Overbearing, incompetent, lazy, selfish, a terrible parent, rude or temperamental… I obviously would never say any of these things to another person, yet these are the kinds of thoughts we often have about ourselves. So, why on earth do we direct unkind (and clearly unproductive) thoughts onto ourselves? In a word: self-judgment. And judgment is the challenge of this month of Scorpio.
Scorpio is a fixed sign, which means that Scorpios do not like change and further, strive for total control over their lives and the lives of those around them. They are the fire of the water signs and, as such, embody the extremes of life. Scorpios are at once fearless and courageous, while at the same time, plagued with very active internal fears, most notably, the fear of failure, of being judged, and ultimately, of not being loved.
This month, the energy and duality of Scorpio gives us an opportunity to see all sides of things. In fact, the Hebrew translation of Scorpio is Mar Cheshvan, mar which means ‘bitter’. However, the reverse of Mar is Ram, and Ram means exalted. So, that is the challenge of the month, to turn Mar to Ram, bitter to exalted. Most events in life are inherently neutral. We know this because the same experience can mean a thousand different things from one person to the next. What one person views as tragic, another could view as a blessing, while another person could feel altogether indifferent. The decision ultimately lies within us and, with this clarity, we can transmute the darkness in our lives into Light. And we start right at the source: ourselves.
Take a look at a situation that is currently difficult for you. We all have them. Perhaps it arrives in the form of a difficult relationship with a co-worker, family member, or friend–the kinds of relationships where every interaction leaves you fuming, sad, or just exhausted. Maybe it isn’t a relationship and it is an area of your life that brings you difficulty. A health problem, a financial problem, or a goal that always seems to be out of reach.
Bring this situation fully into your mind’s eye. What feelings come up within you when you think about it? Do you feel anger and frustration at a certain person? Do you feel disempowered and inadequate in the face of a challenge? If so, why?
What I’m getting at here is the somewhat uncomfortable truth that most of our negative experiences come from our judgment of them as being negative. Furthermore, the judgment we have for people and circumstances can be traced back to a lack we have within ourselves. The beauty of this is that once we bring awareness to the things we judge about ourselves we are already on our way to dispelling them.
I know a dear friend who has found success in her area of expertise. She has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to years of study. She has given her heart and soul to her work and has shown up to her career vulnerably and boldly. And yet, she feels stuck. She sees others, who would be considered her peers, excel past her and she can’t help but wonder why she isn’t. This gives way to the belief that she isn’t educated enough, that she hasn’t done enough, that she is just “not enough” in general. She may be an inspiration to those around her but because she hasn’t succeeded to her own standards, she begins to second guess her gifts. This is all just part of her process, but judging herself harshly will only further extend that process. While the kabbalists never advise resting on our laurels, if she could take a step back she would see the completeness of her life and her accomplishments. A goal not yet achieved is but one small frame of the larger movie of her life, a life filled with happiness, generosity, sharing, passion and inspiration to so many others.
Another way of looking at this is through the story of another woman I know who always noticed how much others seemed to be doing with their lives and then proceeded to judge herself harshly in comparison.
For years she had self-judgement-fueled thoughts, castigating herself for being lazy and lacking the drive everyone else around her seemed to have. Only when she was diagnosed with a medical condition that explained her extreme lack of energy was she able to see how badly she’d been talking to herself. Finally, she was able to release her self-judgements and, instead of beating herself up, she began to have a greater appreciation for what she had achieved, even with the cards stacked against her. Had she released these self-judgments years ago, she would have experienced greater enjoyment in her process, no matter what.
When you increase your feelings of self-love you extend that love to yourself and also to those around you. You become a vessel for the Light that naturally flows through you instead of blocking that Light from yourself, from your life, and from everyone else you come in contact with. It begins by identifying your self-judgements and taking small, intended action towards turning them into something positive. Most self-judgments are unfair and baseless. Others denote an area where we have a real opportunity for growth and instead of beating ourselves up about our perceived lack, instead we can take action to dispel them.
Here are a few common self-judgments and some action basic techniques for ridding them from your psyche:
Do you judge yourself as overbearing? There are many tips and tricks online for how to dispel this one but one of the easiest ways is to start your conversations with “is this a good time?” By asking if this is a good time, in essence you are showing respect for them and their time, eliminating any perception, from yourself or others, as being ‘pushy’.
Do you judge yourself for having a short-fuse? Catch yourself. If you feel yourself getting ready to unload take a page from the kabbalist’s book. Wait three days. If you’re still feeling it three days later, then you can communicate your thoughts in a calm and measured manner.
Do you have a self-judgement of being flaky? It’s likely because you overextend yourself. The next time someone make a request that you know will overextend you, you don’t need to say no immediately but instead say “let me get back to you” and give yourself time to decide. It may be something you actually want to do but it might also be something that you shouldn’t.
Do you have a self-judgement that you could be a better parent? Set aside 15 extra minutes for one on one time with your child. No phones, no tv, just you and your child having a conversation.
Do you judge your body? Constant self-talk like “I’m fat” has never made anyone thinner. In fact, these self-judgements only perpetuate. Martha Beck encourages people to think differently about this, one doesn’t say “I am fingernails” because you have them. Therefore, having a little extra body weight means that you have fat, you certainly are not fat, just as you aren’t fingernails. Sounds very silly when we put it that way, but I encourage you to counter any negative body image thoughts with the thought, “I am fingernails.” Instant perspective!
These are just examples and, yes, this is easier said than done but the more you practice this in your own life, the more it becomes second nature. This is a perfect way to activate the energy of Scorpio in your life. When we resolve our self-judgements, we resolve our judgements of others and open ourselves up to giving and sharing.
Thought into Action
What are your self-judgments? Do you think it’s a false judgment? If so, what active steps can you take to dispel it? If you think that it is accurate, what steps can you take to change your nature?