.
“In the name of Jesus Christ... Spirit, Super-Conscious, subconscious, Conscious, Higher Self, Heart, Mind, Will, Nervous System-Brain, Original Intelligence, RNA, DNA, & every genetic anomaly out of alignment with my pattern of perfection, please locate the origin of my conscious & sub-conscious destructive cellular memories which caused the incorrect perceptions that created feelings/thoughts/beliefs of JUDGEMENT
Take each & every level, layer, area, & aspect of my Being to these origins.
Analyze & resolve them perfectly with God the Father’s truth.
Come forward through all generations of time & eternity healing every event & it’s appendages based on the origins. Please do it according to God the Father’s will, until I’m at the present—— filled with light & truth, God’s Immanence, peace & love, benevolence, forgiveness of my self for my imperfect perceptions, having compassion for ever person, place, circumstance & event which contributed to any of these destructive cellular memories, feelings, thoughts, or beliefs.
With total forgiveness & unconditional love, I ask that my physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual memory of perfection resonate throughout my Being.
I choose Being non-judgement, accepting, allowing and wise.
I feel non-judgement, accepting, allowing and wise.
I AM non-judgement, accepting, allowing and wise.
It is done! It is healed! It is accomplished now!
Thank you all for coming to my aid & working together to help me rid my Being of stress, & attain the full measure of my creation. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you & praise God the Father from whom all blessings flow.
Now, all facets of my Being, please put this Scripting on automatic so it repeats itself throughout each & every cell & fiber of my Being every half hour of every day for the next 180 days, (or however long is best for me) thereby re-storing perfectly healthy frequencies throughout my Being & returning me to my original purpose, power & magnificence! And it is done!