Stuart consulted with me because of the loss of his marriage and his inability to stop drinking, which had resulted in his being disbarred as an attorney.
David consulted with me because he could not seem to fill his inner emptiness. Marriage, children and a successful business did nothing to fill that emptiness. Connie consulted with me because her explosive anger was ruining her marriage and her relationships with her children.
All of these people have one thing in common: ongoing self-judgment.
None of them truly knows the preciousness of their Selves. None of them know their intrinsic value, their goodness, their worth. Each of them believes that there is something basically wrong with them. Each of them spends much energy trying to get approval from others.
Like Miranda, Stuart, David and Connie, we each have a wounded self who uses self-judgment as a form of control.
The wounded self in all of us believes that if we are hard on ourselves, we can get ourselves to perform in the ways that would result in approval from others. Yet the actual result of self-judgment is devastating to the Self. Self-judgment is self-abandonment. We abandon ourselves when we judge ourselves.
We are loving to ourselves when we are kind, accepting, and compassionate toward ourselves and open to learning with ourselves and our spiritual Guidance.
Imagine for a moment that you are treating a small 3-year old child the way you treat yourself, telling this child that he or she is not good enough, is inadequate, worthless, undeserving, unimportant, and so on. This child would naturally feel sad, hurt, frightened, anxious, and alone. The child might respond with anger, compliance or numbness. Regardless of the response, the child would feel abandoned and brokenhearted.
This is how your precious Inner Child feels each time you judge yourself. Often, instead of then performing the way you believe you "should," you become immobilized, resistant, or needy. You may find yourself doing anything to get approval and avoid disapproval. Your Inner Child desperately needs to feel valued, and when you are not valuing him or her, you will find yourself trying to get someone else to give you value. Yet, no matter how much success or approval you get, it is never enough, because a true sense of value and self-worth comes from within.
Miranda will continue to have her sadness until she stops judging herself and opens to God/Guidance for the truth of who she is. Her sadness will not go away until she consistently treats herself as the precious child of God that she is. As long as she ignores her feelings and needs and judges her looks and performance, she will have deep sadness.
Stuart will continue to drink to drown out of the pain that he causes by his self-judgment. His Child desperately needs his kindness and acceptance, and his wounded self drinks to avoid the pain of the inner abandonment.
David will continue to feel empty until he opens to the love that is always here for him from Spirit. He keeps trying to get love from others, but God is love - the Source of love. Until David opens to Spirit and allows love into his heart, and sees and values his true Self, he will continue to feel empty.
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Connie will continue to take her anger out on her family until she opens to learning about how angry her Inner Child is at her for the self-judgment/self-abandonment. She will continue to seek love from her family and be enraged when she doesn't get it as long as she is not being kind and accepting toward herself.
Self-judgment is a deep addiction in the wounded self. It will not go away on its own. Only by choosing to attend to your feelings with caring and compassion will you become aware of the lies and self-judgments that are causing your pain. I encourage you to practice mindfulness of your feelings all day so that you can become aware of the self-judgments that are the primary source of your pain.